Exposure to the high lead levels in the water is likely to cause issues for years into the future. Lead can seriously impact cognitive and learning abilities, even shifting the IQ curves of children—meaning the ability of high-achieving children in Flint might decline, and others may well need remedial or special education services. Buy essay. Be on the lookout for your Britannica newsletter to get trusted stories delivered right to your inbox. Flint’s recent water crisis is a stinging reminder that the infrastructure we often take for granted has many vulnerabilities. In March 2015 a test of the drinking water in one Flint home uncovered concentrations of lead more than 25 times higher than the level deemed actionable by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA); subesequent testing found lead levels that far exceeded the EPA’s criteria for classifying water as hazardous waste. The Flint water crisis was born that day. The report also characterized the crisis as a clear-cut example of environmental injustice, as evidenced by the fact that Flint’s poor, largely African American population “did not enjoy the same degree of protection from environmental and health hazards as that provided to other communities.” The Michigan attorney general brought criminal charges against two MDEQ employees and the Flint city utilities administrator in April, promising that additional cases would be brought over time. Since the discovery of discolored water in peoples tap water we’ve found out a lot of the affects switching to the Flint River had on the residents of Flint. Flint Water Crisis: What Happened and Why? Our editors will review what you’ve submitted and determine whether to revise the article. A January 2016 protest in Lansing, Michigan over the Flint water crisis. Together, they distributed millions of bottles of water to the community, and President Obama declared Flint a disaster zone, enabling it to receive federal emergency funds. What caused the Flint Michigan water crisis? Flint’s Water Crisis. began in 2014 when the drinking water source for the city of Flint, Michigan was changed to the Flint River. ... local organizations observed that high concentrations of chloride caused the water to be orange and that the water contained high levels of lead. Updates? Most of America knows the Flint water crisis of the last four years has become quite the epidemic and the more we learn the worse things seem to become. Residents like Walters spoke out, bringing bottles of discolored water from their homes to city meetings. © 2020 Ford Foundation, some rights reserved. Therefore, iron pipes in the water distribution system began corroding immediately after the initial switch from Detroit water. Flint’s water when it was safe. “Cost-cutting decisions like those made in Flint to switch to a cheaper water source [happen] partly because of Wall Street, and the outcome is then the criminal poisoning of communities.”. Corrections? There is no acceptable level of lead: any amount is considered toxic. Let us know if you have suggestions to improve this article (requires login). Those managers, who reported directly to the Michigan state treasury department and not the citizens of Flint, decided to switch the city’s water supply from the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department (DWSD) to the Flint River as a cost-savings measure. In September 2015 Marc Edwards, a Virginia Tech professor of environmental engineering and an expert on municipal water systems, determined that the corrosiveness of insufficiently treated Flint River water was causing lead to be leached from aging pipes, and doctors at a Flint hospital told residents not to drink city water after blood tests of area children revealed high levels of lead. But it was just the beginning of the city’s devastating water crisis. Lead from water pipes lines in Flint, Michigan leached into the water supply The video is a clip from Fahrenheit 11/9, a documentary produced by Michael Moore, and shows scenes from a 2016 speech Obama gave in Flint. Dr. Hanna-Attisha, a leading pediatrician and clinician at Hurley Medical Center, was one of the first to test and discover high levels of lead in Flint’s water. First you have to understand how Flint got its water before the crisis. Lead exposure doesn’t just affect people for a month or a year, she emphasizes, but for decades—even generations. In this session, public health advocate and author of “What the Eyes Don’t See,” Monna Hanna-Attisha, MD, MPH, FAAP, will discuss the implications the Flint water crisis has had on diverse and underserved children. Will we rise to meet them? By Arthur Delaney and Philip Lewis. May 4, 2016 - Obama visits Flint to hear first-hand how residents have endured the city's water crisis and to highlight federal assistance to state and local agencies. The Flint Water Crisis began in 2013 when the city of Flint, Michigan, voted to end its water contract with Detroit. This level of civic engagement is a hopeful sign. Toward the end of last year, headlines blared news of the high levels of lead turning up in the blood of children in Flint, Michigan, a struggling industrial suburb of Detroit.Early coverage hewed closely to what had caused the problems in Flint itself—a switch in its water supplies, and the political and cost-saving machinations that drove that decision. Pay for essay. Experts noted that such a move would do nothing to address the damage already done to Flint’s water supply infrastructure by more than 18 months of corrosive water. The DWSD offered to reconnect Flint to its system, but Flint’s emergency manager declined, and internal communciations within Snyder’s administration revealed that cost remained the primary decision driver as public health concerns began to mount. REVEALED: Flint's deadly water crisis which claimed 10 lives was caused by lead pipes with holes like SWISS CHEESE. As a result, says Hanna-Attisha, “Our senator already has a bill for universal Headstart for Flint kids because we know the effects of lead on early education. In 2001, Washington, D.C. changed how it treated drinking water, and lead levels dramatically rose. This includes fighting to remove the emergency manager laws in many states. Flint Michigan’s water crisis is a national crisis of eroding proportion. Our ENL Writers can help. More information: Flint Water Crisis Caused By Interrupted Corrosion Control: Investigating "Ground Zero" Home, Environ. The series of emergency managers who oversaw Flint as the crisis unfolded are the most directly responsible for using Flint River water in the first place. A spike in the incidence of Legionnaire disease in Flint led Genesee county health officials to question whether the outbreak might be connected to contamination of the water supply, but attempts to investigate the matter were met with resistance at the city and state level. 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