In March, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services finally declared Flint’s tap water, befouled by massive lead contamination, was safe for bathing for both adults and children.
One resident, however, emphatically rejects the government’s statement.
YouTube user Melissa Mays recently posted a video of her bathtub full of contaminated water on the video-streaming website in a bid to explain how the ongoing lead poisoning crisis in the embattled Michigan city is far from resolved.
She even invites state officials responsible for the catastrophe — primarily Gov. Rick Snyder — to take a bath in her tub to experience what Flint’s people are going through.
“I am done with the smells, I’m done with the pain, I’m done with being on sick leave I haven’t received a paycheck since December of 2015,” the upset mother of three can be heard saying in the video, adding the fumes from the water are so strong she has to open a window, keep the air vent turned on at all times and use an inhaler.
It all began in 2014 when the city, under Snyder's orders, switched from the Detroit's water system with water Lake Huron to the Flint River, reportedly to save money — some $5 million. But the corrosive water was not treated and, over time, allowed harmful substances such as lead and copper to leach from the old pipes. Last October, after state government admitted it had failed to prevent water contamination, Flint switched back to Detroit's water system.
The controversy took a turn for the worse when reports emerged about the state government knowing about the poisoned water for at least a year before the crisis was publicly exposed.
In the video, Mays says her tap water turned from yellow to a blue-green color a year ago. It currently contains harmful carcinogenic chemicals such as chloroform and dichlorobenzene, as analyzed by Scott Smith, chief scientist at Water Defense.
After Snyder, the outraged Flint resident called out Republican Utah Sen. Mike Lee for delaying a $250 million bill to provide federal funds to Flint and other areas facing problems with their drinking water.
“Come live with us, with this smell and this god awful water that burns your skin and tell me how quickly you would send money to your own family if this was them,” she continued.
Mays also complained about hair loss, rashes and other severe skin problems — and apparently she isn’t the only Flint resident experiencing the symptoms.
As of April 12, “Investigators had talked to 538 people who complained of rashes or other skin problems. Of those, 388 qualified for the study because they had an active rash that appeared after the city switched back to Detroit water,” states a New York Times report.
A separate study by professor Marc Edwards and his Flint Water Study team at Virginia Tech also found the city’s water remains unsafe to drink.
Thumbnail/Banner Credits: Reuters