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View Full Version : The Children of Flint Were Not ‘Poisoned’



SVPete
07-23-2018, 02:34 PM
https://www.nytimes.com/2018/07/22/opinion/flint-lead-poisoning-water.html


FLINT, Mich. — Words are toxic, too. Labeling Flint’s children as “poisoned,” as many journalists and activists have done since the city’s water was found to be contaminated with lead in 2014, unjustly stigmatizes their generation.

Let’s be clear. It’s unacceptable that any child was exposed to drinking water with elevated lead concentrations. We know that lead is a powerful neurotoxicant, that there is no safe level, that the very young are particularly vulnerable and that long-term exposure to low to moderate levels of lead is associated with decreased I.Q.s and other cognitive and behavioral problems, including criminal behavior.

But there is no reason to expect that what happened for a year and a half in Flint will inevitably lead to such effects. The casual use of the word “poisoned,” which suggests that the affected children are irreparably brain-damaged, is grossly inaccurate. In a city that already battles high poverty and crime rates, this is particularly problematic.

In a summary sentence, the Enviros and MSM hyped and inflated for political gain. Here's the study on which the NYT article is based. (https://www.jpeds.com/article/S0022-3476(17)31758-4/fulltext)

noonwitch
07-23-2018, 02:43 PM
The people of Flint were exposed to lead through the drinking water. When a child is diagnosed for lead exposure, the diagnosis is usually called "lead poisoning". There are going to be long-term effects. I've worked with children who have been treated for lead poisoning, although the cases I dealt with had to do with lead paint in older homes, or lead in the soil around a house (from old lead smelts in the city). There's a chelation process that involves a diet with a lot of veggies and legumes. But the damage is already done at that point, the diet is to rid the body of lead.

Elspeth
07-23-2018, 02:57 PM
The people of Flint were exposed to lead through the drinking water. When a child is diagnosed for lead exposure, the diagnosis is usually called "lead poisoning". There are going to be long-term effects. I've worked with children who have been treated for lead poisoning, although the cases I dealt with had to do with lead paint in older homes, or lead in the soil around a house (from old lead smelts in the city). There's a chelation process that involves a diet with a lot of veggies and legumes. But the damage is already done at that point, the diet is to rid the body of lead.

This is exactly right. Lead affects a child's brain development.

I can believe that environmentalists often exaggerate for political gain, but even a small exposure to lead can be a problem for kids. The New York Times may be trying to protect the Democrat politicians of Flint who allowed this to happen.

Edited to add: I looked at the study. There was a small increase in lead but the study demonstrates that this increase was consistent with random variation. As filthy as that water was, the variation in lead could not be connected to it.

noonwitch
07-23-2018, 03:15 PM
This is exactly right. Lead affects a child's brain development.

I can believe that environmentalists often exaggerate for political gain, but even a small exposure to lead can be a problem for kids. The New York Times may be trying to protect the Democrat politicians of Flint who allowed this to happen.

Well, I don't think the NY Times is trying to protect the Republican Governor of MI, who ignored the crisis and whose policies contributed at least as much as the Democratic Flint leaders, who had been stripped of their power by the emergency manager law enacted by the governor.

The Trump EPA blames the Obama EPA, who could have done more once the lead was detected. But ultimately, the buck stops with Governor Snyder. When GM went off of the Flint water system due to the corrosive effects on the auto parts being manufactured, they contacted the state and the state did nothing. When a bunch of people died of legionnaire's disease right after the switch, the state did nothing, although the state health department allegedly tracks those diseases.

SVPete
07-23-2018, 03:17 PM
Maybe check out the writers of the NYT Op-Ed piece, "By Hernán Gómez and Kim Dietrich

Dr. Gómez and Dr. Dietrich are experts in toxicology and environmental health."

They aren't white-washing or minimizing anything. They're simply pointing out that the level of exposure was low enough that little or no harm was caused. I messed up and just now fixed the link, so it can also be seen that Dr. Gomez was part of the team that performed the study. The study was published in a medical journal, not the NYT or national Inquirer.

I think both of your responses show a failure to take this matter seriously enough to even scan more than I quoted, noonie and Elspeth.

Elspeth
07-23-2018, 03:41 PM
Maybe check out the writers of the NYT Op-Ed piece, "By Hernán Gómez and Kim Dietrich

Dr. Gómez and Dr. Dietrich are experts in toxicology and environmental health."

They aren't white-washing or minimizing anything. They're simply pointing out that the level of exposure was low enough that little or no harm was caused. I messed up and just now fixed the link, so it can also be seen that Dr. Gomez was part of the team that performed the study. The study was published in a medical journal, not the NYT or national Inquirer.

I think both of your responses show a failure to take this matter seriously enough to even scan more than I quoted, noonie and Elspeth.

I did look at the study and posted an edit to a previous post.

Angry Old White Man
07-23-2018, 03:46 PM
Every major city in America early on used lead pipes for water so I guess all our Mothers and Fathers were slow learners too. The first can goods on store shelves were lead sealed and toxic. Most old veterans consider lead poisoning a 10 round burst, or it could even be a single shot :biggrin-new:

noonwitch
07-24-2018, 08:40 AM
Every major city in America early on used lead pipes for water so I guess all our Mothers and Fathers were slow learners too. The first can goods on store shelves were lead sealed and toxic. Most old veterans consider lead poisoning a 10 round burst, or it could even be a single shot :biggrin-new:


The ancient Romans ate and drank off of lead plates and lead cups. The Empire went on a slow decline from the day it started.

Banacek
07-24-2018, 04:32 PM
The hysteria around the Flint water problem was the way "poisoned" was used, especially in headlines of the day.

Lead in the water may be "poisonous." However, nobody intentionally "poisoned" the water,



Toothpaste tubes used to be made of tin and lead. That stopped during WW II because the tin and lead were needed for the war effort.

After the war I believe the use of tin and lead continued into the early fifties, I remember using them.

GeorgeandSugar
07-24-2018, 09:21 PM
The dose makes the poison. Too much water consumed can be toxic (a poison) and can result in death (disrupts the electrolyte balance).

Lead in water can come from a few sources: the source water has lead which would be removed during the treatment process by physically and chemical removal or the water diluted to drop the lead level below the standard (15 ppb). Lead is found in the solders used in older homes. Corrosive water will leach the lead into the water supply in the home or the distribution system depending on its age, condition etc....The distribution system may have lead contamination, but this was recognized over a hundreds years ago. However, does not mean all these existing systems were replaced or upgraded.

Questions to ask: 1. Was all of Flint communities impacted? 2. Was it only certain communities (older vs newer)? 3. Was lead found at the point of use point: faucet (inside the home)? 4. Was lead found through the distribution system? 5. Was lead found in the source water(raw water)? 6. Was lead found at the point where finish water was introduced into the water distribution system? 7. Was the raw water source evaluated before it was selected?

Older homes have problems with lead solder water pipes, cast iron pipes (reddish water), lead-based paint, asbestos and chemical contamination (leaking fuel oil tanks/spills) and radon depending on location.

Plumbing fixtures in home and plumbing to street is the responsibility of homeowner. Street plumbing is city.

Public works in Flint is the root cause along with city officials. They run the water treatment plant. They take the water samples and send out for testing to meet state and EPA standards. They perform preliminary water testing before the finish water enters the water distribution system (coliform, chlorine and pH).

https://www.fluencecorp.com/brief-history-lead-water-supplies/


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