Area doctors urge seniors, children, pregnant women to stop drinking Flint water now
Today at Hurley Medical Center, doctors warned the public that lead levels in Flint water are too high and many residents should stop drinking it immediately.
Hurley did their own study of Flint water. They have advised senior citizens, children, and pregnant women to stop drinking Flint water right now or they could face irreversible damage. This damage could include memory loss or lowered IQ.
They found double the acceptable amount of lead in Flint water. They tested the specific zip codes done in the recent Virginia Tech study and found excessive blood lead levels in children and babies.
This will affect them not only now, but for decades to come, doctors say. They are advising people to use lead filters.
The head of the Genesee County Health Department, Mark Valacak, said that just looking at children won't identify any of the issues. A blood test is the only way to know for certain.
Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha, who ran the study, says, "This is not what our community needs."
The Virginia Tech study showed that Flint River water was specifically causing lead in old pipes to be released.
A gofundme account was recently set up by the Virginia Tech group, with the intent of buying the citizens of Flint filters that can remove the lead from the water.
Congressman Dan Kildee issued the following statement:
"Immediate action needs to be taken by the State of Michigan to ensure that relief is provided to people who are concerned about lead levels in their water. Today as part of my ongoing efforts, I talked with the EPA Region 5 Administrator about the State of Michigan providing emergency assistance, including lead-clearing filters and bottled water, until a more permanent solution can be determined.
"This new study by the medical community also raises additional doubts about prior water testing done by the DEQ and EPA that stated the water was in compliance with federal law. I have been completely unsatisfied with their answers to my questions regarding their testing methodology, which is why I have called for additional immediate independent and scientific testing to be done."
Senate Minority Leader Jim Ananich issued the following statement:
"The findings released today are alarming. Our top priority has to be doing everything we can and finding every available resource to ensure access to safe water for Flint residents. I will be leading an effort to raise state, private and philanthropic resources to deliver filters and clean water into the community as quickly as possible.
We must act with urgency to protect Flint residents, especially those most vulnerable to the negative health impacts of lead: children. Anyone with concerns about their water should visit flintwaterinfo.com and contact their physician or the Genesee County Health Department immediately."
Stay with NBC25 News online and on their air tonight at 6 for more on this still developing story.