How long has that water already been in the system?
In many municipalities, aging water infrastructure is serving fewer people than it was built to accommodate. Out of sight has meant out of mind – but resulting changes in water quality may affect safety.
A worker recycling lead in a lead acid battery recovery facility.
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Lead contamination is not just a problem for Flint, Michigan. It is an issue in many regions. One epidemiologist figured out how to measure past lead exposure using treasured biological samples.
The problem of unsafe drinking water afflicts poor communities most.
Just as America’s highways, sewage systems and water pipes need fixing, so does the growing gap between rich and poor. Trump and the Democrats could use that money to address both.
Laurie Nickel and her daughter Stephanie hold a protest sign during a union meeting after General Motors announced it would be closing its plant in Oshawa, Ont., that employs 2,500 people.
THE CANADIAN PRESS/Eduardo Lima
General Motors has announced it’s closing plants in Canada and the U.S. Many of the towns have built cars for decades or longer. A plant closing shatters people’s sense of belonging and identity.
Flint, Mich., has one of the highest crime rates in the country for a city of its size. One neighborhood has found a novel way to fight back.
Carlos Osorio/AP Images
Crime is way down in one Flint, Michigan, neighborhood, where locals have teamed up to revamp neglected public spaces. Here, why ‘busy streets’ can prevent violence and save cities money.
When scientists stand up, do they lose standing?
In the wake of the Flint water crisis and with a new notably anti-science president, U.S. scientists are reevaluating how to navigate the tension between speaking out and a fear of losing research funding.
Water tower in Flint, Michigan.
High blood lead levels in children in Flint, Michigan were obscured in part because of an outdated method of studying public health – the ZIP code. Here’s why we need to make use of a better way.
A big data analysis indicates the focus on service line replacement may only go so far at fixing Flint’s water issues.
By tapping into diverse data sources in Flint, researchers can predict vulnerable homes and even have found that home water service lines may not be the biggest contributor to lead poisoning.
Sampling is a powerful scientific tool - when it’s used honestly.
Some water researchers are ignoring the evidence offered by sampling if it doesn’t fit their preconceived notions. But science should always be honest and open.
A troubled town.
Michigan Municipal Leage via Flickr
A lead poisoning crisis caused by corroded pipes has made Flint, Michigan a symbol of American inequality.
Michigan National Guard members distribute water to a line of residents in their cars in Flint, Michigan.
The Flint water crisis has left people across the country wondering if lead poisoning is a problem in their community. But it’s very hard to find out how widespread this problem is.
Lead exposure is more common than you think.
Children exposed to lead are at elevated risk for learning delays and academic issues.
Disinfecting municipal water systems is complex, but Flint made critical errors that led to the lead poisoning crisis.
Treating municipal water, particularly from rivers, is difficult technically and cash-strapped municipalities like Flint don’t always know the latest science.
The University of Michigan-Flint puts experts from academia in the same room as Flint community members, an innovative model for educating the community and forming the public health response.
Up until the 1940s, as much as half of U.S. water piping from main lines was made of lead.
A wake-up call from Flint: the U.S. has made great gains in reducing lead exposure, but the country is still saddled with millions of miles of water-carrying lead pipes.
Tap water in Flint’s hospital on October 16.
Joyca Zhu/Flint Water Study
If Flint, Michigan were an affluent suburb, would residents have been exposed as long to drinking toxic water? Pioneering scholar Robert Bullard calls Flint’s crisis a classic case of environmental discrimination