Eco-fact Friday: Flint, Michigan declares state of emergency | Gallery Drinkware

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Eco-fact Friday

We at Water Gallery have been following the US drinking water and pipe infrastructure issue for a while now, but with the latest news coming out of Flint, Michigan regarding the state of emergency, we are beside ourselves. In 2014, in an effort to save money, Flint elected to stop paying for Detroit's more pricey drinking water and instead starting getting its drinking water from a local river. Thinking this was an economically advantageous option, this long-suffering city thought it was making the right choice. But as weeks and months went by, people started complaining about their drinking water looking and smelling strange and before long, it became clear that the water wasn't just kind of yucky, but actually poisonous. The Hurley Medical Center in Flint conducted a study that has just released a terrifying fact: the lead levels in local children's blood has more than doubled since Flint switched from Detroit water to that of the Flint River. Due to this fact, the city has declared a state of emergency, seeking assistance from the federal government in dealing with the "irreversible" effects of lead in children's blood, the results of which will likely lead to need for myriad types of medical care, special education, and mental health services since blood poisoning can cause long-term brain damage among other health risks.

Flint, Michigan water disaster

The switch to the Flint River water was intended to be temporary as an aging pipeline system was replaced. But instead of reconnecting to the Detroit system in the face of this disaster, city and state officials are trying to suggest alternatives, like asking residents to boil their drinking water before consumption. Officials have claimed that Flint's water is safe to drink, that the lead increase is likely due to various families' plumbing issues.

Those who can afford it have resorted to buying bottled water by the case, which to us at Water Gallery adds a whole new layer to this disaster-- the threat to the natural world that over-consumption of single-use plastic water bottles brings. We don't know the solution to this overwhelming and tragic problem. It literally keeps us up at night, especially for me as a native of the state of Michigan. It is heartbreaking to think that innocent children are victims of our broken systems, especially right here in America, the richest country in the world.


Feb 06, 2016 • Posted by Brittany

Such a tragedy that the youth is suffering in this way. You get what you pay for and the cheaper option is not always the best option as evidenced in this case.

Jan 08, 2016 • Posted by John Carter

Thus is awful! All the extra bottles in our Eco systems! I hope and pray something can be done to solve these problems!!

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