Documentary illustrates possible long-term effects of lead-poiso - WNEM TV 5

Documentary illustrates possible long-term effects of lead-poisoning

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FLINT, MI (WNEM) -

For many people in Flint, bottled water is the only safe water they have access to.

Maria Gonzalez said it's a nightmare to think her two children may suffer the lifelong consequences of lead poisoning.

"I took my kids to get lead testing done. It takes a month to get it back," Gonzalez said.

She's worried about what those results might say.

And maybe for good reason. A documentary shown in Flint on Monday night painted a grim picture for children with lead poisoning.

Tamara Rubin founded the Lead Safe America Foundation. She is also the director of the documentary MisLEAD: America's secret epidemic.

In the documentary, mothers tell all about their children's disabilities caused by lead.

Rubin's own 11-year old son, Avi, was exposed in 2005 and has permanent brain damage and trouble reading.

"I realized that one of things the moms from Flint aren't getting, a piece of information not being told to them, is what's going to happen in 5 years from now, 10, 20 years from now," Rubin said.

Rubin said families exposed will need resources, which is a process that needs to start immediately.

"You need interventions and therapies and assessments that actually look at where the deficits are," Rubin said.

The story of 6-year old Oliver McWilliams is also documented in the film.

"He just gets angry and doesn't know why. And can't control himself, and that's the hardest part," said Oliver’s mom, Haven McWilliams.

His mother said the pain this community could endure is hard for her to imagine.

"Watching my kids grow and knowing that other people are going to go through the same thing," McWilliams said.

The long-term effects here likely won't be seen for a few years.

But just the thought is tough for families to swallow.

"What can happen to them? Their brains," Gonzalez said.

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