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 Post subject: Fint, MI water crisis
PostPosted: Thu Jan 21, '16, 2:13 pm 
By now it's pretty hard to NOT hear about a crisis in Flint, MI, where extremely high levels of lead have been found in the drinking water. It seems that what happened is in an effort to save money, the emergency manager appointed by Governor Rick Snyder (the town was being managed by an unelected manager to avoid bankruptcy) switched from buying water from Detroit (sourced from Lake Huron) to the Flint River, which residents knew was polluted. The manager overrode elected officials. And then they proceeded to not treat the already polluted river water properly, which left it in a state where it was corrosive on the water infrastructure, which contained lead. And that lead to lead (excuse the pun) getting into the water residents were using to drink, bathe, and basically do most of their every day things. Because the pipes have already been corroded now, it is likely that no matter what water they pump through the pipes, lead is going to get into it.

http://www.cnn.com/2016/01/18/us/flint- ... ve-things/

Talk about a case of something you take for granted going bad.

Lead is not good for any human being to consume, but it is particularly dangerous for children. In kids, it is a potent neurotoxin, and can cause a variety of neurological developmental issues including behavior problems, lowered IQ, attention deficit, difficulties learning languages and communicating, and learning disabilities. Besides that, it can also stunt growth and cause anemia (low red blood cell count), affect bone and muscle strength and coordination. And it's not good for adults either, as lead can also affect developing fetuses the same way it affects kids, so it's particularly dangerous for pregnant women to be exposed to. It also can damage the heart and cardiovascular system, harm the kidneys to point of causing kidney failure in acute exposure or over long term build up, and cause cognitive decline and impair memory and concentration. It also builds up in the system, particularly the teeth and bones where it replaces calcium, so even exposure to small amounts is dangerous as it just accumulates over time. Lead even seems to cause some genetic changes, so once there's been exposure, the damage can be done through generations. There is no level of lead exposure that is considered "safe" as even small amounts of highly toxic.

http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs379/en/

It seems that basically everyone at every level of decision making shares some blame, including the EPA. But it also seems that evidence is coming to light that the emergency managers and the governor knew of what was going on for quite some time, but did nothing to protect the residents from their toxic tap water. Right now, at least, I see cases of criminal negligence, and I think there is more than enough cause for Snyder to, at a minimum, resign. And I will not be surprised to see criminal charges sometime down the line.

I also cannot help but agree with a meme I've seen floating around that basically makes the point that if ISIS or any other terror group did something that resulted in the poisoning of a city's water supply like this there would be an immediate uproar and action, but this really doesn't seem to be too much on the media's mind until recently, even though this has been going on for a while now. And it took a shamefully long amount of time for officials to do much to help.


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 Post subject: Re: Fint, MI water crisis
PostPosted: Thu Jan 21, '16, 7:46 pm 
The level of incompetence is extremely high. This mess has been going on for well over a year before the main stream media picked up on the story. I'm about 40 mins away from Flint. This story started off shortly after Flint made the switch to the Flint River as it's water source. People started complaining and no one listened. At this point it's not even a matter of who to blame. But people need to get off their tail pipes and start fixing the real problems of the matter. Bottled water and filters are nice and wonderful. But it's a band-aid over a bullet hole. -


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 Post subject: Re: Fint, MI water crisis
PostPosted: Thu Jan 21, '16, 11:10 pm 
Getting the lead out of the water at this point will basically require replacing the city's water pipes, because the corrosion will cause it to keep leeching for a long time. All of them. Bottled water is even less than a band-aid over a bullet wound, IMO, to say nothing of the fact that lead's damage lasts not just lifetimes, but generations.


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 Post subject: Re: Fint, MI water crisis
PostPosted: Thu Jan 21, '16, 11:57 pm 
Well I love how these big name celebs want to help by donating water. Why not donate money to fix the pipes. Landfills are going to be overflowing from the waste the bottles will generate.

Lot of this is part of a bigger problem where the State of MI took over the city. Where as the mayor pretty much had no power while the city was run by a manager appointed by the Governor. I believe the switching sources of water was a because the group they were getting their water from at the time was charging an extremely high rate. I also think that leadership was under the impression that the Flint River could be used. Big mistakes on all fronts. Now no one wants to step up to the plate to fix the real problems.


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 Post subject: Re: Fint, MI water crisis
PostPosted: Fri Jan 22, '16, 4:04 pm 
With any luck, those bottles will be recycled, but with that volume of them, maybe not - recycling plants can get overwhelmed too, and I don't know the state of MI's recycling infrastructure. And yeah, you're right - stepping up to fix the real problems (polluted water, crumbling water infrastructure made of toxic material) are massive problems that are difficult to solve, so it's a lot easier to just let it sit and apply band-aids instead.


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 Post subject: Re: Fint, MI water crisis
PostPosted: Fri Jan 22, '16, 4:55 pm 
But Flint's issues go far deeper than water. The city close to the last 20 years has had major issues with it's leaders. We had a mayor recalled. Another one resigned before he could be recalled. Total stupidity on all fronts. The state has taken over management of the city twice. This water crisis caused the former mayor to lose the election and the current mayor hasn't even been on the job all that long yet. At this point we are dealing with an epic level of failure on all levels of government.


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 Post subject: Re: Fint, MI water crisis
PostPosted: Tue Jan 26, '16, 11:02 pm 
I read today of another city with similar water/lead issues:

http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/lead-p ... cid=AARDHP


Would really be scary to find out for certain how much this type of thing occurs everywhere.


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 Post subject: Re: Fint, MI water crisis
PostPosted: Wed Jan 27, '16, 9:36 pm 
I think the issues are more wide spread than people realize. In most cases we replace pipes when something breaks. A lot of our towns and cities have water systems that are way older than use. In those days lead was common place. Flint, if anything, has highlighted a very real danger.


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 Post subject: Re: Fint, MI water crisis
PostPosted: Thu Jan 28, '16, 4:03 pm 
For quite a long time, lead was very commonly used for water pipes. It has a lot of diverse uses, but it wasn't until around the 1920s that people finally started to call out its health effects (due to it being an additive in gasoline and getting into air,w water and soil), and it took even longer until it started to get used less because of the hazard it posed even at tiny doses. But the thing is, due to things like poor historical record keeping and lead's historical ubiquity, there are quite likely many many MANY municipalities around the United States (and the world) with lead-containing water infrastructure. And what has happened in Flint (and now Sebring) could happen in any city with lead pipes. And we don't really have a good way of finding out what cities have lead infrastructure - unless something goes wrong, and that lead corrodes into the water and starts poisoning people.


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 Post subject: Re: Fint, MI water crisis
PostPosted: Thu Jan 28, '16, 7:36 pm 
This should be a wake up call to every city in the nation about the dangers lurking in their own pipes. Sadly though most have this "It won't happen to us" kind of logic.


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