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Elevated Lead in Water: Michigan City Has Public Health Emergency

Image: Elevated Lead in Water: Michigan City Has Public Health Emergency
Elevated levels of lead in a Michigan city's water supply have caused a public health emergency. (Twitter)

By    |   Monday, 05 Oct 2015 04:57 PM

Elevated levels of lead in a Michigan city’s water supply have caused officials to declare a public health emergency.

A year and a half after the city of Flint, Michigan, switched from Detroit’s water system in order to save $4 million annually, the city is now receiving $1 million from the state to temporarily invest in home water filters while it seeks to respond to a recent study showing significantly elevated lead levels in children’s blood, The Associated Press reported.

The city is recommending that its citizens only use cold water for cooking, drinking, and making baby formula while investing in certified water filters.

Flint initially began to pump water from the Flint River for its citizens in the interim period between switching from Detroit’s water system last year to a less-expensive system that pumps water from Lake Huron. But problems began to arise when residents complained that the Flint River water caused excessive rust and contributed to rashes, hair loss, and other health concerns, the AP said.

The new study conducted by a pediatrician from the Hurley Medical Center shows that children 5 years old and younger now have elevated lead levels in their bloodstream, nearly doubling from 2.1 to 4 percent, NPR reported. Some children have even tested above 6 percent.

Flint’s lead levels in the city’s water supply have since caused the water to be considered “hazardous waste,” ScienceRecorder.com noted.

Officials from the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality have cautioned Flint citizens from fully buying into the pediatrician’s test, declaring that the department’s official testing results will be released soon in a final report, according to NPR.

"We understand many have lost confidence in the drinking water. We need to build that back. We need to do more," Dan Wyant, director of the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, told The Associated Press.

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Elevated levels of lead in a Michigan city’s water supply have caused officials to declare a public health emergency.
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2015-57-05
Monday, 05 Oct 2015 04:57 PM
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