In recent times, researchers examining the Flint water crisis have found a significant increase in fetal deaths and reduced pregnancies in Flint since April 2014.
In April 2014, government officials of the city of Flint switched its water supply to the lead-contaminated Flint River without adding and metal pretreatment “chemicals”.
According to the World Health Organization, “lead in a pregnant person’s blood can affect embryo development.”
A research study was done by health economists and assistant professors David Slusky (University of Kansas) and Daniel Grossman (West Virginia University) show since April of 2014, the fertility rate among women in Flint has decreased by 12 percent, and fetal death rates have been hiked by percent.
Ever since moving to Flint in June 2014, Nakiya Wakes (42) has miscarried two sets of twins, one just last month in October. Wakes was portrayed in the Queen Latifah starred movie, Flint, about one woman’s struggle with the manufactured crisis. Her first miscarriage occurred in 2015, just one year after moving to the city of Flint.
Rachel Lauren (30), a woman who has had four healthy pregnancies moved to Flint in November 2013. According to Rewire, she miscarried last month after facing an episode of excessive bleeding. Doctors found an amniotic sac inside of her, confirming her miscarriage. When pregnant with her now 11-month-old child, tests revealed Lauren to have high levels of lead and she now fears to get her daughter tested.
In lieu of the crisis’ detrimental effect on reproductive health, local activist Melissa Mays tells Rewire:
It’s sad because we have no idea what the heavy metals, carcinogenic byproducts, bacteria, and whatever else we have been, and are still being, exposed to has done to our bodies. Will our sons have low sperm counts? How many young girls will not be able to become mothers because their eggs are poisoned? We just don’t know, and the State of Michigan just wants to sweep it all under the rug like it’s all in the past.
Flint residents are not prone to taking the use of water for granted. Much own strict distrust towards the use the city’s water and have solely depended on bottled water, but remain wary.