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Flint Kids Have So Much Lead in Their Blood That the Mayor Declared a State of Emergency. Thanks GOP.

The beleaguered city's water problems can be traced back to a controversial move by Michigan governor Rick Snyder.

Flint children demand clean water in an October protest.

Children in Flint, Michigan, have such high levels of lead in their blood that Mayor Karen Weaver declared a state of emergency on Monday, calling the situation a "manmade disaster." The origins of the escalating situation in Flint go back to 2011, when Republican Gov. Rick Snyder appointed an emergency financial manager to balance Flint's budget—largely by cutting costs on basic public services. Here's what you need to know:

What's going on?

In April of 2014, Flint switched its water source from Detroit to the Flint River in an effort to save money. The decision, made by emergency manager Darnell Earley, was met with skepticism: Residents complained that the water was smelly and cloudy. Water tests have since shown high levels of lead, copper, and other bacteria, including E. coli. (GM started hauling in water to its remaining Flint plant last year after noticing that the Flint water was corroding engines.)

According to the Hurley Medical Center study below, the proportion of kids under five with elevated levels of lead in their blood has doubled since the switch to Flint River water, to roughly four percent. In some areas, that number has leapt up to more than six percent. "This damage to children is irreversible and can cause effects to a child's IQ, which will result in learning disabilities and the need for special education and mental health services and an increase in the juvenile justice system," wrote Weaver in the state of emergency declaration. In October, the city transitioned back to the Detroit water system, though lead levels still remain higher than the federal action level.


Why are the lead levels so high in Flint?

Flint, the birthplace of General Motors and once a prosperous city, has been in a state of decline for decades. The population has halved since its peak in the 1960's and 70's; by 2013, the city had lost roughly three quarters of its property tax base and suffered from a 16 percent unemployment rate. The problem has been met with austerity: Under a controversial law passed by Republican Gov. Rick Snyder, who has been criticized for close ties with the Koch-funded American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), the state can now appoint emergency managers with the ability to override local policies and make sweeping decisions in the name of "fiscal responsibility"a policy that stripped half of the state's black residents of their voting rights

Flint emergency manager Darnell Earley implemented steep budget cuts, including last year's decision to save money by changing the city's water source. In March, Earley nixed a city council vote to "do all things necessary" to switch back to the Detroit system in March, calling the decision "incomprehensible." He stepped down the next month. The series of events has led to litigation: In November, Flint residents filed a class-action lawsuit alleging that the contaminated water caused them to experience myriad health conditions, including skin lesions, hair loss, depression, vision loss, and memory loss. The same month, the ACLU and Natural Resources Defense Council sued the city, governor, and public officials, claiming that public officials have known for years that drinking Flint River water could result in contamination problems. Michael Steinberg, legal director for the ACLU of Michigan, said, "In their short-sighted effort to save a buck, the leaders who were supposed to be protecting Flints's citizens instead left them exposed to dangerously high levels of lead contamination."

How are residents getting by?

Those who can afford it are buying bottled water, but Flint is one of the poorest cities in the nation—41 percent of residents live in poverty. Many still use city water for bathing and cooking.

What are the effects of lead poisoning?

It's easy to diagnose someone with high lead levels—it simply takes the prick of a finger and a blood test. The symptoms manifest slowly, often years later. According to the World Health Organization, "Lead affects children's brain development resulting in reduced intelligence quotient (IQ), behavioural changes such as shortening of attention span and increased antisocial behaviour, and reduced educational attainment. Lead exposure also causes anaemia, hypertension, renal impairment, immunotoxicity and toxicity to the reproductive organs. The neurological and behavioural effects of lead are believed to be irreversible."

What are state officials doing?

A pipeline connecting Flint and other central Michigan counties with Lake Huron is in the works and scheduled to be completed by late 2016. In the meantime, according to a recent Washington Post article, the state has offered more than $10 million to pay for the temporary switch back to the Detroit water system, in addition to covering the costs of water testing and water filters.










"I'm just trying to make a way out of no way, for my people" -Modejeska Monteith Simpkins









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  I just an article about this the other day.  My question.  Why are we having problems with lead this late in the game?  We eradicated this....right? Here's more on that issue.


Why Pediatricians Are So Alarmed By The Lead In Flint's Water

"Our community has been traumatized."

12/18/2015 04:00 pm ET | Updated 3 days ago
In this Feb. 3, 2015, photo, Lemott Thomas carries free water being distributed at the Lincoln Park United Methodist Church in Flint, Mich.

In early 2014, residents in Flint, Michigan, started noticing something odd about their water.

It looked different and had a foul odor. People reported problems. The state confirmed and addressed an E. coli contamination and said the water was fine, but parents were worried. Many started buying bottled water, even for cooking and showering. A Virginia Tech researcher tested the water and said it was corrosive. Finally, in September of this year, researchers confirmed Flint residents' worst fear: lead had leached into the municipal drinking supply from old piping, and city water-lead levels were the highest they'd been in 20 years.

The problem began when in April 2014 the city of Flint temporarily changed its water source from Lake Huron to the Flint River to save money. The different chemistry of the river water corroded the city's old pipes, releasing huge amounts of lead into the drinking water. 

In that time, adults and children of every age were unknowingly exposed, including formula-drinking babies and the unborn children of pregnant mothers. 

Even though Flint changed its water source back after the lead was discovered, the corroded pipes have lost their protective seal, meaning the water is still unsafe and much of the system will have to be replaced. On Monday, new mayor Karen Weaver declared a state of emergency in Flint. 

"We started hearing in late August of elevated water lead levels. Pediatricians freaked out," Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha, the director of the pediatric residency program at the Hurley Medical Center in Flint, told The Huffington Post. "That’s really when we got mobilized." 

The long-term consequences of lead poisoning are dire for children, according to theWorld Health Organization. While a lead-poisoned infant or toddler might not show any outward physical or mental signs of damage, their developing brains are already damaged. "Your development is progressing so rapidly at those early ages," Hanna-Attisha said. "You’re going to be carrying that exposure forever."

Once kids reach school age, cognition problems, including lower IQ and ADHD-like symptoms start to show up. Lead exposure has been linked to physical problems, such as anemia, kidney dysfunction and high blood pressure, as well as behavioral problems, including aggressive behavior and problems with the criminal justice system.

What happened to blood-lead levels in Flint

When Hanna-Attisha heard about the Flint River's corrosive water chemistry, she tried to get her hands on county-wide blood samples, but a county health officer told herthat the data "couldn't be easily analyzed," according to the Detroit Free Press. 

Undeterred, Hanna-Attisha turned to the Hurley Medical Center's own records. When she compared kids' blood-lead levels in Flint before and after the city switched its water source from Lake Huron to the Flint River, she was shocked. The number of children with elevated blood-lead levels (≥5 micrograms per deciliter) had nearly doubled in Flint. Even worse, more than 6 percent of children in zip codes with high levels of lead in the water reported these elevated levels.

Officially, more than 10 micrograms per deciliter of lead in blood constitutes lead poisoning, but increasingly, expert groups like the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention agree that there's no safe level of lead in blood.

"We know lead and we know the life-altering, multigenerational impact of lead," Hanna-Attisha said. "If you detect lead in a child, there’s a public health, environmental problem."

Hanna-Attisha's research isn't complete, she said, because it didn't include blood samples from infants. Lead paint is the primary source of poisoning in the U.S., where water is generally safe. Because of this, kids typically don't get screened for lead until they turn 1 or 2, when they are more likely to be crawling around a home and putting objects in their mouths. 

In the case of Flint, a city of just under 100,000 people, infants who drank powdered formula mixed with lead-tainted water and unborn babies whose mothers drank tap water are also at risk.

"Our research completely underestimated that risk," Hanna-Attisha said. Her findings will be published in the American Journal of Public Health this month. 

How Flint and other state or government agencies will ultimately respond to the situation is yet to be determined. Weaver, who was elected in November, said the city will need to increase its budgets for special education and mental health services

"We need funding and we need resources," she told NPR, speaking about the state of emergency. "It's an infrastructure crisis for us, so we know that's going to be a tremendous cost and burden on the city of Flint that we can't handle by ourselves."

What parents can do

While lead poisoning is essentially irreversible, there are a few steps parents can take to buffer the impact if their child has been exposed.

Removing the source of lead should be of primary concern, but nutrition is important, too. Children who are iron-deficient or have empty stomachs absorb lead more easily, which puts low-income kids, who can't control their housing stock and are more likely to be poorly nourished, at the highest risk, Hanna-Attisha explained. Parents who think their kids have been exposed should see their doctor. The sooner experts can pick up on a developmental delay, the better the child's long-term outcomes will be. 

"Our community has been traumatized," Hanna-Attisha said. Still, she cautioned that city residents shouldn't panic. "This terrible thing happened, but it doesn’t mean every kid is going to have all these problems," she added. 

"If we can advocate in a state of emergency, and in the future for additional resources, great schools, parenting programs, great nutrition and access to foods, hopefully we don't have to see the full impact of this exposure."


Last edited by Kocolicious

"  I just an article about this the other day.  My question.  Why are we having problems with lead this late in the game?"


Why are Black people still living in denial of the Race War being waged against Black people in America this late in the game?

Black people living in any predominately Black city or town or community probably should be very concerned, and have their water checked and/or stop using it for anything the moment they know it is contaminated.

This is like a two-fold attack, first take over the city's resources to control and block any needed infrastructural repairs and replacements, second, know that changing whoever handles the water supply is delivering it grossly contaminated and do or say nothing to the people.  

I would call that war tactic biological.






Last edited by sunnubian





















The problem began when in April 2014 the city of Flint temporarily changed its water source from Lake Huron to the Flint River to save money. The different chemistry of the river water corroded the city's old pipes, releasing huge amounts of lead into the drinking water.

I’ve been tracking this too. Who the hell was in charge? Old pipes like that are usually coated with calcium plaque. It would take a while to eat away the calcium. Someone did not check the water’s pH or do any chemical analysis. That is extreme negligence at the water department. It’s like they had no staff!
 Something very wrong here.

Severely Contaminated Water System in Flint Prompts Calls for Arrest of Michigan Governor, Accusations of Genocide Against Black People

December 31, 2015 | Posted by
Tagged With: , , , , ,, , ,

(Jake May/

The city of Flint, Mich. is currently facing an environmental disaster, as authorities have declared the local water system has been contaminated by lead and copper poisoning. The situation is so bad that the city is giving out free water filters to local residents. Mayor Karen Weaver has called the situation an “emergency.”

Flint, which is 60 percent Black, is still dealing with the consequences of decisions made by Ed Kurtz, an emergency manager appointed by Gov. Rick Snyder, and the city council. Emergency managers are appointed to run economically-distressed towns and poorly-performing school districts.

Snyder’s decision to appoint several managers to oversee troubled Michigan municipalities has proven to be controversial. According to Democracy Now!, 52 percent of Black Michigan residents lived in areas overseen by emergency managers from 2013-14. Only 2 percent of white residents lived under emergency managers.

In 2013, the Flint city council voted 7-1 to stop buying water from Detroit, and start receiving water from the Karegnondi Water Authority according to The decision was supposed to save the city $19 million over eight years. Kurtz signed off on the decision. However, the new water system would not be ready for three years, so the city turned to the local Flint River as a source of water. This plan was implemented by state-appointed emergency manager Darnell Earley.

However, soon after the switch to the new water supply, residents started complaining about foul-smelling water. They also reported water that was brown and yellow. Four months after the switch, the city told residents to boil their water, because it was contaminated with fecal coliform bacteria. The water was so bad that General Motors said they would no longer use it in their plant because of fears it would cause corrosion.

Flint residents have reported devastating health effects from the contaminated water. LeeAnne Walters told Democracy Now!’s Amy Goodman that her family broke out in rashes that looked like chemical burns from using the water. Melissa Mayes said she has seen changes in the academic performance of her children.

“Well, my sons, all three of them, are very bright. They had a great future going. Their school—their grades in school were fantastic. My oldest is actually taking high school and college classes at the same time, so he scored so well, he was able to do that, so he would have an associate’s degree by the time he graduated high school,” Mayes said. “Well, now he’s struggling. He needs a tutor. And he has a C average, which is unheard of for him. And he’s really getting down on himself, because he’s missing small things, pluses and minuses in algebra, little small things, because of brain fog.”

Mulenga Harangua, who designs and sells T-shirts, told Metro Times columnist Larry Gabriel the polluted water would have long-term consequences for Flint.

“It’s a lifetime for those kids,” Harangua said. “Mayor Weaver says this is going to cause a greater need for special education, mental health services, and some accommodation from the juvenile justice system.”

He was also scathing in his criticism of Gov. Rick Snyder, saying he needs to be arrested for the Flint water situation.

“This abomination lies squarely at the feet of Gov. Snyder. No, not at his feet, it’s in his heart and soul, his psyche,” Harangua said. “He was warned that the water from the Flint River would leach lead from the pipes without fixing them for that use. He poisoned the residents of Flint in order to save some money. It’s heartless, cruel, and I would hazard to say criminal.”

Filmmaker Michael Moore’s criticism of Snyder was even harsher.

“This is a racial killing. Flint MI is 60% black. When u knowingly poison a black city, u r committing a version of genocide,” he said in a tweet.

This is such a horrible crime against poor people and Black people. The richest country in the world, is what they like to say, and the autocratic governor does this to people he should be trying to serve. 

Republicans do not value poor people and will do all they can to remove them, to oppress them and will not do a damn thing to create jobs and better schools unless exploited to profit from it. They serve the oligarchy of the white supremacist business establishment. Lead poising is a very serious problem, the damage is life long and can't be reversed. 

Where is she at ?!? She ain't gonna do shit! 


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Americans Overwhelmingly Want Our Aging Water Systems To Get Fixed

But the question remains: Who will pay for it?

02/24/2016 06:26 pm ET
People take part in a march highlighting the push for clean water in Flint, Michigan, on Feb. 19, 2016.

A vast majority of Americans want public officials to invest in the nation’s water systems in an effort to avoid tragedies like the lead contamination crisis in Flint, Michigan, and many appear to be willing to pay higher water bills to help do just that, according to a new poll released Wednesday.

The national poll of adults, conducted by American Viewpoints and Hart Research and commissioned by the Value of Water Coalition, reported that 95 percent of respondents wanted to see more investment in water infrastructure.

In addition, 47 percent of respondents were willing to personally pay more for water to help support investments in their local water systems, a number that increased to 60 percent after respondents were given additional information about water issues.

In a Wednesday press call introducing the poll results, Hart Research president Geoffrey Garin said the willingness to pay more was “a remarkably high starting point” when compared to how customers have typically reacted to possible rate increases for electric or natural gas service.

And Garin pointed to similar levels of support to personally fund infrastructure improvements among respondents who identified as Republican or Democrat as evidence that the issue is resonating with Americans regardless of politics. 

“Water really stands out among the broad array of issues in the country today that transcends partisanship, where interest in having safe and environmentally-friendly water systems cuts deeply across party lines and unites people across party lines,” Garin said.


The Value of Water Coalition has emphasized that water bills are generally “affordable relative to other utilities” and that the average American water bill “does not reflect the cost of service,” however, there is reason to be somewhat skeptical of the poll’s results. The coalition's members include both public and private water agencies, plus business and community leaders who have a natural interest in higher water rates.

The coalition has argued that further investment is necessary to meet the nation’s costly water infrastructure needs, currently estimated by the Environmental Protection Agency to cost more than $600 billion. Those needs include replacing aging, leaky pipes and old water mains. 

The American Water Works says the price tag could exceed $1 trillion in the coming decades and replacing lead pipes in Flint alone will cost an estimated $55 million.

Mary Grant, director of the Washington, D.C.-headquartered Food and Water Watch advocacy group’s Public Water for All campaign, acknowledged that the United States has massive water infrastructure needs, but also emphasized that affordability remains key.

“We need investment in the water systems but we can't put that burden disproportionately on middle- and working-class families,” Grant told The Huffington Post by phone. 

Volunteers load bottled water in a truck at the the Sylvester Broome Center in Flint, Michigan, Feb. 22, 2016.

Flint, she argues, is a clear example of that. In a recent analysis, Food and Water Watch found that the residents of the poverty-stricken Michigan city have been forced to pay some of the highest water rates in the nation.

Grant believes more federal assistance is necessary to fund water system improvements.

“There’s some sort of disconnect there when many Flint residents simply can’t afford their bills,” she added.

For its part, the coalition’s poll did find lower-income respondents, who represented 31 percent of their overall sample size, were only slightly less likely to agree to pay a higher water bill to protect their local water system’s health.

Thirty-seven percent of respondents who reported earning less than $40,000 in pre-tax household income last year said they strongly agreed that they would be willing to pay more, compared to 39 percent of respondents earning $75,000 or more. 

Radhika Fox, director of the Value of Water Coalition and CEO of the U.S. Water Alliance, also noted that affordability was a major priority for the coalition and applauded the efforts of Congresswoman Marcia Fudge (D-Ohio) to push for a low-income sewer and water assistance program.

The coalition’s poll reached 1,000 adults by phone in late January 2016. The poll’s margin of error is +/- 3.1 percent at 95 percent confidence.


But what did republicans do all these years when it came to funding an overhaul of America's infrastructure?  They blocked every effort blew their dog whistles to stir up a lot of FALSE PROPAGANDA that REGULATIONS is BIG GOVERNMENT.  And even though common sense would tell any idiot that any infrastructure cannot last forever

And even though common sense would tell any idiot that any infrastructure cannot last forever the republican 'base' rallied their republican dominated Congress that has did nothing but give money to private industry, Big Banks, Big Oil, Big Agri, Big Pharma, Foreign Interests, to their campaign donors, friends, family in the form of "government contracts" and to the Defense Department, while doing NOTHING for the American people, the American infrastructure, American jobs, American production and American foreign policy and diplomacy.  

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