Mexico City, Susan Davis and Npr discussed on Weekend Edition Sunday

Automatic TRANSCRIPT

This is weekend edition from npr news i'm little garcia navarro hosting from mexico city this morning and i'm susan davis in washington dc in late twenty fifteen michigan state officials admitted the drinking water in flint was poisoned by lead the city's moved to switch the water supply to the flint river was corroding pipes and leaching lead into the drinking water and the public may never have known about any of it if not for the work of one local doctor dr mona hannah a teasha is a pediatrician and researcher at the hurley medical center in flint and over the course of several sleepless weeks she went from knowing nothing about the city's water supply to becoming a whistleblower who scientifically proved that flint's kids were being exposed to let she tells her side of the flint story in a new book with the is don't see and i wanted to know more about what that title means we literally cannot see leaden water it's odorless it's tasteless it's it's clear we also don't see the consequences for years if not decades later but this book is also beyond flint it's about the people the places in the problems that we choose not to see flint was a forgotten city neglected really for decades but ultimately this title is about the ability for all of us to see the problems that are right in front of us and to make a difference in our communities why is led so dangerous for children so ladd as probably the most well studied neurotoxins we've known about it evilness really for centuries yet we've continued to put it in industrial goods it impacts children the most because as when children do brains are developing it impacts combination actually dropping iq levels at alters a child's entire life course trajectory see you know this as a doctor and you write in the book that you have your friend ellen over for dinner and she's a water researcher and she just kinda says you hey you know what you should really look at the water in flint and is it fair to say this set you often what i would call me be a bit of a crusade absolutely it began a quest so yeah i was at home glass of wine in my hand and my friend just happened to be a water expert happened to be with the epa and she she's the one that told me for the very first time that the water wasn't being treated properly and that there were probably be leading the water any pediatrician with a bath round in public health or environmental health anybody who knows what led does and knows some of our most vulnerable kids all over not only in flint but detroit and chicago and dc some of our most kids already had higher rates of legs mosier just like our kids already didn't flint so when i heard of the potential of population wide lead exposure in our drinking water i freaked out i had to see if that lead in the water was was getting into the size of our children so conducted research i i tried to get that data from the state and from the county and the state in the county at this point are saying the water's fine literally saying relax that it meets all compliance guidelines for eighteen months they were reassuring the people flint who her role said i think something's wrong my water tastes weird it looks weird the colors weird but the state was saying everything was fine and then i conducted probably the easiest research project i've i've ever done and i just looked at children's lead levels over time and what we saw was that children's lead levels which we do part of routine screening had increased in.

Coming up next