Monday, July 30, 2018

Researchers: Flint Kids Were not Poisoned

Key statement: But based on this more comprehensive view of the data, we are forced to admit that the furor over this issue seems way out of proportion to the actual dangers to the children from lead exposure.

Two researchers who first warned about higher levels of lead in the water supply of Flint, Michigan concluded that Flint's children were not poisoned.  Dr. Hernan Gomez and Dr. Kim Dietrich said in a column published on July 22 in the right-wing New York Times:


Words are toxic, too. Labeling Flint’s children as “poisoned,” as many journalists and activists have done since the city’s water was found to be contaminated with lead in 2014, unjustly stigmatizes their generation....

But there is no reason to expect that what happened for a year and a half in Flint will inevitably lead to such effects. The casual use of the word “poisoned,” which suggests that the affected children are irreparably brain-damaged, is grossly inaccurate. In a city that already battles high poverty and crime rates, this is particularly problematic....

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention now considers a blood lead level in children of 5 micrograms per deciliter and higher to be a “reference level.” This measure is intended to identify children at higher risk and set off communitywide prevention activities.

It does not suggest that a child needs medical treatment. In fact, the C.D.C. recommends medical treatment only for blood lead levels at or above 45 micrograms per deciliter. Not a single child in Flint tested this high. This was a surprise for several visiting celebrities, who requested a visit to the “lead ward” of Hurley Children’s Hospital.....

Nonetheless, the reference level has been misinterpreted by laypeople — and even public health officials — as a poisoning threshold.

After Flint’s water was switched from Detroit’s municipal system to the Flint River, the annual percentage of Flint children whose blood lead levels surpassed the reference level did increase — but only from 2.2 percent to 3.7 percent. One of us, Dr. Gómez, along with fellow researchers, reported these findings in a study in the June issue of The Journal of Pediatrics, which raised questions about how risks and statistics have been communicated regarding this issue.
Moving from evaluating percentages to examining actual blood lead levels in children, we found that levels did increase after the water switched over in 2014, but only by a modest 0.11 micrograms per deciliter. A similar increase of 0.12 micrograms per deciliter occurred randomly in 2010-11. It is not possible, statistically speaking, to distinguish the increase that occurred at the height of the contamination crisis from other random variations over the previous decade.  

For comparison, consider the fact that just 20 years ago, nearly 45 percent of young children in Michigan had blood lead levels above the current reference level. If we are to be consistent in the labeling of Flint children as “poisoned,” what are we to make of the average American who was a child in the 1970s or earlier? Answer: He has been poisoned and is brain-damaged. And poisoned with lead levels far above, and for a greater period, than those observed in Flint.

People were understandably dismayed by the government’s apparent failure to act quickly to switch back the water once concerns were raised in Flint. But based on this more comprehensive view of the data, we are forced to admit that the furor over this issue seems way out of proportion to the actual dangers to the children from lead exposure....
 
In the case of Flint, even when taking into account the change in the water supply, the decrease in blood lead levels over the last 11 years has actually been a public health success. The Journal of Pediatrics study found that between 2006 and 2015, the percentage of Flint children testing above the reference level decreased substantially, to 3.7 percent from 11.8 percent.

It is therefore unfair and inaccurate to point a finger at Flint and repeatedly use the word “poisoned.” All it does is terrify the parents and community members here who truly believe there may be a “generation lost” in this city, when there is no scientific evidence to support this conclusion.... Rest of column.
 
 Credentials? Here are their credentials:
 
 Hernán Gómez, an associate professor at the University of Michigan, emergency medicine pediatrician and medical toxicologist at Hurley Medical Center, was the lead author of the study “Blood Lead Levels of Children in Flint, Michigan: 2006-2016.” Kim Dietrich, a professor of epidemiology and environmental health at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, is the principal investigator of the Cincinnati Lead Study.

This is going to make more than a few heads explode.  How many people will be more upset that their narratives were crushed than are happy that the kids were not poisoned?

13 comments:

Anonymous said...

I’m sure CNN/ABC/NBC/CBS/MSNBC/NYT/ will all run the updated story
/sarc

Anonymous said...

I’m not sure what your point is KF. That people concerned about environmental hazards to public health are hypochondriacs? To me, this is like bragging about a cold day in December to a global warming advocate. I think the real danger here is trying to find an anecdote to discredit environmentalism.

Anonymous said...

That's wonderful news! Most do not need medical treatment for sepsis.

But, no one knew that until all the children were tested.

When any lead shows up, what you should do is remove the source of exposure.

Please check CDC and American Academy of Pediatrics on lead exposure and developmental risks.

This shouldn't be a partisan issue where facts are nit picked for political purpose.

Anonymous said...

Pump that Flint water into Madison and see whose heads explode then...

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately, feel good stories like kids drinking water fine, no lead, doesn’t make for good headlines. However, kids poisoned, lead dripping from faucets AND the sky is falling does. I don’t need no stinking facts, I have already made my mind up!

Anonymous said...

Your facts, however interesting, are irrelevant to those who would sow panic and hysteria in their efforts to blame Republicans for this disaster.

Anonymous said...

I bet the two researchers wouldn’t let their family members drink Flint’s “contaminated” water. Fix the problem and stop wasting money to save face.

Anonymous said...

@10:23am. We don’t need Flint’s H2o in Madison. We have Bear Creek in a city that is not run by Democrats.

Anonymous said...

11:39

Just like conservatives to conserve all the clean water for themselves. Drain the Bear Creek swamp.

Anonymous said...

@9:56 - please FO check CDC recommendations. They clearly state that levels below .5 need only be MONITORED. Therefore, levels between .2-.3 are obvioulsy NOT “poisoning”...as our much loved media would like us to believe.

Anonymous said...

@12:13pm. Your comment reminds me of the saying, you can’t fix stupid. Good luck.

Anonymous said...

"2016- FLINT, MI - The U.S. Senate approved a package earlier Saturday morning by a 78-21 vote that's expected to provide Flint up to $170 million to aid in the city's water crisis.

A portion of the $10 billion Water Infrastructure Improvements for the Nation Act includes a package that would make Flint the only community eligible for $100 million in new federal drinking water state revolving funds after a federal emergency was declared by President Obama in January 2016."

Federal bailout for local government after it mismanaged and squandered all of the local tax dollars and borrowed money received.

This is EXACTLY what Lumumba is hoping for, but it's not going to happen. All this manufactured hysteria is only driving more businesses and taxpayers away from the city that CLAIMS (falsely) the water is contaminated. Idiots!

Anonymous said...


I'm glad the percentage of toxic levels decreased from 11% to 3% but the percentage should be 0%.

Parents should have been informed immediately of the unacceptable levels so that they could buy filters or bottled water.

It's amazing to me that conservatives want the government to make health decisions for children without informing the parents a risk exists.

I also think there's a difference between hysteria and being angry to not have been informed!





2016 Hottest Reporter Poll

Suscribe to latest on JJ.

Recent Comments

Search Jackson Jambalaya

Subscribe to JJ's Youtube channel

Who is the hottest reporter?

Archives

Who is the Hottest Reporter in Jackson?

Trollfest '09

Trollfest '07 was such a success that Jackson Jambalaya will once again host Trollfest '09. Catch this great event which will leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Othor Cain and his band, The Black Power Structure headline the night while Sonjay Poontang returns for an encore performance. Former Frank Melton bodyguard Marcus Wright makes his premier appearance at Trollfest singing "I'm a Sweet Transvestite" from "The Rocky Horror Picture Show." Kamikaze will sing his new hit, “How I sold out to da Man.” Robbie Bell again performs: “Mamas, don't let your babies grow up to be Bells” and “Any friend of Ed Peters is a friend of mine”. After the show, Ms. Bell will autograph copies of her mug shot photos. In a salute to “Dancing with the Stars”, Ms. Bell and Hinds County District Attorney Robert Smith will dance the Wango Tango.

Wrestling returns, except this time it will be a Battle Royal with Othor Cain, Ben Allen, Kim Wade, Haley Fisackerly, Alan Lange, and “Big Cat” Donna Ladd all in the ring at the same time. The Battle Royal will be in a steel cage, no time limit, no referee, and the losers must leave town. Marshand Crisler will be the honorary referee (as it gives him a title without actually having to do anything).


Meet KIM Waaaaaade at the Entergy Tent. For five pesos, Kim will sell you a chance to win a deed to a crack house on Ridgeway Street stuffed in the Howard Industries pinata. Don't worry if the pinata is beaten to shreds, as Mr. Wade has Jose, Emmanuel, and Carlos, all illegal immigrants, available as replacements for the it. Upon leaving the Entergy tent, fig leaves will be available in case Entergy literally takes everything you have as part of its Trollfest ticket price adjustment charge.

Donna Ladd of The Jackson Free Press will give several classes on learning how to write. Smearing, writing without factchecking, and reporting only one side of a story will be covered. A donation to pay their taxes will be accepted and she will be signing copies of their former federal tax liens. Ms. Ladd will give a dramatic reading of her two award-winning essays (They received The Jackson Free Press "Best Of" awards.) "Why everything is always about me" and "Why I cover murders better than anyone else in Jackson".

In the spirit of helping those who are less fortunate, Trollfest '09 adopts a cause for which a portion of the proceeds and donations will be donated: Keeping Frank Melton in his home. The “Keep Frank Melton From Being Homeless” booth will sell chances for five dollars to pin the tail on the jackass. John Reeves has graciously volunteered to be the jackass for this honorable excursion into saving Frank's ass. What's an ass between two friends after all? If Mr. Reeves is unable to um, perform, Speaker Billy McCoy has also volunteered as when the word “jackass” was mentioned he immediately ran as fast as he could to sign up.


In order to help clean up the legal profession, Adam Kilgore of the Mississippi Bar will be giving away free, round-trip plane tickets to the North Pole where they keep their bar complaint forms (which are NOT available online). If you don't want to go to the North Pole, you can enjoy Brant Brantley's (of the Mississippi Commission on Judicial Performance) free guided tours of the quicksand field over by High Street where all complaints against judges disappear. If for some reason you are unable to control yourself, never fear; Judge Houston Patton will operate his jail where no lawyers are needed or allowed as you just sit there for minutes... hours.... months...years until he decides he is tired of you sitting in his jail. Do not think Judge Patton is a bad judge however as he plans to serve free Mad Dog 20/20 to all inmates.

Trollfest '09 is a pet-friendly event as well. Feel free to bring your dog with you and do not worry if your pet gets hungry, as employees of the Jackson Zoo will be on hand to provide some of their animals as food when it gets to be feeding time for your little loved one.

Relax at the Fox News Tent. Since there are only three blonde reporters in Jackson (being blonde is a requirement for working at Fox News), Megan and Kathryn from WAPT and Wendy from WLBT will be on loan to Fox. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both and a torn-up Obama yard sign will entitle you to free drinks served by Megan, Wendy, and Kathryn. Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required. Just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '09 is for EVERYONE!!!

This is definitely a Beaver production.


Note: Security provided by INS.

Trollfest '07

Jackson Jambalaya is the home of Trollfest '07. Catch this great event which promises to leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Sonjay Poontang and his band headline the night with a special steel cage, no time limit "loser must leave town" bout between Alan Lange and "Big Cat"Donna Ladd following afterwards. Kamikaze will perform his new song F*** Bush, he's still a _____. Did I mention there was no referee? Dr. Heddy Matthias and Lori Gregory will face off in the undercard dueling with dangling participles and other um, devices. Robbie Bell will perform Her two latest songs: My Best Friends are in the Media and Mama's, Don't Let Your Babies Grow up to be George Bell. Sid Salter of The Clarion-Ledger will host "Pin the Tail on the Trial Lawyer", sponsored by State Farm.

There will be a hugging booth where in exchange for your young son, Frank Melton will give you a loooong hug. Trollfest will have a dunking booth where Muhammed the terrorist will curse you to Allah as you try to hit a target that will drop him into a vat of pig grease. However, in the true spirit of Separate But Equal, Don Imus and someone from NE Jackson will also sit in the dunking booth for an equal amount of time. Tom Head will give a reading for two hours on why he can't figure out who the hell he is. Cliff Cargill will give lessons with his .80 caliber desert eagle, using Frank Melton photos as targets. Tackleberry will be on hand for an autograph session. KIM Waaaaaade will be passing out free titles and deeds to crackhouses formerly owned by The Wood Street Players.

If you get tired come relax at the Fox News Tent. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both will entitle you to free drinks.Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required, just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '07 is for EVERYONE!!!

This is definitely a Beaver production.

Note: Security provided by INS
.