A professor at Virginia Tech who has been investigating the lead poisoning crisis in Flint, MI is accusing state officials ignoring a notice from July 2015 warning them of abnormally high led levels in the blood of local children.
Lead poisoning can breed incurable health and behavioral problems, as well as lower a child’s IQ level.
Despite having received the report from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS), MI state authorities argued that the water was safe for use and consumption for presidents.
The city of Flint had changed its water supply from the Detroit water system to the Flint River back in April 2014.
Locals quickly complained about the dip in tap water quality following the change.
Edwards and his own group of researchers tested the water in September of 2015 and noted the high levels of led as well.
Flint’s government only began paying heed to the complaints when a local doctor argued that the change in water source directly caused lead poisoning among children.
The Huffington Post reports:
Reached for comment on Monday about the memo, Michigan’s DHHS said it had made an honest mistake by attributing the spike in blood lead levels to seasonal variation.
“When initially looking at the citywide and county elevated blood lead level numbers, the increase appeared to be consistent with the routine seasonal fluctuation seen in the summer months,” agency spokeswoman Jennifer Eisner said in an email. “It wasn’t until the Hurley report came out that our epidemiologists took a more in-depth look at the data by zip code, controlling for seasonal variation, and confirmed an increase outside of normal trends.”
Edwards obtained emails sent to the director of the DHHS and to the office of Governor Rick Snyder.
Michigan finally announced a state of emergency in October months after the MDHHS memo was originally issued.
The city has also signed paperwork re-assigning the Detroit water system as Flint’s water supply. Snyder has also issued a task force to review the details of the lead poisoning crisis.
[SOURCE: Huffington Post]