Flint Residents Losing Children Over Toxic Water

The Flint water crisis continues to deepen and the lives of those living in the city are faced with the toxic water is not only a health risk, but they have also been forced to pay for the poisonous water or risk losing the custody of their children. Despite this tainted water being too tainted to use, Flint residents are still required to pay for the toxic water or else they may end up losing their children on the basis of neglect.

The Flint Water Crisis

If you have not heard about the Flint water crisis already, let us explain a few things. In April of 2014, Flint changed its water source from the treated Detroit Water and Sewerage Department water to the Flint River, which has been notoriously known for its filthy quality. This water was highly corrosive and was supposed to be treated with an anti-corrosive agent, but this treatment had been neglected. With the water remaining highly corrosive, it began leaching the lead from the pipes until the running water itself was so filled with lead it has been deemed as “toxic waste” by officials.

Several Flint residents had complained about the water’s “funny” quality. However, it wasn’t until a Flint doctor noticed the rise in rashes and hair loss in her child patients that she began to suspect the water. She sent a sample to Dr. Marc Edwards, an expert in water quality, that it was revealed that the water contained high levels of lead.

Refusing To Pay For Toxic Water

The Michigan law states that if you do not provide your child with “running water”, you are guilty of neglect and social services has the right to intervene and remove your children from your care. Regardless of the fact that the Flint water is especially dangerous to children and adults alike, the Flint government has been enforcing this law by threatening “delinquent” parents that are refusing to pay for the toxic water.

As you can imagine, the Flint residents are fighting back and have filed two lawsuits against the government requesting that all water bills dating back to April of 2014 be wiped clean since the water has been toxic since last year. Flint residents feel they should not be charged for toxic water that is too dangerous for use. Several residents believe the act in itself is downright criminal and they demand that the government be held accountable for their actions.

The Challenges Of Fixing The Water Crisis

It has been noted that the real issue is not the water being toxic, but rather the government’s lack of concern for Flint’s residents and their recklessness towards the health of Flint citizens. If this wasn’t terrible enough, the water crisis is not an easily fixed problem that could take several years and millions of dollars to fix. This would force many of the residents to have to live in their homes during the repair process and without sufficient water. The majority of the residents will need to continue to relay on the plastic water bottles being bought or donated, but even the large need for bottled water itself presents terrible environmental issues to take care of the mass amount of plastic bottles.

That aside, there is no amount of lead exposure that is safe. The residents of Flint are suffering huge physical and mental health issues that will affect them for the rest of their life due to the toxic water. Children and infants are especially in danger due to the lead exposure. Some symptoms and side effects in children with lead poisoning include developmental delay, learning difficulties, irritability, hearing loss, sluggishness, fatigue, seizures, unconsciousness, and possibly death. Infants that are infected may also experience slowed growth and cognitive problems. This irreversible damage cannot be cured and it is likely that Flint children will be permanently disabled due to the lead exposure.