I bought a box of 20 Mule Team Borax and last Friday afternoon, used
a simple recipe of sugar, borax and water and cut it make only enough to fill two Mexican Coke bottle caps, the kind you have to pry off with an opener. An hour later the caps were full of ants and I began to wonder if I hadn't enticed even more to come before leaving for the weekend. Monday morning the trails of ants were gone, no lingering ants near the sink. The siege had ended as quickly as it had begun and I can use the rest of the borax as the box recommends.
Every siege should end as quickly.
I am not sure how many milligrams of borax it took to take care of my ant problem but One milligram of dust --that’s all the lead it takes to poison a child—the equivalent of three granules of sugar.
There are still a half a million children between the ages of one and five being poisoned each year in the U.S and probably more since not all children are being screened through the voluntary programs run in the country. Some of those children are ours, perhaps your very own child or grandchild.
In most cities and communities around the country the "culprit" causing most children's lead poisoning is the old deteriorating lead paint in their own home or apartment. They are sleeping with the enemy.
I got to go on a Lead Based Paint inspection with the Miami Tribe's Environmental staff this week and it got me thinking and looking up and down the streets in Miami, Commerce, Vinita of all the older homes in our neighborhoods that could have lead base paint, some obviously did. That paint is old, since it was banned from being sold in the U.S. in 1978. Almost 4 decades ago. We replace refrigerators, buy new cars and most marriages haven't lasted that long. But the very house surrounding our families and neighbors are still wrapped in a known toxic substance. And in Ottawa County, even the yard outside could be covered with chat containing lead and other metals, including my old standby, arsenic.
Arsenic, lead and manganese we don't want them in our houses or yards. We especially don't want these heavy metals in our children. I have been delivering notices about the upcoming Tar Creek Conference which will be held September 13 and 14 this year at the Miami Civic Center and one of the women I handed a stack to was a MATCH mom, with 2 of her children participating in the study the Harvard School of Public Health conducted here.
That very day an article was published in the Environmental Health Perspectives about the arsenic in children living near a superfund site, Our children, our superfund site. The study's conclusion prenatal arsenic can adversely affect birth outcomes is of considerable public health importance. I say It should be especially important to those who are exposed and to the EPA, the agency tasked with the cleanup of this site.
In a 2009 study from the Economic Policy Institute found taxpayers actually receive a $17-$221 return on investment for every dollar invested in controlling lead hazards. The reason is simple: Keeping children safe from lead hazards can prevent future health issues, reduce criminal activity, limit the number of kids who end up in special education programs, and improve individual IQs and lifetime earnings—all of which reduce stress on the economy. “There is no other public health program in the country that has that kind of dollar return,” said Ruth Ann Norton, the president and CEO of the Green & Healthy Homes Initiative.
It costs money to cleanup a Superfund site and our kids are worth it. Let's make this happen, let's demand it be done and while we are at it let's push for assistance for homeowners and even landlords to get the housing units free of lead paint.
With a lead based paint housing issue in Baltimore, Maryland their Health Commissioner Leana Wen.
"The poisoning of our children is a health issue, but it’s also a civil justice issue and an economic development issue."
Our issues at the Tar Creek Superfund site are our siege and we have to pay attention to make sure it is done right. EPA's meeting is August 16 at the Civic Center. See you then and at our Tar Creek Conference in September.
Respectfully Submitted ~