(NaturalNews) The left-leaning ruling elite in America's cities always claim to "care more" about the people. But the fact is, their policies belie their statements.
That is particularly true in Chicago, where former Obama administration official Rahm Emanuel is mayor. Under his "leadership," parts of the city have become nearly uninhabitable and more resemble a war zone than an American city.
But in other parts life can be just as hazardous – simply by drinking the water.
As reported by ABC 7, the Chicago Park District recently completed its water testing program on fountains in parks, field houses and along the lakefront, finding that nearly one-in-five sources tested positive for dangerously high levels of lead.
The survey of city drinking water at public venues was triggered by prior independent tests conducted by the network's news I-Team which found high levels of lead.
The news division reported that 445 of 1,891 outdoor water fountains in parks throughout the city are now out of service and disabled, after having reached or surpassed the Environmental Protection Agency's actionable level of 15 parts of lead per billion (15 ppb). In addition, 14 out of 544 indoor water fountains have been shut off by officials.
No public notification other than website posting
The I-Team, using an independent laboratory, began testing park district fountains in May, and in doing so found several of them with high levels of lead. Chicago officials responded by shutting down the fountains and launching their own water testing program.
After the findings, the I-Team made several requests for interviews with officials from the Chicago Park District. But until a few days ago, those were denied. "We've been posting this on our website, following [Environmental Protection Agency] protocols," said Michael Kelly, superintendent and CEO of Chicago Park District, told the news team. "They're all off. That's the most important thing the public needs to know the minute those were tested they were shut down immediately."
But it's unclear how long high levels of lead have been present in the water fountains before they were shut down. It's also hard to say how long they would have remained in service had the I-Team not had them tested for lead content.
The I-Team reported further that in the final round of park district testing, two fountains located in the Avalon Park area were found to have extremely high levels of lead, coming in at around 1,200 to 1,800 ppb.
According to the EPA, if more than 10 percent of tap water samples exceed the lead action level of 15 parts per billion, municipalities are required to:
-- Take additional steps to optimize corrosion control treatment;
-- Educate the public about lead in drinking water and actions that consumers can take to reduce their exposure;
-- Replace portions of water pipes that are leaching lead into drinking water.
The head of Chicago's public health department is no public health expert
Julie Morita, commissioner of the Chicago Department of Public Health, told the I-Team that her agency would continue to work with the park district to inform the public if any risks or exposures occurred. "We want to make sure information is available if people want to get tested," she added. "They can get tested."
While admitting that she isn't a public health expert – which is pretty odd given that she is the head of the Department of Public Health – Morita said that her most important concern was shutting down the contaminated water supplies once she found out about them.
Lead in drinking water is becoming a more frequent problem, especially as water pipes and other infrastructure in America's cities age. But it's a problem that needs to be addressed: Lead toxicity can lead to nervous system disorders, delayed neurodevelopment, cognitive disorders, lowered educational performance and other physical health impairments.
If you suspect lead or other contaminants in your drinking water, have it tested by CWC Labs.