Food for Thought (4/5/16)

Who is primarily responsible for the water crisis in Flint?

That’s a tough question, especially if you aren’t aware of the crisis that is happening in Flint, Michigan. Here is a recap of what has happened and what is happening in Flint…

According to the US Census Bureau, Flint is a city of about 99,000 people with 41% of that population living below the poverty line. African-Americans make up 56% of the Flint population. The water crisis began when the city switched water suppliers in 2014. The city was in a massive deficit so they switched water suppliers from Lake Huron to Flint River. historically, Flint River was contaminated by industrial and agricultural waste. The state ordered a clean up in 2001, but “according to a class-action lawsuit, the state Department of Environmental Quality wasn’t treating the Flint River water with an anti-corrosive agent, in violation of federal law. The river water was found to be 19 times more corrosive than water from Detroit, which was from Lake Huron, according to a study by Virginia Tech” (CNN). The lead pipes that the water runs through are very susceptible to corrosion. When the lead corrodes it leaches toxic chemicals into the water that cause a variety of severe issues, especially in children under age 6. Children’s bodies absorb more lead than adults; they are more adversely affected. Lead poisoning causes brain damage. It slows down growth and development, damages hearing and speech, causes behavioral problems, and makes it hard to pay attention and learn.

The Center for Disease Control says that lead poisoning is more likely to occur in children that live in low-income houses or are members of a racial/ethnic minority. Which poses the question, is this disaster a case of environmental racism? The Agape Center and Human Right’s Awareness are hosting an event tomorrow night, Wednesday April, 6th, in Parmer Cinema at 7:00 PM. Come listen to a panel (which includes our very own Brandon Hoover) discuss what’s happening in Flint, what is to be done, and how environmental justice relates to racism.


Here is a picture that went viral, showing the difference between water from Flint and water from Detroit.



“Lead.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2016. Web. 05 Apr. 2016.

“Flint Water Crisis Fast Facts.” CNN. Cable News Network. Web. 05 Apr. 2016.

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