It’s not just Flint: Thousands of US areas afflicted with lead poisoning

Flint, Michigan grabbed headlines last year after its children were exposed to lead in drinking water and some were poisoned. In the year after Flint switched to corrosive river water that leached lead from old pipes, 5 percent of the children screened there had high blood lead levels. But Flint is no aberration. In fact, it doesn’t even rank among the most dangerous lead hotspots in America.

A new Reuters investigation found nearly 3,000 areas with recently recorded lead poisoning rates at least double those in Flint during the peak of that city’s contamination crisis. Those hotspots include places in Missouri like St. Joseph in the northwest and Viburnum in the southeast.

Like Flint, many of these localities are plagued by legacy lead: crumbling paint, plumbing, or industrial waste left behind. Unlike Flint, many have received little attention or funding to combat poisoning.

Read more: St. Louis Post-Dispatch


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