Authorities in Jackson, Mississippi are reassuring residents that their water isn’t unsafe, but simultaneously advising pregnant women and children to avoid drinking the water given its high levels of lead.
According to MS News Now, 100 sites were tested for lead in January with 11 exceeding the lead action level. Disturbingly, the first tests were done in June 2015 but officials waited eight months to notify residents.
“The City of Jackson’s source water and finished drinking water leaving the plant do not contain lead. Lead enters the water from the corrosion of materials containing lead,” MS News Now reports.
Like the crisis in Flint, Michigan, this problem stems from corrosive materials contaminating the water supply — a common theme in America's crumbling infrastructure.
While government has responded more promptly to Jackson than officials’ deplorable handling of Flint, the warning raises questions — yet again — about water safety in the United States and who the government is willing to protect.
Flint, Jackson, Crystal City, Texas and Sebring, Ohio have all been tainted with water contamination. These cities are either mostly made up people of color, predominantly impoverished communities, or both. In light of these news developments, speculation looms on whether this kind of catastrophe would ever happen in a white, affluent area.
These water epidemics are not merely isolated incidents and the frightening pattern signals political corruption and clear exploitation of the socioeconomically disadvantaged.
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