The water in Flint, Michigan, poisoned the town’s children with lead for months. Now the mayor of Flint has declared a state of emergency, saying that the elevated lead levels will have long-lasting effects in its children.
Four percent of the town’s children have elevated levels of lead in their bloodstream — double the share affected a few years ago, according to tests from Flint’s Hurley Medical Center and confirmed by the state.
This all came about because a struggling Rust Belt city, trying to save money, ended up failing at one of its most basic tasks, providing safe drinking water. And the city compounded the problem by ignoring months of warnings from activists who felt its water was not safe to drink.
Flint’s decision, and the state’s insufficient water testing, led to irreparable damage. There’s no amount of lead safe for children to drink, and the effects of lead poisoning last a lifetime.