Researchers found elevated lead levels in Flint's drinking water, and pediatricians found that the water was likely poisoning some kids in the city. Today, the state revealed that it too had tested kids and their findings seem to be consistent.
Dr. Eden Wells, the state's chief medical executive, said that before the city switched to Flint River water, kids' lead levels in two "high risk" zip codes were 2.7 times higher than the rest of Genesee County. Now they're 3.2 times higher - a statistically significant difference.
Here is the state's action plan for dealing with Flint's drinking water problem:
- Immediately test Flint Public Schools to ensure drinking water is safe.
- Work with the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services and local public health agencies to expand lead exposure testing of individuals beyond what's already been done.
- With the support of Flint and the state, offer free water testing to Flint residents who have concerns and those on public assistance.
- Expand health exposure testing of individual homes.
- Accelerate corrosion controls in the Flint drinking water system.
- Expedite the completion of the Karegnondi Water Authority.
- Expand a "Safe Drinking Water Technical Advisory Committee" to make sure best practices are being used.
- Dr. Eden Wells, chief medical executive for the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, is named "Flint drinking water public health adviser."
- Boosting a comprehensive lead education program to give residents information about pathways for lead exposure.
In addition, the state officials say the state will pay up to $1 million for water filters, and Gov. Snyder says he's looking into switching the city back to Detroit's water system as an alternative to go along with the action steps.
If you live in Flint and you want your water tested for free, you can call the city of Flint Water Plant at (810) 787-6537 and then press 1. You can also email firstname.lastname@example.org.
*This post was updated. An earlier post noted a "3-part action plan" based on a press conference held earlier this morning. The state's later release called it a "10-part plan."