Medical perspectives on Flint & beyond

In a piece for  The Conversation, University of Michigan Drs Tammy Chang and Nicole Gergen write about the need for Flint’s crisis to wake America up to the need for better and more uniform lead testing standards for children nationwide. “It is time to reexamine our policies and practices around lead exposure so that what happened in Flint is an isolated incident rather than a harbinger of more preventable tragedies that may be silently unfolding across the country right now,” they write.

Meanwhile, in a piece for US News & World Report, University of Michigan Drs Mahshid Abir and Rebecca Cunningham of the Medical School, and their colleague Marc Zimmerman of the School of Public Health, note the importance of community resilience in “bouncing back” from a crisis such as the one in Flint. “The effect of the lead water crisis in Flint will not be limited to the children who have been exposed to lead and their families,” they write. “This latest blow to the public’s trust in government in the setting of an impoverished community with high baseline rates of mental illness and substance abuse could have significant adverse health implications on the larger community for years to come.”

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