It used to be that the town of Flint, Michigan was associated with the automotive industry. These days, when we hear the word “Flint,” notions of poor governance and contaminated water come to mind. Thousands of miles away in California, we may feel confident that our water could never be contaminated, that our children are safe from lead and other contaminants. Sadly, this confidence is unjustified.
USA Today recently completed a nationwide investigation of water records from every state and the Environmental Protection Agency. The conclusions were startling, particularly in rural communities across America:
- Drinking water for 4 million people comes from utilities that failed to test their water or botched the testing.
- Drinking water for 100,000 people comes from utilities that have already had high lead test results but have failed to remove the lead using tried-and-true treatments.
- Hundreds of utilities with earlier high lead test results failed to conduct lead testing at least one time in the last several years, affecting thousands of people.
One of the small water systems reviewed by USA Today was a school system outside Fresno. The Orange Center School system tested positive for lead in 2003, then failed to test for it at all for nine full years. When testing was again conducted in 2012, three tests confirmed continued high lead levels. State officials finally started shipping in bottled water and “ordered the school to stop using the water.” When all was said and done, school-age children were allowed to continue to drink lead-contaminated water for over 10 years.
There is a very good reason the government requires lead testing and requires water to meet certain standards: lead poisoning is serious. As lead builds up in the body, it can cause a wide spectrum of health problems, such as abdominal pain and discomfort, concentration problems, headaches, high blood pressure, joint and muscle pain, and even miscarriage.
The problems are more serious in young children and newborns. Lead poisoning can cause kidney damage, seizures, developmental delays, unconsciousness, and death.
The substances our bodies are exposed to can wreak havoc on our health. If you or a loved one suffered health consequences as the result of a dangerous chemical or substance, contact the team at Alexander Law Group, LLP at 888.777.1776 for a free case consultation today. We help our clients recover monetary compensation for their injuries and expenses.