The cautionary tale of Flint

A few weeks ago, the New England Journal of Medicine published a piece by David Bellinger about the lead contamination of water in Flint.  Bellinger calls it a abject public health failure.  It’s a good article about the health problems associated with lead poisoning, and Bellinger dives a little into the financial problems that led to such a crisis.

I’ve been trying to come up with a good post about what has occurred in Flint, although with all of the information out there in the mainstream media, and along with this article, I honestly don’t think much commentary is needed.

But I will add this.  Flint is not the end of this crisis; it is only the beginning.  It is but a cautionary tale. There are hundreds if not thousands of communities just like Flint – once great industrial centers that have fallen into poverty and with it their infrastructure.  That decline is  due to a variety of factors – many of which are politically charged and I won’t get into that now – but whatever the reason, Flint is not alone.

During this election cycle, I keep hearing that voters are angry – angry at the government for the economy, for changing social values, for terrorism, for corporate greed – whatever the reason.  But what I don’t hear is enough people being angry that the government – whether local, state, or federal – is not investing enough in infrastructure and therefore  no longer protecting its own people.  I don’t hear enough people being angry that the government literally poisoned its own people in Flint.  And I certainly don’t hear enough people asking which communities are next.

About justgngr

the ramblings of a medical professional by day, judgmental ginger by night
This entry was posted in health policy, politics and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to The cautionary tale of Flint

  1. Afraid says:

    This is happening everywhere. In my state it’s being done by strip mining and liquid fracking whereby the contamination goes into our groundwater. So, I guess they weren’t joking when they said that “water is the new oil.”

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