Pediatrics & Human Development Assistant Professor Mona Hanna-Attisha made The Guardian this week, describing contaminated drinking water pulled from the Flint River as a "toxic soup" that is poisoning the children of Flint.
“This is an emergency. People think of disasters as being hurricanes, or tornadoes, or ice storms, but this is a disaster right here in Flint that is alarming and absolutely gut-wrenching,” Hanna-Attisha said on Wednesday.
Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha, Director of Hurley Medical Center's Pediatric Residency Program, started seeing elevated concentrations in her patients' blood shortly after the City of Flint began pulling its drinking water from the Flint River.
She did and found that the proportion of children across a city sample who had blood lead levels in the danger zone had doubled from 2.1% before the switch to river water to 4% after.
In certain vulnerable city zip codes, the number had jumped from 2.5% to 6.3% with blood lead levels above five micrograms per deciliter – the amount officially described as “elevated” and of public health concern.
In response to these revelation, the Flint mayor's office has declared a state of emergency, hoping to receive state and federal assistance to deal with this blooming public health crisis.
We in the Department of Pediatrics & Human Development congratulate our colleague Dr. Hanna-Attisha, and commend her for her fastidious and determined advocacy. In her selfless support for her patients, their families, and the community at large, Dr. Hanna-Attisha embodies the Pediatrics & Human Development ethic: To advance the healthy development and well-being of children and adolescents through innovative medical education, research, clinical care, and advocacy, emphasizing community-based partnerships.
Thank you, Dr. Hanna-Attisha, and keep fighting the good fight!