John Oliver Calls Upon Lawmakers to Address Lead Problem in America

April 19th, 2016

During his April 17th Last Week Tonight show, John Oliver explored the issues that lead has and can cause for the children of America. While the most recent outrage over lead came from news about lead in the water in Flint, Michigan, he also dove into the problems that lead dust can cause children.  As he said “There is no safe level of lead. It’s one of those things that is so dangerous, you shouldn’t even let a little bit inside you…  Even low-level exposure can lead to irreversible damage, like lower IQs, antisocial behavior, and reduced attention span.”  He highlighted the drops in funding that the HUD lead abatement program has experienced over the last decade, while also pointing to a study by Environmental Health Perspectives which demonstrated that each dollar spent in lead abatement could have a return of between $17 and $221 in overall social benefits. Finally, he joined with Elmo, Rosita and Oscar the Grouch in a song reminiscent of  Sesame Street’s original 1996 video about living with lead paint.