When the Flint, MI water crisis hit the news in 2015, people around the world took notice. Hundreds of children across Flint had alarmingly high blood lead levels. Many still do. The problem was quickly traced back to lead contamination in the city’s water supply. The water that Flint’s families and caregivers used to cook, drink and bathe in was poisoning their children.
The Flint crisis highlights a problem that impacts millions of children in the United States. Children’s blood lead levels in places like Milwaukee, Baltimore and Philadelphia are actually much higher than in Flint. The poisoning happens because of lead in water, but also because of lead dust in buildings. And the children most in danger are children from families with low incomes and children of color.