For a rundown of the Flint water crisis, Vox posted an article describing the situation. While a large part of this problem comes from a lack of city funding and a questionable attempt to cut corners with low-income city residents, the Flint water crisis is drawing the attention it deserves. The ethical questions regarding Flint suggest a serious deficiency in government responsibility for low-income cities as well as egg on a serious concern for what to do next.
With the presidential debates in action, the problems in Flint are finally coming to light and getting proper attention. The Michigan political system is being scrutinized for its lack of transparency and honesty with its residents and the entire city is realizing that its unknowingly been poisoned despite complaining to city officials about the mysterious state of their water.
What surprised me most about this was the discovery that there is still a huge amount of lead pipes in the United States, completely dependent on filtration systems to make the water potable. What happens if these systems break ? Will it mean large quantities of the population have to start getting sick in order to draw government attention ?
In Flint’s case, it seems this is what would have to happen. The difference I see for Flint (and other cities that have had lead exposure issues in the past), is the economic dependence on government funding. The economies of most cities impacted by lead exposure are, quite simply, bad. Cities with less money seem to be paid less attention by their governments and suffer because of it. It also seems as though the priority is more politically based than health based. Lots of articles are floating around the internet about the various political implications this crisis has for Michigan state representatives. What doesn’t seem to be getting as much coverage are the efforts of companies and individuals around the world to help.
I came across the Divvy while reading news about Flint and discovered that the company Clearly Filtered has organized a donation campaign to send water filtration systems, pitchers, and bottles up to Flint in order to combat the lead poisoning in their water supply:
http://www.motherjones.com/environment/2016/02/lead-exposure-gasoline-crime-increase-children-health — an article about the relationship between lead exposure and crime rates
https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2016/02/09/lead-f09.html — other cities with lead poisoning
TedTalk about lead poisoning in Utica as well as remedies and prevention methods.