Study: Flint water crisis led to fewer pregnancies, higher fetal death rates

  /  09.22.2017

The Flint water crisis has jeopardized the lives of thousands of men, women and children who live in Flint – and, according to a recent study, it may have also impacted their ability to birth healthy children.

Detroit Free Press reports that a new research study finds that after April 2014 – which is when government officials switched Flint’s water source – fertility rates decreased by 12%, and fetal death rates increased by a whopping 58%. According to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, lead can damage a developing baby’s nervous system, causing miscarriages, stillbirths, and infertility.

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“We weren’t particularly surprised by this, but we didn’t expect it be as clean and clear as it was,” said West Virginia University economics assistant professor David Slusky, one of the two assistant professors and health economists behind the study.

The city of Flint switched its water source in April 2014 – from water supplied from the city of Detroit, to the Flint River. But after making the switch, officials failed to treat the water properly. The water was corrosive, which made it leach lead from city pipelines. The city has since switched back to its original water source, but the impact has already been made.

As a result, children have been exposed to high lead levels – and this new study is the latest indication of longterm effects from the contaminated water. A 17-month period from 2014-15 also saw a spike in Legionnaire’s Disease after the water switch.

In 2015, REVOLT sponsored #Justice4Flint, a benefit show in Flint, Mich. with Stevie Wonder, Janelle Monae, Vic Mensa and more that raised money for victims of the crisis. Watch the stream below.

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