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« Federal health officials agree radioactive waste in St. Louis area may be linked to cancer | Main | Iraqi-American Doctor Who Revealed Flint Water Crisis Slams Trump & Travel Ban at March for Science »
Thursday
Sep212017

Flint’s lead-poisoned water had a ‘horrifyingly large’ effect on fetal deaths, study finds

As reported by the Washington Post:

The fertility rate in Flint, Mich., dropped precipitously after the city decided to switch to lead-poisoned Flint River water in 2014, according to a new working paper.

That decline was primarily driven by what the authors call a “culling of the least healthy fetuses” resulting in a “horrifyingly large” increase in fetal deaths and miscarriages. The paper estimates that among the  babies conceived from November 2013 through March 2015, “between 198 and 276 more children would have been born had Flint not enacted the switch in water,” write health economists Daniel Grossman of West Virginia University and David Slusky of Kansas University...

The change in Flint amounted to a 58 percent increase in fetal deaths, relative to areas not afflicted by lead-poisoned water, a change the authors characterized as “horrifyingly large.”

The hazards of ionizing radioactivity, and the toxic heavy metal lead, have a lot in common. For one thing, fetuses are the most vulnerable life stage to ionizing radioactivity's hazards, just as they are to lead. 

Beyond Nuclear published an article in Counterpunch in Jan. 2016, entitled "After Flint, Don't Nuke the Great Lakes Next." It focused on Ontario Power Generation's insane scheme to bury the province's "low" and "intermediate" level radioactive wastes, less than a mile from the waters of Lake Huron.

As the Post article above reports, Flint switched back to healthy Lake Huron water, after the Flint River drinking water catastrophe. But if OPG's DGR (Deep Geologic Repository) opens, and leaks, people downstream would be harmed -- and fetuses are most at risk. 

40 million people, in eight states, two provinces, and a large number of Native American First Nations, draw their drinking water from the Great Lakes.