With the recent shocking events of the contaminated water supply in Michigan coming to light, the world has become horribly aware of the harmful side effects that lead can bring.
Around two years ago, the state of Michigan decided to cut costs by switching the city of Flint’s water supply from Lake Huron — which they were paying the city of Detroit for — to the dirtier Flint River. This switch happened during a period of financial crisis for the industrialized town and was originally meant to be a temporary solution while building a state-run supply line to Lake Huron. Well, this temporary solution has become a permanent fixture and citizens of Flint, especially children, are suffering immeasurably.
Immediately after the switch, the water coming from the tap smelled and tasted funky and was a dirty dark brown. Researchers soon discovered this was because the Flint River was 19 times more corrosive than Lake Huron’s supply. The city government wasn’t treating this water properly, so the water started to erode the iron and lead water mains. Yum.
This toxic wastewater infiltrated every aspect of the residents’ lives. Many complained of rashes, clumps of hair falling out, and hard red bumps appearing when washing their hands. Their children were silently suffering the most, as children under the age of six are more susceptible to lead poisoning since they grow at such a rapid rate. Their blood lead levels disturbingly reached triple what they should have been. The U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention set 10 micrograms per deciliter as a ‘level of concern’. These numbers were in the 20s and 30s.
Lead poisoning is irreversible. These children with double and triple levels will undoubtedly suffer lifelong consequences, including developing skills at a slower speed than other children, a low IQ, behavioral problems, hearing loss, a compromised immune system, and brain damage. It has also been linked to criminality seeing that children who are lead poisoned are seven times more likely to drop out of school and six times more likely to become involved with the juvenile justice system. Reports estimate that there are over 8,000 children affected in Flint.
As a contractor, it is your duty to complete lead renovator training and to become a certified lead renovator through specific lead certification courses. Becoming EPA lead certified will give you the proper training that will ensure the safety of your firm, clients, and yourself. Lead certification courses are available both online and in person and will guide you through the proper lead inspector training so you can correctly determine where the lead is coming from, whether it be from dust, paint, the soil, or the water supply and how to dispose of it properly.
We can’t let this crisis go on any longer, and it all starts with lead certification courses. Sign up today.