Aging Infrastructure

  The photo above was taken in the basement of my home in Charles Village. It was strange to look for potential environmental problems, especially in my own home. Looking critically at the structures that made up my everyday surroundings was a little scary. The picture shows old, rusted pipes with paint scraping off. Behind the pipes, chunks of bricks have been removed from the walls. I looked up on the Baltimore City County Housing Records to see that my house was built in 1921. Aging infrastructure is a big problem all over the country, but especially in cities and how it relates to public health. Old systems are more likely to break and lead to a public health crisis. In 1986, lead pipes were banned from new developments. However, unless pipes have been replaced throughout a house, lead pipes could still exist in the old infrastructure that exists in cities. This loophole and many others in the housing code have allowed dangerous and old infrastructure to remain in homes and buildings around the country with. If my home, in a relatively affluent neighborhood looks like this, what problems are houses in poorer neighborhoods facing that no one realizes? This picture is a representation of how aging infrastructure is all around us, often hidden, but still posing severe risks to our health. 

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