So Much Lead In Children’s Blood That a State of Emergency Is Declared
I thought I would pass The Washington Post article about Michigan’s major Lead Poising problems on. You might find it interesting an informative. Be vigilant. There is little that can be done to undo or to mitigate the damage that lead will cause in a one’s body (no matter their age or sex). ~Jeff Powell~
In Flint, Mich., there’s so much lead in children’s blood that a state of emergency is declared
By Yanan Wang December 15, 2015
For months, worried parents in Flint, Mich., arrived at their pediatricians’ offices in droves. Holding a toddler by the hand or an infant in their arms, they all have the same question: Are their children being poisoned?
To find out, all it takes is a prick of the finger, a small letting of blood. If tests come back positive, the potentially severe consequences are far more difficult to discern.
That’s how lead works. It leaves its mark quietly, with a virtually invisible trail. But years later, when a child shows signs of a learning disability or behavioral issues, lead’s prior presence in the bloodstream suddenly becomes inescapable.
According to the World Health Organization, “lead affects children’s brain development resulting in reduced intelligence quotient (IQ), behavioral changes such as shortening of attention span and increased antisocial behavior, and reduced educational attainment. Lead exposure also causes anemia, hypertension, renal impairment, immunotoxicity and toxicity to the reproductive organs. The neurological and behavioral effects of lead are believed to be irreversible.”
The Hurley Medical Center, in Flint, released a study in September that confirmed what many Flint parents had feared for over a year: The proportion of infants and children with above average levels of lead in their blood has nearly doubled since the city switched from the Detroit water system to using the Flint River as its water source, in 2014.
The mayor — elected after her predecessor, Dayne Walling, experienced fallout from his administration’s handling of the water problems — said in the statement that she was seeking support from the federal government to deal with the “irreversible” effects of lead exposure on the city’s children. Weaver thinks that these health consequences will lead to a greater need for special education and mental health services, as well as developments in the juvenile justice system.
… parents and other Flint residents filed a class-action federal lawsuitagainst Snyder, the state, the city and 13 other public officials in November for the damages they have suffered as a result of the lead-tainted water. The suit, which claims to represent “tens of thousands of residents,” alleges that the city and state officials “deliberately deprived” them of their 14th Amendment rights by replacing formerly safe drinking water with a cheaper alternative that was known to be highly toxic.
“For more than 18 months, state and local government officials ignored irrefutable evidence that the water pumped from the Flint River exposed [residents] to extreme toxicity,” the complaint reads. “The deliberately false denials about the safety of the Flint River water was as deadly as it was arrogant.”
Calling officials’ conduct “so egregious and so outrageous that it shocks the conscience,” the complaint cites the specific experiences of a few plaintiffs and their families, all of whom allege they have been challenged by similar health ailments since high levels of lead and copper entered their bloodstreams.
These conditions include skin lesions, hair loss, chemical-induced hypertension, vision loss and depression. Of the four families described in the complaint, two had ceased to drink Flint water after a certain point — and used it only for washing and cooking — but still said they were exposed to many of the same ill effects.
(The city issued a boil advisory in September 2014. This recommendation runs contrary to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s guidelines on lead in drinking water, which state that heating or boiling water will not remove lead. In fact, “because some of the water evaporates during the boiling process, the lead concentration of the water can actually increase slightly as the water is boiled,” according to the CDC.)
LeeAnn Walters, a Flint resident and mother of 4-year-old twins, took every precaution after blood tests revealed that the level of lead in one of her sons had soared after the switch to Flint River.
“I was hysterical,” Walters told the Free Press. “I cried when they gave me my first lead report.”
She had feared lead was the problem when her whole family developed rashes and her son stopped gaining weight.
Now, Walters said, when her children experience problems as they grow up, she will always wonder whether things would have been different — if their lives would have been better — if it weren’t for the water.
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