Health officials speak out on lead, other contamination issues i - WNEM TV 5

Health officials speak out on lead, other contamination issues in city water

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After more than a year of public concerns, the medical community stepped forward on Thursday to address the health concerns of lead contamination in city water.

Dr. Lawrence Reynolds is disturbed by the high levels of lead in Flint water.

"There is no amount of lead that is safe for human's to consume especially for young children," Reynolds said.

The CEO of the Mott Children's Health Center joined other medical professionals to express concerns about data which showed lead levels have more than doubled in some neighborhoods since the city started tapping into the Flint River for water. 

The county health director is equally alarmed.

"In the case of lead in water, you can't taste it. You can't smell it the only way to detect it  is to have your water tested," said Director Marck Valacek.

Research was done independently and recently released by Professor Marc Edwards of Virginia Tech, an expert in the field.

These new results have alarmed the medical community.

"I don't think the lead is new – the lead issue is new. The other chemicals that where elevated known or unknown didn't have such a research backing what that would do to people," said Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha, from Hurley Children’s Hospital.

Residents said they wondered if city officials fully understood the scope of the problem. City administrator, Natasha Henderson, insists they do.

"We are here to show support and to say that we are going to do anything and work with the health coalition and the medical community in any type of way to insure that their concerns are addressed," Henderson said.

The mayor has asked the governor for an additional $30 million to address water problems, with $10 million to address lead contamination.

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