In April 2014, a decision was made to switch Flint\’s water source from Lake Huron to the Flint River. Since then, the city has faced unending water woes. After numerous boil advisories and a violation of TTHM (total trihalomenthane) levels, our water became discolored, and I decided to educate myself on everything water and water distribution. Eventually we had the water tested properly and it came back at 2.5 times the level of hazardous waste. It was after that and reading the monthly operational reports that I learned that officials were breaking a federal law. They denied it and threatened me with Child Protective Services if I didn\’t bow to their wants. They wanted me to sign a document stating I would never pursue them for poisoning my son. They even offered me money.
Then, when trying to figure out what I should expect from my son (who also has a compromised immune system) being lead poisoned, I was told by a state nurse that it was nothing. \”Just a few IQ points—it’s not the end of the world.\” With the local, state, and federal government against us, my family forged ahead and with the help of Marc Edwards and his Virginia Tech team led a sampling of almost 300 homes. This sampling proved there was a city-wide problem. Because of everything that has happened, I have now become a water activist and citizen scientist. The breaking of a federal law in Flint makes what happened an anomaly, but there is still a nation-wide problem. There are lead pipes throughout the country and almost every state allows testing with loopholes. We need to keep a conversation about lead at the forefront to help protect this nation\’s children.
I’m here to answer any questions you have about my experience and what I learned.
I\’ll be back at 1pm EST to answer your questions. AMA!