Report: Philly Lead Exposure Greater Than Flint


Philadelphia Department of Public Health (PDPH) , via Center for Disease Control, 2014

Philadelphia Department of Public Health (PDPH) via Center for Disease Control, 2014

  • A recent piece by Vox, extending the national discussion over lead exposure beyond Flint, Michigan, claims, per data from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Pennsylvania Department of Health, that most of Pennsylvania’s larger population centers have higher levels of lead exposure than Flint. While this has naturally excited local opinion on the issue, Philadelphia magazine’s Sandy Smith offers a mild point of distinction, in that governmental negligence is less the culprit in Philadelphia’s case, The City has indeed kept track of neighborhood-level differentials in exposure rates, although it does not reflect the fact that in 2012, the CDC adopted a more stringent threshold for what it considers acceptable levels of lead in children’s blood.
  • PlanPhilly looks a proposed ordinance—written by the Department of Licenses and Inspections and submitted to City Council’s consideration last week by its president Darrell Clarke—that would require the public posting of a demolition notice before a permit application is reviewed. “The intent was to reduce red tape and delay, which is a very typical complaint about L&I,” said communications director Karen Guss.
  • Inga Saffron lauds Pearl Properties’ planned addition to the Harriman building at 16th & Walnut, citing the Beacon Building as an exemplar of what Philadelphia development ought to look like after Michael Nutter’s zoning reforms. Seeing much opportunity in near-tragedy and no historical designation attached to the 1927 building, Pearl was able to discreetly get the ball rolling on a 197-foot-tall spire, without one public zoning meeting, in one year. A little communication, though, would have been nice from Pearl, the “the Greta Garbo of Philadelphia developers.”
  • On Tuesday the PEC Community Development Corporation will ceremonially break ground on a $7.2 million live/work project at 40th Street, Lancaster and Haverford Avenues, says West Philly Local. The 24,350-square-foot building, being called 4050 Apartments, will include 20 affordable units to artists, while providing them communal workshop and exhibition space.
About the author

Stephen Currall recently received his BA in history from Arcadia University. Before beginning doctoral studies, he is pursuing his interest in local history, specifically just how Philadelphians engage their vibrant past. Besides skimming through 18th century letters, Steve is also interested in music and travel.

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