Recent research has revealed that more than three thousand areas in the country have lead levels twice as high as the ones previously recorded in Flint, Michigan during the water crisis.
The Flint water contamination occurred two years ago when the city changed the water supply. Last year, the health specialists conducted a survey during which they found out that roughly 4 to 5% of children tested positive for lead poisoning.
The researcher used data from the CDC and other health departments and established that 1,100 local communities had elevated rates of lead blood levels which were minimum four times higher than the ones found in Flint.
Based on the study findings, areas in Philadelphia, Cleveland, and Baltimore had a forty to fifty percent increase in blood lead levels over the past ten years. Also, other 278 zip code areas and 2,606 census tracts had a lead poisoning rate twice as high as the one in Michigan.
It is worth mentioning that the average population ranges between 2,500 and 8,000 residents in census tracts, whereas zip code areas have a median population of 7,500. However, the study cannot be applied to every state in the country.
More precisely, it covers 21 states or approximately 61 percent of the United States population. Lead exposure can cause renal impairment, hypertension, toxicity to reproductive organs, and anemia.
Those exposed to high lead levels can suffer convulsions, coma, and death in the worst-case scenario. Lead is a heavy metal neurotoxin which can have major detrimental effects on children causing a wide range of symptoms, such as stomach pain, headaches, and irreversible behavioral and neurological disorders including A.D.H.D.
Previous research has shown that chronic exposure to lead was a major factor influencing an elevated violent crime rate and a decline in overall IQ scores. The researchers underline that the number of children exposed to lead might be much higher because many of them were not screened.
Industrial waste and crumbling paint have always been the primary sources of lead poisoning across the country. Even if Flint received roughly $170 million to tackle lead poisoning, many other areas don’t receive so much publicity.
In addition, although lead exposure in children has declined by over 90 percent over the past three decades, the CDC reports underline that minimum four million American children are still exposed to dangerous lead levels.