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Environment & Climate Change

Pediatrician says “poisoned” is an accurate description of what happened to Flint children

Blood test.
Steve Carmody
/
Michigan Radio
Elevated levels of lead were found in blood tests of children in Flint following the city's switch to river water for its municipal system.

An opinion piece in the New York Times has stirred up a war of words. According to a recent Detroit News article, an emergency room doctor at the Hurley Medical Center in Flint persuaded the majority of his physician colleagues to ban using the words “lead poisoned” to describe children's exposure to lead from drinking Flint water.

That doctor, Hernan Gomez, co-authored the New York Times piece. He argues that labeling Flint's children as poisoned "unjustly stigmatizes their generation." Dr. Gomez was a guest on Stateside on July 23. You can listen to his interview here.    

Dr. Lawrence Reynolds disagrees with Dr. Gomez's assessment. He was a pediatrician with Hurley Medical Center in Flint for 26 years, and is a member of Gov. Snyder's task force on the Flint water crisis.   

Dr. Reynolds told Stateside's Lester Graham that "Dr. Gomez's reworking of a statistical analysis does not reflect the full range of factors that affect individual health or community health."  

Listen above to hear more about what Dr. Reynolds thinks about Dr. Gomez's findings, and why he thinks doctors at Hurley Medical Center agreed not to use the label "lead poisoned."   

(Subscribe to the Stateside podcast on iTunesGoogle Play, or with this RSS link)

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