Elevated levels of lead in adults unnoticed

Capital News Service
LANSING —  While the Flint water crisis brought national attention to children exposed to lead, a larger group of adults and children with elevated lead levels is mostly ignored, officials say.  
Young children whose parents have elevated blood lead levels are a high-risk group, health experts say. In Michigan, 34 percent of children under 6 with parents who have elevated lead levels also have elevated levels, according to a 2014 report by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. The lead comes home on the shoes and clothes of the parents who pick it up at work. “The percentage of children in this group is much higher than in Flint,” said  Ken Rosenman, chief of the Division of Occupational and Environmental Medicine at Michigan State University.

Flint through different lenses

Capital News Service
LANSING — I got to know Scott Atkinson in a Land Rover rattling through the Australian Outback. That was in 2004 when he was a student in my study abroad class.  I figured him for Hemingway-like aspirations. Within days of our arrival, he bought a kangaroo-hide hat that rocked an Indiana Jones vibe. He wrote about our Aboriginal guide, a man who sought his ancient roots – connections that had been severed by a government policy that produced what is now called Australia’s Stolen Generation.

Untapped: When your only potable water comes in a bottle

Capital News Service
FLINT — The view from the driveway is surprisingly normal: there is snow on the ground, the neighbors’ children are playing basketball in the street and the landscaping is meticulously manicured. Inside, family pictures adorn the walls, a television hangs above the fireplace and several houseplants complement the décor. This house could be any suburban home in the country. Except…various-sized water bottles fill drawers and cover countertops, and cases of bottled water are stacked in the mudroom. This is the home of Angel and Edeline Garcia, residents of Flint for the past 15 years and now victims of that city’s water crisis.

Meridian Township sends its sympathy — and water — to Flint

By Kelly Sheridan
The Meridian Times Staff Reporter

This past year, Flint has made headlines with its ongoing water crisis. Since April 2014, there have been high traces of lead in their tap water, causing it to be unusable by its residents. Forty-five miles southwest of Flint, Meridian Township has less worries about their water system, but still send their sympathy to Flint. “At first, I thought it was being exaggerated,” Michigan State student and Okemos resident Kasey Horan said. “But sadly, at this point, I just hear [stories from Flint] and think, ‘Oh great, here we go again.’”

People from all over the country have reached out to help Flint.

Clean water is all about effective stewardship in Meridian Township

By Julie Campbell
Meridian Times Staff Reporter

Michigan is no stranger when it comes to water crises. The poisonous water throughout Flint has been one of the top stories across the country as of late. There are have been many fundraisers and donations across the country, especially in Michigan, in order to help Flint with their tragedy. However, Meridian Township realizes that they must not only help Flint, but also take action to prevent something like this happening to them in the near future. It can happen to any community.

Policies, social realities may be behind water, air disasters

Capital News Service
LANSING — It started with a blame game among government officials. Now, many people want to know whether the Flint water crisis was fueled by racism and classism. And according to environmental justice experts, these social drivers of environmental disasters are more than a Flint problem. They’re Michigan’s reality. While Flint suffered the consequences of corroding pipes and lead poisoning, Detroit residents are concerned about severe air quality issues in the city.

If Flint water is unsafe, what about yours?

Capital News Service
LANSING – While Flint struggles with lead in its water, other aging Michigan communities also have water lines made of the health-threatening metal. The National Drinking Water Advisory Council said in 2014 that there is no safe level of lead. It’s a costly problem to address. An American Water Works Association report, “Buried No Longer,” said the nation needs to replace aging pipelines that may contain lead or may leak. Over a 25-year span, “Buried No Longer” estimates that the country’s new drinking infrastructure will cost $1 trillion.

Voters have spoken, but police have final say

Capital News Service
LANSING — Supporters of marijuana decriminalization proposals passed in five Michigan cities say the move is a symbolic step towards better regulation, but residents still might want to wait before lighting up, according to law enforcement officials. Ballot proposals expanding legal marijuana use beyond current state and federal law earned voter approval by wide margins Nov. 6 in Detroit, Flint, Grand Rapids, Kalamazoo and Ypsilanti. Voters in Detroit and Flint supported decriminalization of less than one ounce of marijuana for those older than 21 and 19, respectively. Grand Rapids voted to make marijuana possession a civil infraction, Ypsilanti determined marijuana possession to be the city’s “lowest police priority,” and Kalamazoo received voter authorization to construct up to three medical marijuana dispensaries within city limits.