Did Flint’s Water Crisis Damage Kids’ Brains?

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“Detroit Free Press columnist Rochelle Riley recently noticed a startling fact about kids in the lead-poisoned city of Flint, Michigan: They have become increasingly bad at reading since the water crisis began in 2014. A state government report showed that, from the year 2014 to the year 2017, third-grade reading proficiency in the city dropped from 41.8 percent to 10.7 percent. “That’s nearly a three-quarters drop in third-grade reading proficiency among children whose lives were affected by lead poisoned water during the Flint water crisis,” she wrote.

The Center for American Progress declared that Flint’s water crisis “has lead to a reading proficiency crisis,” while HuffPost reporter Alanna Vagianos tweeted that lead exposure in Flint was “having a significant developmental effect on children.” Their worry is grounded in the fact that, according to the CDC, lead exposure to children “can cause learning disabilities, behavioral problems, and, at very high levels, seizures, coma, and even death.””

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