East Chicago, Indiana - August 24, 2016
Stephanie King talks about the blood lead level test results for her five children, including her daughter Ivianna Prater, 8, at left, in their 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