Elected officials and residents are calling on the MTA to address falling lead paint and other hazards that are raining down on the community from the elevated 7 train trestle.
Earlier this year, members of District 9 International Union of Painters and Allied Trades collected samples of paint chips that fell from the elevated trestle and found lead levels nearly 49 times the “acceptable” level of 5,000 parts per million.
The MTA is knowingly putting residents – especially children – in harm’s way with their inaction.
And if they’re planning to dispute the numbers, then why not conduct their own inspection or study to see if the structure is or isn’t raining dangerous lead paint on residents? What is there to hide if the MTA doesn’t believe their negligence is harmful?
It’s simply an out-of-sight, out-of-mind attitude.
Lead is becoming a more public issue as the impact of lead poisoning and exposure on childhood development becomes fully understood.
In school across New York City, lead levels in water are routinely reported to be higher than the acceptable levels. Again, this happened because of simple negligence. The problem was allowed to get out of hand and aging water infrastructure was ignored.
Lead paint won’t just go away on its own. It will continue to contaminate the community if not addressed.
Councilman Daniel Dromm said he’s made repeated attempts to get the MTA to repaint the structure, but there’s been no movement. He said the structure hasn’t been painted in more than three decades.
That’s simply unacceptable. It may take a group of plaintiffs who filed a lawsuit to compel the MTA to take action for something to finally get done. But the MTA will always have to live with the legacy of their negligence greatly impacting the health of the community.
What's more, we have to wonder how many other neighborhoods with elevated train lines are living with the same issue, but simply don't know it?