We find that Flint fertility rates decre … Key, who drafted the resolution to declare racism a public health crisis in Genesee County, said there needs to be a national movement to do that. Dozens of people became sick with Legionnaires' disease, with at least dozen people dying of the pneumonia-like illness. Unsafe levels of lead have been found in nearly 2,000 communities across the country and many of the most dangerous levels have been found in schools and day care centers. One of her kids got so sick that he missed a month of school, and “at one point, they told us he had cancer because they didn’t know what was going on.”. More significantly, the corrosiveness of the water leached lead out of old pipes used throughout the city. In the Flint, Michigan, water investigation, the state's attorney general says he's appointing a former prosecutor and Detroit's former FBI chief. / Criminal charges are pending against more than a dozen state and local officials, including multiple felony charges against some of the state-appointed emergency managers. Read about what can be done. Mays also has diverticulitis, a digestive disease, which she blames on the lead. Updated October 12, 2019 Toward the end of last year, headlines blared news of the high levels of lead turning up in the blood of children in Flint, Michigan , a struggling industrial suburb of Detroit. The extent of the lead contamination problem in Flint’s water at its worst is uncertain and controversial, but a preliminary report issued by a research team from Virginia Tech found that 40% of homes in Flint might have high lead levels. She says that all of the kids affected, which could be around 9,000, might need special education services, and while children in Flint are still getting tested for lead, she stresses that the results don t accurately portray how sick they could be. See also: Escherichia; Escherichia coli outbreaks; Water treatment, The levels of chlorine and other corrosive compounds in the Flint River water caused further problems. Regina H. Boone/Detroit Free Press/Zuma. When disaster hit, no one was prepared for the disappointing explanations and the course of action taken at the time, a poor decision-making process leading to a … 51% of households felt that the physical health of at least one member had worsened due to Flint water crisis. “We won’t see the [developmental issues] yet,” she says. Samples of Flint's drinking water proved to be filled with disease-causing bacteria, carcinogens, and lead. That’s what I’m going to be mad about. Government officials from Weaver to Gov. In an effort to save money, the city switched its water supply from the Detroit River to the Flint River. In response to the coliform bacteria reports, Flint officials increased the amount of antibacterial chlorine used to treat the water. Childhood exposure is linked to reduced developmental and biological processes impacting intelligence, behavior, and life achievement. That’s why Dr. Hanna-Attisha can’t predict the future of their well-being. 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The final report of the Flint Water Advisory Task Force, released March 23, 2016, described the crisis as “a story of government failure, intransigence, unpreparedness, delay, inaction, and environmental injustice.” It faulted Michigan state agencies for failing to enforce drinking water regulations in Flint, failing to take appropriate measures to prevent the foreseeable pipe corrosion problems, and discrediting efforts to bring attention to the early evidence of tainted water and lead contamination. The Flint water crisis and its health consequences. Although the Flint River had served as the city’s backup water source for many years and had been the primary source of water early in the 20th century, it had historically suffered from poor quality, especially in more recent decades. Flint's drinking water was at the center of a public health crisis that began in the city in April 2014, when the water supply was switched from the city of Detroit to the Flint River. M. Hanna-Attisha et al., Elevated blood lead levels in children associated with the Flint drinking water crisis: A spatial analysis of risk and public health response. Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha, a public health pediatrician whose research exposed the Flint, Michigan, water crisis, answers questions about the vaccine and allergies, and when kids might be able to get the vaccine. this link is to an external site that may or may not meet accessibility guidelines. If you would like to opt out of browser push notifications, please refer to the following instructions specific to your device and browser: How Sick Are the Kids in Flint? The immediate cause was the contamination of the municipal water supply with toxic lead and dangerous bacteria, but the true cause is widely considered to be colossal mismanagement and unsound cost-cutting measures imposed on the city. Recognized as an award-winning gateway to scientific knowledge, AccessScience is an amazing online resource that contains high-quality reference material written specifically for students. The water crisis in Flint, Michigan, involved the contamination of the municipal water supply with toxic lead and dangerous bacteria. Many Flint residents complained of skin irritation and other health problems. https://doi.org/10.1036/1097-8542.BR0119171, Childhood lead exposure and lead toxicity, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cities.2016.12.002, https://doi.org/10.1021/acs.estlett.6b00192, Flint Water Study: Flint Water Advisory Task Force (Final Report), U.S. Environmental Protection Agency: Flint Drinking Water Documents, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency: Flint Safe Drinking Water Task Force Draft Lead in Drinking Water — Preliminary Assessment, Additional credits and copyright information. One of the decisions made during this time was to reduce the city’s water bill by switching suppliers from the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department (DWSD) to the Karegnondi Water Authority, via a new tunnel to be bored to Lake Huron. During the summer of 2014, Melissa Mays had no clue why her hair started falling out and her back and muscles ached. Because of Flint’s poor finances, it was put into receivership and managed by state officials between 2011 and 2015. Lead poisoning poses serious and even fatal threats to the nervous system and kidneys at every age, but high lead levels are especially dangerous for children under the age of six, whose physical and mental development may be permanently stunted. Find out what your cat is trying to tell you with a new cat app, Princess Diana died when Harry was just 12 years old, Engineer Creates App To Translate Your Cat, The Sweetest Photos of Princes Harry with Diana, Sean Connery's Cause of Death Revealed Weeks After He Dies at Age 90. Flint Mayor Karen Weaver, speaking at a press conference while in Washington, D.C., to attend a meeting of the U.S. Conference of Mayors, noted the impact of the crisis on children’s health and the frustrating uncertainty her residents face over a basic need – access to clean water. That summer, she also ran a bath for her niece and immediately noticed the color of the water coming out of her bathtub faucet was “pure yellow.”. Accessibility policy. Today, Mays, her husband and three children all suffer from longterm heavy metals poisoning. Those problems, which officials seem to have addressed inadequately, soon translated into a variety of health threats for Flint’s citizens. D. C. Bellinger, Lead contamination in Flint — An abject failure to protect public health. But it was just the beginning of the city’s devastating water crisis. LeeAnne Walters, who joined forces with Mays to create Water You Fighting For, a website to inform citizens of their continued research into the water crisis, has had similar experiences. Additional credits and copyright information. In conclusion, the Flint water crisis emerged due to various setbacks that majorly can be linked with the management department of the water systems in Flint town. Flint switched its public water source in April 2014, increasing exposure to lead and other contaminants. See also: Lake; River; Water-borne disease; Water resources, Shortly after the switchover to Flint River water, city residents began to complain that their water had an unpleasant smell, taste, and orange discoloration. (Credit: National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, National Institutes of Health), The Flint water crisis and its health consequences. In Flint, tests showed that the lead levels in the water in some homes was many times the EPA-recommended maximum. The city finally switched back to Lake Huron water in October 2015. This was intended as a short-term money-saving measure as the city prepared to connect to the new regional water system. Intestinal E. coli infections can cause severe diarrhea and dehydration, with complications such as kidney failure, and they are most dangerous for children, pregnant women, and people with weakened immune systems. 198.71.238.15, Water can be contaminated by chemicals or other foreign substances that are detrimental to human health. “All of the testing that is going on now doesn t reflect past exposure. Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha, a pediatrician at Hurley Children’s Hospital in Flint, says that the instances of lead poisoning doubled – and in some cases tripled – in some areas of the city after the water supply was switched. Throughout the water crisis, institutional acknowledgement of health issues stemming from the water supply was often delayed. “It’s come to the point where it’s taken over our entire lives,” says Mays, who also thinks she might now have lupus, a chronic autoimmune disease. The Flint Water Crisis Has A Wellness Design Component. 104.232.27.237 Inside the Shocking Health Effects of the Devastating Water Crisis. Walters then rushed to get her children tested and the results confirmed all four had been exposed to lead. Although lead exposure is dangerous for all people, research indicates that pregnant and nursing women and their infants are especially vulnerable to prenatal and postnatal lead exposure. Qualified scientists and 46 Nobel Prize winners but drew water from its Detroit source in 2014... And life achievement, 41, the Flint, Michigan, were forced to drink donated bottled or. Motors had stopped using Flint ’ s poor finances, it was into. 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