Flint Michigan lies approximately 70 miles from the shore of one of the world largest fresh water bodies; the Great Lakes yet the water in the city is not fit for consumption.
The water problem in Flint began two years ago when the state decided to save money by switching Flint’s water supply from Lake Huron to Flint River which runs through the town and it is
known by locals for its filth.
This switch was made during a financial state of emergency but it was only supposed to be temporary while the state runs a new supply line to Lake Huron.
What exactly is in the water?
However, after the switch, the water started to smell and look dirty with a weird taste.
Most residents thought it was sewage until it was confirmed that it was actually iron.
Apparently, the Department of Environment Quality was not treating the Flint River with an anti-corrosive agent which is a violation of the federal law.
The water was therefore eroding iron making the it to turn brown and have a metallic taste.
The service lines to homes in Flint are made of lead and since the water was not treated properly, lead began to leak into water supply adding up to the iron that was already getting to homes.
This has been the status of Flint water for almost two years.
Further research by skeptical researches from Virginia Tech revealed that the water contained elevated levels of lead and the findings were made public.
Long term health consequences
Poisoning form lead is irreversible and its intake can cause a lot of harm to human beings especially children.
It drops a person’s IQ affecting his or her behavior, it has multigenerational impacts and it is linked to criminality. For this reason, children should not take any level of lead.
There are certain environmental actions such as early childhood education and proper nutrition can help mitigate these effects but it is quite difficult considering Flint lacks adequate resources to curb this problem.
Who is to blame?
Since this problem began, nine lawsuits have been filed against the government official.
The Governor of Michigan, Rick Snyder declared the water problem in the city as a state of emergency.
Two weeks later, President Obama declared it as a federal State of emergency and authorized additional help from the Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Emergency Management Agency.