Air, water and land pollution all have an effect on our children’s health. One of the worst drinking-water disasters this country has ever seen is unfolding in Flint, Michigan.
As the mothers of Flint grapple with contaminated water for drinking, cooking, and bathing, they also must deal with the guilt over what the crisis has done to their families.
Here’s an excerpt from “When Your Water Poisons Your Children“:
As 2014 was drawing to a close, Melissa Mays remembers thinking that her family’s mounting health problems were just from the harsh Michigan winter taking its toll. After some weight gain and a blood pressure spike, the longtime Flint resident had been diagnosed with an autoimmune disease. Then one of her three sons shattered both his wrists when he fell off his bike — something that surprised his doctor. They all suffered from painful skin rashes, fatigue, and stomach problems. Mays’ bones hurt, and she had a seizure in her sleep. Her cat’s fur was falling out in clumps.
Even an upper respiratory infection, which caused Mays to cough up phlegm that smelled like cleaning chemicals, didn’t seem odd at the time. But all that changed in January 2015, when a simple trifold letter from the struggling city of 100,000 came in the mail. Mays almost didn’t open it.
Inside was a notice from the city government that Flint’s water was in violation of federal regulations, because of the concentration of total trihalomethanes, or TTHM, a byproduct of disinfection chemicals like chlorine used in the water to control elevated bacteria levels…