These people desperately need to be told the truth:For a little context about lead exposure, consider this:
- What happened in Flint was a horrible, inexcusable tragedy.
- Residents have every right to be furious with government at all levels.
For two years, about 5 percent of the children in Flint recorded blood lead levels greater than 5 m/d. This is a very moderate level for a short period of time. In every single year before 2010, Flint was above this number; usually far, far above.
- But the health effects are, in fact, pretty minimal. With a few rare exceptions, the level of lead contamination caused by Flint's water won't cause any noticeable cognitive problems in children. It will not lower IQs or increase crime rates 20 years from now. It will not cause ADHD. It will not affect anyone's ability to play sports. It will not cause anyone's hair to fall out. It will not cause cancer. And "lead leaching" vegetables don't work.
According to data from the Centers for Disease Control, in the mid-1970s 88 percent of children nationwide had blood lead levels above 10 micrograms per deciliter (ug/dl). In the old days the dangerous level was thought to be around 30 ug/dl, but of course we’ve moved that down to about 5, and you hear a lot of people breathlessly say that there is no safe level.When I was a child, lead levels were much, much higher, primarily because most of the cars on the road were burning leaded gasoline. Steve Hayward shares the relevant chart:
|We got the lead out|
Does this mean we shouldn't solve the issue in Flint? Of course not. However, as we consider the path forward, there might be other issues to address as well:
The Flint water crisis has triggered yet another lawsuit, this one filed by the city's former administrator, who claims she was wrongfully fired for blowing the whistle on the mayor of Flint for allegedly trying to steer money from a charity for local families into a campaign fund.As the man said, never let a crisis go to waste.
Former City Administrator Natasha Henderson, 39, who now lives in Muskegon, claims in a lawsuit filed today in U.S. District Court that she was terminated on Feb. 12 for seeking an investigation into allegations of misconduct by Flint Mayor Karen Weaver.
Specifically, the suit alleges that Weaver directed a city employee and volunteer to steer donors away from a charity called Safe Water/Safe Homes, and instead give money to the so-called "Karenabout Flint" fund, which was a political action committee or campaign fund created at Weaver's direction.