EPA: Flint lead levels too high for filters to remove the toxic element 

Photo via FlintWaterStudy.org
Photo via FlintWaterStudy.org

By Steve Neavling
Motor City Muckraker

Not even water filters are enough to prevent thousands of Flint residents from being poisoned by elevated levels of lead, the EPA has warned.

The notice comes after testing at 26 sites found an alarming amount of lead that exceeds levels that can be treated by water filters that officials have distributed to Flint residents.

Federal officials also warned that pregnant women and children under 6 should rely on bottled water.

“Lead is particularly dangerous to children because their growing bodies absorb more lead than adults do and their brains and nervous systems are more sensitive to the damaging effects of lead,” the EPA warned on its site.

“It is essential that all Flint residents have the water in their homes tested as soon as possible,” Gov. Rick Snyder said in a news release Friday. “Please make it a priority for your family and encourage your friends and neighbors to obtain testing kits as well. The kits are available free of charge at the water resource sites within Flint fire stations.”

Even though Flint reverted back to Detroit’s water, lead levels remains high because water pipes are still coated with the toxic element.

Filters are capable of treating water with up to 150 parts of lead per billion.
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But testing found that many sites still exceed that amount, with some having thousands of parts per billion – an extremely dangerous level of toxicity.

The findings, however, have not stopped state officials from notifying residents that they should stop using tap water.


Steve Neavling

Steve Neavling lives and works in Detroit as an investigative journalist. His stories have uncovered corruption, led to arrests and reforms and prompted FBI investigations.

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