A study shows that lead levels in Flint children are at a all time low. Is it just me or does this study seem like BS?

Getty Images, Bill Pugliano

So a recent study featured below mentions that close to 16,000 blood samples were taken from Flint children and shows that flint water is much safer than before.

I personally have a hard time believing any news in regards to the whole water crisis situation. I can only hope that there is some truth to this article and they're not just blowing smoke.

 

Source: Mlive.com

FLINT, MI -- Blood lead levels in Flint children ages 5 and younger hit an all-time low in 2016, according to a study published in the Journal of Pediatrics.

Researchers say results of the study suggest that efforts to abate the city's water crisis are working.

Researchers analyzed lead concentrations of 15,817 blood samples from children over an 11-year period. They found that between 2006 and 2016, the percentage of children with blood lead levels over five micrograms per deciliter dropped from 11.8 percent to 3.2 percent.

Blood lead levels dropped from 2.33 micrograms per deciliter in 2006, to 1.15 micrograms per deciliter in 2016. The mean blood lead level during the height of the water crisis in 2015 was 1.3, up from 1.19 in the previous year.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends public health action when blood levels are at 5 micrograms per deciliter or higher.

"These findings suggest that, even when taking into account exposure to corrosive Flint water, long term public health efforts to reduce lead exposure in the community have been largely effective," said Dr. lead author Hernan Gomez, a medical toxicologist and pediatrician at Michigan Medicine said.

Since the water crisis, water filters, pipe replacements, a switch back to Lake Huron for the city's source of water and several fresh food initiatives have been implemented in an effort to abate the effects of lead exposure in the drinking water.

"There is no known safe blood level of lead, and the ultimate public health goal is for children to have zero amounts of lead in their system," Gomez said. "It's unacceptable that any child was exposed to drinking water with elevated lead concentrations. We wanted to provide a complete picture of blood lead concentrations of Flint children before, during and after their exposure to contaminated drinking water."

Lead is a potent neurotoxin and elevated blood lead levels are associated with increased risk of lower intelligence quotient scores, academic failure and aggressive behavior in children. Toxic effects for levels far higher than those reported during the crisis may also include anemia and kidney damage.

Childhood blood lead levels in the city have been steadily declining since 2006 with the exception of two spikes.

The first spike occurred between 2014 and 2015, when the city's water was contaminated with lead. A random second spike occurred in between 2010 and 2011 when the mean for blood lead levels went up from 1.75 micrograms per deciliter to 1.87.

The spike predates the water crisis by four years and authors say its unexplained and needs to be explored further.

"The fact that we managed to, with abatement efforts, not only lower from the peak levels during the crisis, but managed even to get it to a historic low: I think it's positive," Gomez said.