Should your zip code dictate your life expectancy? A recent study and map, created by Virginia Commonwealth University and Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, exposes dramatic disparities even within the same county, like in NJ’s Mercer County. Life expectancy in Trenton’s 08619 area code is 73 years whereas 8 miles up the road in Princeton Junction, it’s 87 years.
Can we do anything about that? Of course. Isles develops innovative ways to make an impact by fostering both self reliance and healthy sustainable communities.
But what’s making people sick? And is it personal behavior or the environment that drives theses disparities?
We believe the answer is both, and children are most at risk. One example is the presence of toxic lead in the environment in older neighborhoods. While the Flint debacle brings attention to a seemingly surprised nation, Isles has studied and worked to remove the persistent and toxic threat of lead for over a decade.
We’re confident that we can effectively remove the threat of lead to kids in the region within the next 20 years.
By the way, the source of the toxin here in New Jersey, where 11 cities and towns have higher levels of lead in children than Flint, is dust, not water. If we address the dust problem, we can also reduce asthma. And if we can include the weatherization of homes at the same time, the benefits are even greater.
Finally, the heat of summer and the growing evidence of a warming planet remind us that we need climate-friendly, high-density cities to work. Otherwise, we are in deep trouble.
Isles is a ‘think and do’ tank that proves what’s possible. It is your support that makes this happen. For more info, check out our summer enewsletter here.
Have a great summer.