A few weeks ago, Elite Daily told you about the horrific gas leak in Southern California. Since then, little progress has been made in stopping the leak, or helping those affected by it. (In fact, things may actually be getting worse.)
Now, it's time you learned about the contaminated waters of Flint, Michigan, aka the other horrifying disaster happening in the US that more people need to be talking about.
In March 2014, the city of Flint switched its water supply from the Detroit line to the Flint River as part of a cost-cutting initiative. Since then, the water has remained so contaminated with lead that it is not only undrinkable, but also extremely detrimental to human health.
How bad is lead for you, really?
As the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention explains,
Lead is highly toxic, especially to young children. It can harm a child's brain, kidneys, bone marrow and other body systems. At high levels, lead can cause coma, convulsions and death.
And how high is the level of lead in the water from the Flint River, really?
According to a group of Virginia Tech researchers, it's bad enough to meet the EPA's definition of "toxic waste."
Since 2014, 10 people have reportedly died in Flint from legionnaires' disease, a form of atypical pneumonia, caused by water contamination.
Between June 2014 and November 2015, 87 cases of the disease have been reported.
Things have gotten so bad in Flint, that on Friday, Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder asked the government for a Federal Disaster Declaration, which would provide federal aid to the city's residents.
In a statement, Snyder said,
We are utilizing all state resources to ensure Flint residents have access to clean and safe drinking water and today I am asking President Obama to provide additional resources as our recovery efforts continue.
In addition to the requested declaration, Michigan state Attorney General Bill Schuette also announced on Thursday, he will investigate any criminal wrongdoing as part of the disaster.
In a press release, Schuette said,
As attorney general, I will investigate this situation to determine if any Michigan state laws have been broken. Without fear or favor, I will carry out my responsibility to enforce the laws meant to protect Michigan families and represent the citizens of Flint.
Still, even with the attorney general's investigation, the people of Flint are taking no chances, and together, they have filed a class-action lawsuit.
Sure, this all sounds bad, but how does it look?
Here are a few photos, shared on Twitter, of what the water in Flint actually looks like. As you scroll, think to yourself, 'Would I drink this, or let anyone I love do the same?'
Don't forget: This has been the only publicly available water to the people of Flint since 2014.