Expert declares qualified end to water crisis in Flint
DETROIT — An expert who has warned about dangerous lead levels in Flint, Mich.’s drinking water declared on Friday a qualified end to the crisis.
Virginia Tech researcher Marc Edwards made the announcement two years to the day after standing in front of City Hall with residents and other researchers to highlight serious lead contamination problem in the financially struggling industrial city’s water supply.
Edwards warned against celebration. He recommended the continued use of filters and warned many residents will take a long time to regain trust in government officials who initially dismissed their concerns.
“Today, we have equally definitive data showing that the levels of these parameters currently in Flint water are now back to normal levels for a city with old lead pipes,” Edwards said. “Obviously, there is still a crisis of confidence … that’s not going to be restored any time soon. It’s beyond the reach of science to solve — it can only be addressed by years of trustworthy behaviour by government agencies, who unfortunately lost that trust … in the first place.”
Edwards’ team has collected samples from 138 Flint homes. The testing showed that lead levels continued to stay well below the federal safety standard of 15 parts per billion.
Shawn Jones, right, and Tony Price distribute bottled water at a point of distribution at Saint Mark Missionary Baptist Church last month.