FOIA Request Shows Govt Lied About Lead in Water, Knowingly Poisoning Countless Children

lead-poisonBy Andrew Emett

After filing a FOIA request, a Virginia Tech professor recently discovered Michigan state officials knew the city of Flint’s water supply was giving children lead poisoning while falsely assuring residents that the water was safe. Although the government had been aware of the increased levels of lead poisoning since July, they continued to lie to the public until a Flint pediatrician published a study in September that found lead exposure in children had doubled citywide and nearly tripled in high-risk areas.

Agreeing to temporarily switch from Detroit’s water supply to the Flint River in April 2014, residents in the city of Flint immediately noticed their tap water appeared cloudy while emitting a pungent odor. After testing the water supply on August 14, 2014, the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) discovered the water tested positive for fecal coliform bacteria, also known as E. coli. Although the city issued several boil advisories to kill the bacteria, the CDC has found that heating or boiling water only increases the lead concentration in the water.

In an interview with Michigan Radio on September 6, Virginia Tech Professor Marc Edwards warned that preliminary tests revealed serious levels of lead in Flint’s water supply. Refuting the university’s findings, MDEQ spokesman Brad Wurfel stated, “The samples don’t match the testing that we’ve been doing in the same kind of neighborhoods all over the city for the past year. With these kind of numbers, we would have expected to be seeing a spike somewhere else in the other lead monitoring that goes on in the community.”

State officials continued telling the public that the water supply was safe until a team of researchers led by Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha reported an alarming increase in childhood lead poisoning later that month. But on Monday, Prof. Edwards revealed that government officials had known the water supply was contaminated since July. According to a series of memos and emails obtained through a FOIA request, Edwards revealed the director of DHHS and the office of Gov. Rick Snyder both received data between July and September documenting the recent spike in kids suffering from lead poisoning.

According to the World Health Organization, “lead affects children’s brain development resulting in reduced intelligence quotient (IQ), behavioral changes such as shortening of attention span and increased antisocial behavior, and reduced educational attainment. Lead exposure also causes anemia, hypertension, renal impairment, immunotoxicity and toxicity to the reproductive organs. The neurological and behavioral effects of lead are believed to be irreversible.”

Earlier this week, Edwards wrote, “After missing warning signs of spiking childhood lead poisoning that occurred a few months after switching to a corrosive river water source in 2014, outside pressure forced officials at the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) to closely scrutinize their data in July 2015. They discovered scientifically conclusive evidence of an anomalous increase in childhood lead poisoning in summer 2014 immediately after the switch in water sources, but stood by silently as Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) officials repeatedly and falsely stated that no spike in blood lead levels (BLL) of children had occurred.”

Although Flint finally reconnected to Detroit’s water supply on October 16, Flint Mayor Karen Weaver declared a state of emergency on December 14. Referring to the contamination as a “manmade disaster,” Mayor Weaver expressed concern that the increased levels of lead poisoning in Flint’s children will result in “learning disabilities and the need for special education and mental health services and an increase in the juvenile justice system.”

Instead of keeping children safe from toxic chemicals, Michigan officials repeatedly lied about the safety of their drinking water even though they knew it was poisoned. Last month, the parents of these children and other Flint residents filed a class-action lawsuit against the governor and over a dozen other public officials responsible for failing an entire city. Unfortunately, no amount of money can compensate for the needless loss of a child’s developmental abilities.

Andrew Emett writes for

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30 Comments on "FOIA Request Shows Govt Lied About Lead in Water, Knowingly Poisoning Countless Children"

  1. Are they being treated for this? The CDC mandates chelation be paid for by insurance companies [before they get their legal settlement] in the case of lead poisoning. The sooner they are treated the better. Oral DMSA is cheap , safe & FDA approved for children.

  2. Edgardo L. Perez-De Leon | December 25, 2015 at 7:18 am | Reply

    (where Flint is located) The article is missing an important fact related to whom to blame for this “should have known” crime against humanity. The switch from the Detroit Water System was grounded on money savings and made by the authority of Governor Rick Snyder vested in Flint’s Emergency Manager, an appointee of Snyder. The Genessee County should appoint an special prosecutor against Governor Snyder and his clique at the DEQ and the affected population must sue the State of Michigan for departing from its duties regarding public health.

  3. It was obvious to me that they were poisoning the water. What else could have produced so many brain damaged democrats?

  4. There is something seriously wrong with the contempt and willingful deception going on in this current government.

  5. All involved need to be in prison where they belong, no matter who they are or what position they hold, including the Governor !

  6. Another example of government out of control. it sounds like a few criminal indictments, convictions, and imprisonments are required to wake up these floks and let them know they are not above the law.

  7. Big government is NOT here to help you. Witness how the FDA is allowing drugs they KNOW will kill, but they still get approval. This is a ‘high crime’ and all those who knew about it should be in jail.

  8. Edgardo L. Perez-De Leon | December 25, 2015 at 4:18 pm | Reply

    Governor Rick Snyder is a criminal who should have known better and given provisions in the Michigan Public Health Code he is a criminal for providing false information related to lead poisoning of Flint’s children. His appointed Emergency Manager was responsible for the switch from Detroit Water Department and his clique at the DEQ concealed the data for almost a year before a private doctor made the discovery.

  9. Sovereign_Citizen | December 25, 2015 at 4:24 pm | Reply

    Stories like this always make me laugh:) The same Liberals who will tell you to your face that you should trust the government and how it really is looking out for you and only someone paranoid would think it would hurt you to even try to hurt you are curiously never anywhere to be found in a situation like this.

    I will keep my guns and paranoia and be far better of for it than most people ever will. So go ahead:) Climb aboard that train. Yes, yes, it will take you to a nice place where you can camp and work! You will get some free meals, some healthcare and a place to sleep each night.

    • Why in the world would stories like this make you laugh? Are you ignorant or just plain stupid? Or simply just don’t give a damn about other people? If you have never been there or ever tasted the water then why comment in the first place. Jerk!

      • Sovereign_Citizen | January 1, 2016 at 6:57 pm | Reply

        People like you always make me laugh. You are a pathetic Liberal. Liberals despise being proven wrong and therefore get pissy when you beat them like dogs at their own games.

        All of those Liberals who keep voting in more Liberals and getting exactly what every last one of us told them they were going to get.

        Why in the world would that be so hard for you to understand?:) Are you ignorant or just a complete hypocrite? As a Liberal, why don’t you care about other people? Since you have never lived where I live or been here then you can STFU too now cant you?:)

        • Well it is obvious you do not know me at all. I grew up in Flint, Michigan and raised 5 kids in Flint, Michigan.And what has being a Democrat have to do with the water in Flint, Michigan?I also lived in Burton, Michigan for a long time. Have you ever tasted their water? So yes you are a JERK! I still have many friends and relative who live there.

          • Sovereign_Citizen | January 2, 2016 at 9:02 am |

            A Jerk:) BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH!:) Hey Moron…you voted for them:) I love it when Liberals scream bloody murder that their own elected officials LIED to them.

            I bet you also told everyone who ever said that those same politicians WERE lying to you was a big mean jerk:) You dont even have to answer that we all already know thew answer.

            So go back to your lying politicians and stay away from us big mean jerks:) And I am glad so many people who voted for those same liars still live there drinking the same poison as they always have.

            Karma…it is a beautiful thing:)

          • Sorry Jerk, I moved away from there a long time ago so no, I did not vote for them. Calling names is not always the best way to make a comment so I do apologize for calling you a Jerk, but if the shoe fits…………..

          • Sovereign_Citizen | January 2, 2016 at 11:00 am |

            Where ever you live, when the Purge comes, you will not be able to hide:)

  10. That is probably why he is encouraging immigration in Michigan. Another Republican POS that is not really a Republican.

  11. It’s time for a class action lawsuit for that, they also lied about the air on 9/11 and now look at all the first responders that got sick and died. Its time for cleaning house of politicians in Fed., State and Local governments, these people are monsters.

  12. It is also hard to believe that the all knowing feds didn’t know that asbestos was a carcinogen? Or that the myriad of drugs that have caused problems and lawsuits were not harmful? Could it have something to do with 90% of Congress are lawyers and trial lawyers give tons of cash to political campaigns? It costs every one of us, rich or poor, a lot of money every year to line rich trial lawyers pockets with more and more money. Hillary’s brother made millions off the tobacco settlement. There again, the government knew long long ago that tobacco was harmful, why are they not responsible for at least some of the punishment or responsibility? We are well on our way to 20 trillion in debt, what is a few more million?

  13. I don’t know about you, but this goes all the way up to the president – and he ignored it. So did Hillary.

  14. Let me guess another liberal pukegressive run city, but they only have your interest at heart, yeah, keep voting them in a-holes

  15. Alleged Comment | December 26, 2015 at 2:58 pm | Reply

    They would love to make you all retarded. Slaves I think they called them. They want slaves.

  16. Lead GOOD – Fed BAD!

  17. Where are the criminal actions? If I was a victim it would be dealt with.

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