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

The Flint water problems have made the international news in the last year or so. What is going on and why does the Flint city water present a special problem for young children?

In April 2014, in order to save money, the city of Flint changed the source of its drinking water from Lake Huron to the Flint River. At the time, no one seemed to understand that the different chemistry of the water from the Flint River had corroded the city’s old pipes and released huge amounts of lead into the drinking water.

Adults and children of every age were unknowingly exposed to lead, including formula-drinking babies and the unborn children of pregnant mothers.

“The long-term consequences of lead poisoning are dire for children, according to the World 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,” Dr. Mona 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.” Read more.

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