BlogLead and PFAS in Flint Michigan 10 Years Later

April 29, 20240

The Flint Water Crisis: A Recap

Ten years have passed since the catastrophic decision to switch Flint, Michigan’s water supply from Lake Huron to the Flint River—a decision motivated by cost-cutting but resulting in a public health disaster. The corrosive water from the Flint River leached lead from old pipes directly into the homes of city residents, exposing them to high levels of this dangerous neurotoxin. This incident not only caused irreversible harm, particularly to children, but also thrust the issue of lead contamination in drinking water into the national spotlight.

Persistent Risks and Nationwide Responses

Even a decade later, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) reported that over 9 million lead service lines still exist, posing a silent threat to American households. In California, the situation is equally dire, with a recent study revealing dangerously high lead levels in one in four child-care centers.

In response, significant federal funds have been allocated through the 2021 Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL), directing nearly $15 billion to replace lead service lines across the nation, benefiting California with an estimated $250 million annually over five years. This initiative not only promises to enhance public health but also offers substantial economic returns by mitigating health costs—an estimated $1 billion to $6 billion in benefits for California alone.

The Dual Threat: Lead and PFAS Contamination

However, lead is not the only peril lurking in our water. The pervasive threat of PFAS (per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances), also known as “forever chemicals,” continues to contaminate water supplies, affecting up to 25 million Californians. These chemicals, linked to numerous health issues including cancer, have been found in significant levels across various water sources in the state.

Advocating for Change: Vineet Dubey’s Mission

At CD Law, our commitment to environmental justice is spearheaded by Vineet Dubey, an accomplished environmental lawyer who has challenged major corporations like Amazon and Bumpkin Baby over their sale of products containing PFAS. Dubey emphasizes the critical need for infrastructure and public health vigilance.

“As we reflect on the tragedy of Flint, it’s clear that while strides have been made in addressing lead contamination, our work is far from over,” states Dubey. “The story of lead in our water serves as a sobering reminder of the consequences of neglecting our infrastructure and public health. Similarly, the looming threat of PFAS contamination, including the notable presence of PFAs in Flint, Michigan, demands our immediate attention. As we start to replace lead service lines, we must ramp up efforts to eliminate PFAS from our water supplies.”

Moving Forward: A Call to Action

At CD Law, we understand that the fight for a safer environment is ongoing. We stand ready to support and advocate for those affected by these contaminants, pushing for the necessary changes to secure clean and safe water for all Californians. If you or someone you know has been impacted by lead or PFAS contamination, contact us to explore your legal options. Together, we can strive for a healthier, more just world.



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