Polluted waters in America: What was the Flint water crisis?

Updated: Oct 10, 2019

Five years on and residents still doubt the safety of Flint's water supply.

Last night I watched #documentary on the water #crisis that continues to affect the city of #Flint, a small industrial city located in the state of #Michigan in the #US.

Flint is home to approximately 100,000 #residents and in #2014 the city shifted their #water supply from Lake Huron and the Detroit River to the Flint River, a cheaper source of reserve. What followed was a terrible chain of events resulting in #unsafe #lead (Pb) levels leaching into the #drinking water from the cities decaying lead piping.

Shortly after the switch over residents started complaining about the foul #smelling#dirty water that was flowing from their #taps. Some were even reporting they were losing their hair and becoming extremely #sick.  

Concerned residents complained to the Environmental Protection Board (#EPA) & their local #government who both denied there was a problem. Fed up with it falling on deaf ears, residents sought help from Virginia Tech (VT) who mounted an unprecedented study of the cities water supply.

The study revealed that up to 40% residents were being exposed to elevated Lead levels, in some cases almost three times the safe level as identified by the World Health Organisation (#WHO). Sadly when these findings were presented to the EPA, they were once again ignored and dismissed as being invalid.

Following the study from VT, Mona Hanna-Attisha a local #paediatrician launched her own #study that showed an increase in Lead levels in children's blood since the water switch over. The evidence was now looking overwhelming and undeniable while the government and authorities were left looking red faced.

This is not the first situation whereby government #authorities have failed to act on #scientific findings. Many governments around the world still deny #climate change despite the overwhelming scientific #evidence. More recently in Australia there has been a rise in #climate change sceptics, some being prominent #politicians, who despite the #data refuse to believe in the climatic #phenomena.

What will it take for governments to accept the #evidence? Another Flint River incident or something much larger and more #devastating? For futher reading check out the article link.


Nick Griffin

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