The city of Flint, Michigan is experiencing a water contamination crisis that began in April 2014 after Flint changed its water source from Detroit’s treated water from the Detroit River and Lake Huron to the Flint River. According to CNN:
Soon after the switch, the water started to look, smell and taste funny. Residents said it often looked dirty.
The drinking water had many problems, but most notable was its high levels of lead. Aging pipes allowed lead to leak into the water supply. This created serious health concerns for Flint residents.
Up to 12,000 children have been exposed to the contaminated drinking water. Side effects from the water have resulted in children forgetting simple things as sleeping during class. Their bodies have become weaker due to their low tolerance for lead, and some are losing their hair. From Mother Jones:
On a chilly evening last March in Flint, Michigan, LeeAnne Walters was getting ready for bed when she heard her daughter shriek from the bathroom of the family’s two-story clapboard house. She ran upstairs to find 18-year-old Kaylie standing in the shower, staring at a clump of long brown hair that had fallen from her head. Walters, a 37-year-old mother of four, was alarmed but not surprised—the entire family was losing hair.
The result has been multiple lawsuits and investigations. Doctors found high concentrations of toxins in many children. The family of Sophia Rodriguez, 1 year old, decided to move in with a relative who was not on Flint water supply and their little girl’s blood returned to normal. From NBC News:
Now, with Sophia facing an uncertain future, her parents are filing a lawsuit against the city and a raft of government officials they say lied to Flint’s residents and put children like her in harm’s way.
According to Michael Moore, this could have been avoided for just $100 a day. He said:
Someone at the beginning suggested to the Governor that they add this anti-corrosive element to the water coming out of the Flint River. “How much would that cost?” came the question. “$100 a day for three months,” was the answer. I guess that was too much, so, in order to save $9,000, the state government said f*** it — and as a result the State may now end up having to pay upwards of $1.5 billion to fix the mess.
This crisis is serious and something must be done to rectify the inequities in which have taken place. Flint needs to be saved and quickly.