In the News

Don’t Throw the Baby Out with the Tap Water

Authors Rebecca Ullrich and Maryam Adamu explore the consequences of the Flint, Michigan, water crisis for early childhood development.

Authors

  • Rebecca Ullrich
  • Maryam Adamu

Today, a two-year-old child living in Flint, Michigan could have been exposed to lead-laced water for over half of her young life. Seemingly mundane, everyday tasks — like taking a bath, brushing her teeth, washing her hands, or having a drink of water — became hazardous when a state-appointed emergency manager, tasked with helping the city of Flint manage its finances, overruled the city council and connected the public water system to the Flint River in April 2014. For roughly 18 months, corrosive water was pumped into the city’s restaurants, hospitals, homes, and schools, leaching lead from their pipes and effectively exposing its entire population to a highly toxic chemical. An official warning to avoid drinking tap water was issued in early October 2015.

But for many of the 9,000 young children who call Flint home, this warning came too late.

The above excerpt was originally published in Medium. Click here to view the full article.

The positions of American Progress, and our policy experts, are independent, and the findings and conclusions presented are those of American Progress alone. A full list of supporters is available here. American Progress would like to acknowledge the many generous supporters who make our work possible.

Authors

Rebecca Ullrich

Policy Analyst

Maryam Adamu

Research Associate