- Flint, Michigan Children Exposed to Dangerous Lead Levels
- June 9, 2016
- Law Firm: Waters Kraus LLP - Dallas Office
- Though the city of Flint, Michigan is surrounded by the largest freshwater supply in the world, its citizens have been drinking tap water contaminated with lead and other dangerous substances. Lead exposure is known to cause a number of problems in children, including: a reduction in IQ; attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD); developmental delays; kidney damage; hearing loss; and anemia. Lead exposure can also cause a number of birth defects.
9,000 Michigan Children Drank Contaminated Tap Water for 18 Months
In the United States, we take safe drinking water for granted. We don’t expect our drinking water to contain dangerous substances that cause birth defects and injuries to children. But in Flint, Michigan, the city’s residents were being poisoned by the drinking water for 18 months.
Flint, Michigan used to receive its drinking water supply from Lake Huron, one of the Great Lakes. But in April 2014, Flint tried to save money by getting its drinking water from the Flint River instead. Flint residents complained immediately that the water was brown and didn’t smell right, but their complaints were ignored.
A Flint pediatrician, Mona Hanna-Attisha, was not so quick to dismiss residents’ concerns. Dr Hanna-Attisha took blood samples from hundreds of young children and detected elevated lead levels after Flint made the switch on its source of drinking water. Marc Edwards, of Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, tested the water and detected high levels of lead and iron. Water from the Flint River is highly corrosive and was not treated with an anti-corrosion agent. As a result, the water corroded the lead pipes through which it was carried into Flint residents’ homes. The water brought the dangerous lead particles with it.
The poisoning continued for 18 months until October 2015 when the source for Flint’s drinking water supply was changed back to Lake Huron. Unfortunately, the corrosive water from the Flint River so damaged the pipes that lead reportedly is still leaching into the city’s drinking water.
As many as 9000 children between the ages of zero and six may have been injured by exposure to lead. A neurotoxin, lead is particularly dangerous to children whose neurological systems are still in the developmental stages.