As the lead-in-water crisis in Flint, Michigan continues to evolve, NCHH joins the nation in supporting the residents of Flint in their time of need. Resources must be marshaled as quickly as possible to ensure a safe water supply and provide follow-up services to address the long-term consequences of lead poisoning. We need to take the lessons from this crisis to improve our public policies so that no other communities have to experience what the residents of Flint are going through.
Due to the media attention generated by the crisis in Flint, NCHH has received many inquiries about lead poisoning and what parents can do to protect their children. Many have told us that they thought that the problem of lead was solved decades ago. The truth is that industry mined massive quantities of lead over the last century and put that lead into many products that went into our homes, including pipes and solder, paints and glazes, and other consumer products. Although lead was banned from new residential paint in 1978 and from new plumbing in 1986, residents may still be exposed to lead from products that remain in older homes. Lead was also added to gasoline for on-road use until 1996, and as vehicles burned the gas, the lead was left behind in the dust and soil in our communities.
After decades of sustained research and action, the percentage of children who have been lead-exposed is much lower than it was in the 1980s. Yet lead exposure remains a threat for far too many people. To learn more about the issue of lead in water, the role NCHH has played in the fight against lead poisoning, and what every parent should know to protect their families from lead exposure, click here.