It was previously well-known that Flint, Michigan experiences a lead contamination crisis because of the poisonous metal-stricken water system. A new study conducted by Reuters now shows that 3,000 other neighborhoods across the country are dealing with the same problem. In some cases, the contamination levels are even twice as high as Flint’s. The greatest cause for concern, however, is the fact that people living in the country’s lead-infested areas are not even aware of the issues.
Michigan’s poisonous metal levels skyrocketed in 2014 when the state officials swayed from the city’s water system and began providing residents with highly contaminated water from the Flint River. Over the course of the years, people living there have experienced numerous health issues associated with lead poisoning. Because the Congress only recently passed a $170 million bill that would provide funding to repair the city’s water system, residents were forced to resort to water filters for daily tasks such as bathing and cooking and bottled water hydration.
According to a report made public by the State Department of Health and Human Services earlier this year, in June, approximately 3.5 percent of Michigan residents had levels of lead higher than normal in their bloodstream as of last year.
Moreover, the new findings point out to approximately 1,000 communities across the country whose residents have been found to feature twice the levels of the poisonous metal previously registered during Flint’s water crisis. In Warren, Pennsylvania, 36 percent of the residents were displaying elevated levels, while a quarter of the people living in Baltimore, Cleveland, Philadelphia, and Goat Island, Texas, also tested positive to lead poisoning.
Apart from the increased presence of the poisonous metal throughout U.S. communities, prolonged exposure to lead can cause severe health complications in humans. The World Health Organization says that elevated levels of lead in the human body can lead to coma, as a direct result of the poisonous metal’s effect on the central nervous system, a wide range of neurological issues, and, in some cases, even death. The study also mentions the metal also has a direct impact on a child’s IQ and can inhibit growth and development.
Image Source: Wikipedia