Since 2014, the environmental concerns of Flint, Michigan’s water has been a popular topic. National attention to public health concerns has grown all over the United States in regards to acceptable water and air quality. Although the Environmental Protection Agency requires testing for lead and copper in water systems every three years, there are currently 18 million Americans living in communities where the water quality is in violation of federal regulations.
Big cities make big noise
Major cities like Philadelphia, considered to be the worst, Chicago, where 80% of properties are hooked up to service lines made of lead, and Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where 70,000 lead service lines are affected, receive considerable attention. Nationally, the levels lead exposure among children have decreased over the decades; however, in certain areas, lead levels remain at dangerously alarming.
Small cities get ignored
Smaller cities in Mississippi, like Yazoo City and Moss Point, are rarely mentioned when the quality of water is discussed nationally. throughout the United States, there are 33 cities and 17 states that have used water testing “cheats” that potentially conceal dangerous levels of lead. In March, four schools in Jackson, MS, tested and measured 56 times the allowable federal lead level. In weeks following, three more schools reported unsafe lead levels. Even worse, Sandbranch, Texas, is a city that has never had running water, and their well water has not been drinkable for at least thirty years.
Effects high lead levels in the Blood
High levels of lead in the bloodstream can result in breakouts of the skin, hyperactivity, behavioral and developmental issues, and stunted growth, among other ailments in children. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, there are six counties of Mississippi that suffer in high-risk areas for lead poisoning: the City of Meridian, the City of Jackson, the City of Hattiesburg, the City of West Point, the City of Moss Point, and the City of Yazoo City. Since 2010, Mississippi has experienced an 18% increase in children tested for abnormal lead.