Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Lead in Flint MI drinking water seems shocking, and is a real medical hazard to kids

The story about the drinking water in Flint, MI and carrying lead is pretty horrific, and CNN has a detailed account by by Sara Gamin and Linh Tran

This problem can cause learning problems in children, and organ damage to everyone, showing up cosmetically even with hair loss.  It can cause hearing loss, and may have caused Beethoven’s.

Lawyers have told me that sellers of older homes (anywhere) have to be conscious of the possibility of lead paint and of asbestos tile or insulation.  I wonder people renting older homes (like to young working adults living in “group homes”) or families have to worry about this.

The National Guard is distributing water.  The city is using Lake Huron water again, but fixing damaged and corroded pipes will take several months.  There is some suggestion that an outbreak of Legionnaire's Disease is also associated with the water problem.

Wikipedia attribution link for picture, Creative Commons 4.0 Share Alike International License   author by city.

Update: Jan. 22, 2016

Vox reports that America's lead poisoning problem isn't just limited to Flint. "It's everywhere", by Sarah Frostenson.  It causes a lot of mental disability and poor learning in inner cities. In Baltimore, Freddie Gray showed evidence of lead poisoning.

Update: March 6, 2016 

Huffington Post explains how lead usually doesn't dissolve from pipes unless the water itself has corrosive impurities;  ordinarily, treatment is supposed to keep it from affecting water.  But there have been problems in other communities (like in Ohio).

I spent my summers in the 1950s in Kipton Ohio, and we used well water for drinking and cistern for washing.  Kipton didn't get drinking water until the 1960s.

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