Residents of Flint, Michigan have discovered lead in their running water
In January last year, residents of the Michigan-based town of Flint discovered late last year that their local water supply was severely contaminated.
In a cost-saving project that was relocating their supply from a nearby lake to their local river, the new water source was found to contain high levels of total trihalomethanes (THM), byproducts of the water treatment process that, over time, can increase the risk of cancer and cause health problems of the liver, kidneys and central nervous system.
A further study revealed that the water was also corroding the pipes in the town, which would culminate in lead poisoning, which can severely impair the mental and physical development of children.
This has resulted in President Obama declaring a state of emergency for the locals, but help has come in the unlikely form of singer/actress Cher.
Teaming up with natural spring water company Icelandic Glacial, the artist will be donating 181,440 bottles to the town. In a press release by the water company, they state: "After reading about the catastrophic situation in Flint, a city of 100,000 people who have not had clean water in over a year, Cher contacted her friend Brad Horwitz, an investor in Icelandic Glacial, who reached out to the company’s Chairman and Co-Founder, Jon Olafsson, about Cher’s desire to purchase water for Flint’s residents. Icelandic Glacial committed to doubling Cher’s purchase which is being trucked into Michigan beginning Monday, January 18th. The water will reach The Food Bank of Eastern Michigan beginning Wednesday, January 20th. FBEM will immediately begin the distribution process to those who need it most for drinking, cooking and washing. The water will go directly to community centers, food banks and fire houses focusing in on low-income housing areas where 40% of Flint’s population is living below the poverty line. The bottles, once finished, will return to the food banks and will be recycled with money raised going right back into the food banks.”
Cher also added to the statement: “This a tragedy of staggering proportion and shocking that it’s happening in the middle of our country. I am so grateful that Icelandic Glacial has come on board to help the city of Flint. I cannot wait for the water to get there to help these people who have been poisoned because the water they’ve been getting out of their taps has been polluted for so long and remains that way without the state or the federal government stepping in with any substantial plan to resolve this problem.”