Mar 18, 2020

Flint Pediatrician Finds Links Between Water & Learning Development

Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha finds 80% of Flint, Michigan's children will require services for language, learning or intellectual disorders

drinking water

Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha, the Flint., Michigan pediatrician who first exposed the link between city water and high blood levels in children alleges that early results of neuropsychological assessments of 174 city children have found 80% will require services for language, learning or intellectual disorders.

Crews for the CBS program have followed work by the Pediatric Public Health Initiative that she has directed. A pending report is expected to include information on the initial results of brain assessments of children exposed to Flint water and early results of testing baby teeth of Flint children to measure their exposure to lead, reported MLive.

Before the crisis, 15% of Flint children required special education services.

Flint’s water source was changed to the Flint River in April 2014, but the city never treated its water to make it less corrosive to lead pipes and plumbing, reported MLive. There were increases in bacteria and lead in water and the water source was changed back to pre-treated water from Lake Huron.

Hanna-Attisha publicly presented the results of her study comparing the blood lead levels of Flint children before and after the water switch. The study showed the percentage of Flint infants and children with above average lead levels nearly doubled citywide and nearly tripled among children in high risk areas of lead exposure.

Hanna-Attisha has also worked studying the baby teeth of Flint children. According to her, the study of baby teeth is worthwhile because the teeth are similar to the rings in a tree that’s been cut open, showing how much lead a child has been exposed to and when the exposure occurred.

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