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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(10), 951; doi:10.3390/ijerph13100951

A Case Study of Environmental Injustice: The Failure in Flint

1
Department of Public Health Sciences, Room 408, College of Health Sciences, University of Texas at El Paso, 500 W. University Ave, El Paso, TX 79968, USA
2
National Nurse-led Care Consortium (NNCC), Philadelphia, PA 19102, USA
3
Research and Evaluation Group, Public Health Management Corporation, Philadelphia, PA 19102, USA
4
Occupational and Environmental Medicine Consultant, Las Cruces, NM 88001, USA
1
Native American Rights Fund, Boulder, CO, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Paul B. Tchounwou
Received: 5 July 2016 / Revised: 19 September 2016 / Accepted: 22 September 2016 / Published: 27 September 2016
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [285 KB, uploaded 27 September 2016]

Abstract

The failure by the city of Flint, Michigan to properly treat its municipal water system after a change in the source of water, has resulted in elevated lead levels in the city’s water and an increase in city children’s blood lead levels. Lead exposure in young children can lead to decrements in intelligence, development, behavior, attention and other neurological functions. This lack of ability to provide safe drinking water represents a failure to protect the public’s health at various governmental levels. This article describes how the tragedy happened, how low-income and minority populations are at particularly high risk for lead exposure and environmental injustice, and ways that we can move forward to prevent childhood lead exposure and lead poisoning, as well as prevent future Flint-like exposure events from occurring. Control of the manufacture and use of toxic chemicals to prevent adverse exposure to these substances is also discussed. Environmental injustice occurred throughout the Flint water contamination incident and there are lessons we can all learn from this debacle to move forward in promoting environmental justice. View Full-Text
Keywords: environmental justice; lead poisoning; water contamination; Flint water crisis environmental justice; lead poisoning; water contamination; Flint water crisis
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Campbell, C.; Greenberg, R.; Mankikar, D.; Ross, R.D. A Case Study of Environmental Injustice: The Failure in Flint. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13, 951.

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