East Chicago, Indiana - August 24, 2016
Stephanie King received this notice about lead in the dirt surrounding her West Calumet home. King has already started packing and is waiting for a housing voucher that will enable the family to move after September 1. King fears that finding an equivalent home for her large family will be difficult.
Two and a half years ago, King left Chicago's South Side to find a safer environment for her children, but her youngest son, Josiah King, 3, had blood lead levels test results above the CDC’s 5 mg/d threshold for action. Her other children's blood levels were below the threshold for action.
The West Calumet Housing Complex, which is currently home to about 1,200 people, is located on a 79-acre Environmental Protection Agency Superfund site where a USS Lead facility was located in East Chicago, Indiana. Up until 1985, a lead refinery, a copper smelter and a secondary lead smelter were also in the area. The houses were built between the late 1960s and early 1970s.
CREDIT: Alyssa Schukar for The New York Times 30194607A