Researcher Claims Michigan Officials Looked The Other Way When Warned With Evidence Of Lead Poisoning
The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) warned state authorities that the water was unsafe as early as July 2015. However, officials didn't declare a state of emergency until October of this year.
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A professor at Virginia Tech who has been investigating the lead poisoning crisis in Flint, MI is accusing state officials ignoring a notice from July 2015 warning them of abnormally high led levels in the blood of local children.
Lead poisoning can breed incurable health and behavioral problems, as well as lower a child’s IQ level.
Reached for comment on Monday about the memo, Michigan’s DHHS said it had made an honest mistake by attributing the spike in blood lead levels to seasonal variation.
“When initially looking at the citywide and county elevated blood lead level numbers, the increase appeared to be consistent with the routine seasonal fluctuation seen in the summer months,” agency spokeswoman Jennifer Eisner said in an email. “It wasn’t until the Hurley report came out that our epidemiologists took a more in-depth look at the data by zip code, controlling for seasonal variation, and confirmed an increase outside of normal trends.”
Edwards obtained emails sent to the director of the DHHS and to the office of Governor Rick Snyder.
Michigan finally announced a state of emergency in October months after the MDHHS memo was originally issued.
The city has also signed paperwork re-assigning the Detroit water system as Flint’s water supply. Snyder has also issued a task force to review the details of the lead poisoning crisis.
1. 2014: Michael Brown’s lifeless body was left in the streets of Ferguson for more than four hours after he was killed by Officer Darren Wilson on August 9.
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2. 2015: Tyrone Harris, 18, was shot in Ferguson Sunday night by police for allegedly attacking them with a firearm. He remains in critical condition and is facing four charges of first-degree assault on law enforcement, five counts of armed criminal action, and one count of discharging a firearm at a motor vehicle.
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3. 2014: Unrest in Ferguson plagued the city after police officers clashed with protesters.
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4. 2015: Police stand to maintain the crowd after shots rang out on the anniversary of Mike Brown’s death.
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5. 2014: An unarmed protester was approached by police during protests in Ferguson. The image became one of the most memorable of the city’s uprising.
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6. 2015: A woman stands before police with her hands up in the air.
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7. 2014: After the shooting of Mike Brown and the death of Eric Garner, unrest continued to rise in Ferguson. After it was determined that Darren Wilson would not be indicted in the fatal shooting of the teen, protesters took to the streets.
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8. 2015: Since the death of Brown, over 100 men, women, and children of color have been killed by police. Worldwide protests have continued advocating for better training for police officers.
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9. 2014: A woman hit with pepper spray is doused with milk. Ferguson police issued curfews for protesters after incidents of arson and looting occurred during peaceful protests in the city.
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10. 2015: A year later, protesters say they too were hit with tear gas while protesting in the streets.
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11. 2014: The National Guard was called into Ferguson to “control” protests.
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12. 2015: A teen is caught in the crossfire during a shooting that took place in Ferguson on the anniversary of Mike Brown’s death.
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13. 2014: Army tanks filled the streets of Ferguson after protests turned violent in the city.
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14. 2015: St. Louis police with army gear arrive in Ferguson Sunday night.
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Photographic Proof Not Much Has Changed In Ferguson Since Michael Brown’s Death