Since 2014, Flint, Michigan has had an extreme issue. Flint is a mainly black city and 40% of their population lives in poverty. Lead got into the water and gave thousands lead poisoning. Lead poisoning has no visible symptoms,right away until the effects have already happened so, when parents found out that there was lead poisoning around, every parent who could afford it brought their kids to the doctor. Doctors said that lead poisoning has a worse effect on kids than anybody else. In the future, if a kid has gotten lead poisoning then they can get a learning disability and other series of diseases. People have protests against the government because they have done nothing to help. Their water was brown and the treatment that they put in the water did not work. The lead got in the water when they switched their water supply from Detroit’s Lake Huron to the Flint River. Flint’s governor had an impact on why this issue is still going. This has also had a significant effect on the people of Flint and it changed their lifestyle so much.
The government made the horrible decision to switch their water supply from Detroit’s Lake Huron to the Flint River. The water got corrosion in it and bacteria from the soil. When Flint switched their water supply from Lake Huron in Detroit to the Flint River the problem started. The water in the Flint River had a higher content of chloride ions than normal this can come from street salting. The chloride ions caused the lead pipes to corrode and allowed the lead to get into their water. The pipes would also break allowing the bacteria in the soil to get not their water too. Leah Schaffer explains, “The river water corroded city pipes, and the corroded pipes leached lead into drinking water.” The switch caused the health of the city to go down because of the pipes. When the city switched water sources this catastrophe happened. The people of Flint had brown water with orange pieces in it coming out of their faucets. There have been pictures comparing Flint’s water to their old water from Detroit. The Detroit water is completely clear and the Flint wtar is not even transparent. Michael Tallice describes, “First, residents noticed foul-tasting, reddish water coming out of their taps.” The water came out of the pipes and does not appeal to the people drinking the water. It was not clear and this came from the corrosion and lead in the water. The government in Michigan decided to take Flint off the water supply from Detroit for a temporary time so the could save money. Their lead poisoning ended up and is still costing more to the government than how much they saved. The Guardian website tells us, “Saving $5m over a two-year period. But almost two years and a massive lead contamination crisis later” The government in Michigan tried to save a little money by switching but when they switched it caused all of these other severe problems. When Flint switched their water supply from Detroit’s water to their own the pipes corroded and broke causing bacteria and lead to get into the water.
Lead poisoning is very harmful to people. Children and pregnant women have serious effects to their bodies and their growing child’s bodies. The effects of lead poisoning are permanent to people so they will always have a struggle. Scientists have found that if a child gets lead poisoning it is a lot more of a risk than to adults because their brains are still developing and the lead will stay their forever causing more severe issues in future years like behavioral or academic changes in the way they are. It is also sever for pregnant women causing miscarriages and severe birthing disorders. Yanan Wang explains, “lead affects children’s brain development resulting in reduced intelligence quotient (IQ), behavioral changes such as shortening of attention span and increased antisocial behavior, …Lead exposure also causes anemia, hypertension, renal impairment, immunotoxicity and toxicity to the reproductive organs.” The problems that can affect people’s lives are endless. The person affected by lead poison will have the same side effects for the rest of their lives. Once a child has gotten lead poisoning their is nothing anyone can do it will be a permanent effect on the child’s brain and bones. Children will never be able to act the same and will never be able to focus and learn as well. Sara Ganim and Lihn Tran write, “Lead poisoning is irreversible. Pediatricians such as Hanna-Attisha fear the Flint children who tested with elevated levels will suffer lifelong consequences.” Once a pregnant woman or a child get lead poisoning it is not able to be undone. The poisoning will haunt their lives in school and out. Lead is a poison to everyone and if it gets into your body. It can get into your body may ways it is not only through water. The consequences for this are endless and this is why the water crisis in Flint is so devastating. Shayan Vyas describes, “Whether it’s inhaled, swallowed, or, more rarely, absorbed through the skin (just by touching a product that contains lead), lead can act as a poison.” No matter how the lead gets into your body the effects are the same and are severe to the body it will change their lifestyle. Pregnant women and children are severely impacted by lead poisoning. The effects are permanent oto their bodies and the growing babies bodies.
The federal government had an impact on the crisis but the Governor of Michigan thought that it wasn’t his problem. The city of Flint switched their water supply so that they could save a few extra dollars but when their water started to corrode their pipes and cause serious damage to their city and it’s people, the city had to react quickly. Ron Fonger says “Flint Mayor Dayne Walling said the city was speeding up plans for making the city’s water less corrosive.” The mayor of Flint helped to clear up the issue. He wants to speed up the plans to clean the water whereas the Rick Snyder the governor of Flint says he has nothing to do with the issue. President Obama and the federal government made the biggest impact on this crisis because they called it a federal state of emergency. President Obama’s state of emergency caused the cost of 75% of their bottled water to be paid off. Merrit Kennedy reports “President Obama to declare a federal state of emergency there.” Rick Snyder would not help so it had to go up to a federal level to actually get any work done. The government however has only helped to a certain extent. They have banned lead paint but that does not help the water that is contaminated by the pipes which is the main problem in Flint. Arthur Delaney and Philip Lewis discuss “U.S. government banned lead paint for domestic applications. But experts have long known that lead in water can be just as harmful.” The government was trying to help so they banned lead paint but that does not help the fact that the lead pipes ae corroding and causing lead to poison the water in Flint. When it comes to the amount of help Flint got it only went to a certain extent. The federal government made a bigger impact than Michigan’s governor.
The lead got into the water because of the lead pipes, it gave thousands lead poisoning which has permanent effects, and their government wouldn’t even do anything the federal government had to step in. The people of Flint saw no change and demanded it through the federal government. If you were forced to make the decision about the water pipes what would your decision be?