So Much Lead — City Declares State of Emergency

Flint, Michigan, Mayor Karen W. Weaver hopes to attract federal support as the water crises continues

A water crisis in Flint, Michigan, hit an alarming level this week as Mayor Karen W. Weaver declared a state of emergency, stating that Flint children “have experienced increased blood lead levels” since the city switched its water source to the Flint River.

A statement from Weaver’s office said the manmade disaster has caused irreversible damage to the city’s children, which will result in expenses for learning disabilities, social services and even the juvenile justice system.

By declaring the state of emergency, Weaver hopes to attract federal support for the community’s health crisis.

The City of Flint switched its water source from the Detroit water system to the Flint River in April 2014 as a temporary solution until a pipeline to Lake Huron’s Karegnondi Water Authority could be finished. Almost immediately, residents reported cloudy tap water that emitted a foul odor.

After petitions and demonstrations from residents, along with mounting evidence of the water’s toxicity from the scientific community, the city switched back to Detroit water on Oct. 16. A class-action lawsuit has been filed against the city, seeking damages from exposure to the lead-tainted water.

A medical study at the Hurley Medical Center revealed the percentage of children with high lead blood levels nearly doubled while residents received Flint River water.

Source: Washington Post


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