Common Council Approves Lead Resolution

MILWAUKEE – The Lead Transparency resolution relating to Health Department recommendations for avoiding lead exposure was adopted unanimously by the Common Council.

Alderpersons Tony Zielinski, Jim Bohl and Chantia Lewis co-sponsored the resolution after extensive research and collaboration with local organizations about the importance and accuracy of community lead education. The resolution requires enhanced communications between the Milwaukee Health Department and the local community about the health risks of lead in water, especially for high-risk populations.

“As the lead author of the Lead Transparency Resolution, I am proud to announce that the Common Council unanimously approved this progressive legislation yesterday,” said Alderman Zielinski. “After months of organizing with federal, state and local agencies, we have gained agreement on the need to inform the public that women of childbearing age and children younger than 6—including infants—should only drink and prepare foods with water from known lead-free sources.”

“The use of an ANSI/NSF 53 Standard filter should always be recommended for buildings with lead laterals. I am most proud that we have included women of childbearing age and infants in the ‘at risk’ group and encourage them to be tested for lead exposure.”

Robert Miranda, spokesperson for Milwaukee’s Freshwater for Life Action Coalition (FLAC) and member of the Milwaukee Nutrition & Lead Task Force, who has worked to inform Milwaukeeans about the dangers and presence of lead in their water since 2016, also supported the resolution.

“The Freshwater for Life Action Coalition has advocated for years that lead pipes in homes be removed because they cause lead poisoning,” said Miranda. “This legislation represents a victory for the people of Milwaukee who deserve to understand their risks of lead poisoning from drinking water. FLAC stands united with water and health advocates and will continue to organize the community into a unified voice until the City eradicates lead pipes from all homes.”

“Hunger Task Force has been pleased to work with Alderman Zielinski on a campaign for public education: Well Fed Means Less Lead,” said Sherrie Tussler, executive director of Hunger Task Force and co-chair of the Nutrition & Lead Task Force. “This legislation will promote public information and testing, and we hope the City of Milwaukee will include the message that a healthy diet high in key nutrients can help mitigate lead absorption. Hunger Task Force advocates for access to healthy foods for low-income people who are vulnerable to lead exposure because they live in older homes.”

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