Young Republican Shares How Obamacare Saved His Life

Young Republican Shares How Obamacare Saved His Life

This was incredible. A young Republican introduced President Obama at a rally in Milwaukee and shared how "the Affordable Care Act saved my life." Are you listening, conservatives?

Posted by Media Matters for America on Thursday, March 3, 2016

This was incredible. A young Republican introduced President Obama at a rally in Milwaukee and shared how “the Affordable Care Act saved my life.” Are you listening, conservatives?

Mental Health and HIV: What Should You Know

Will-you-still-love-me-even-when-you-discover-my-truth-

Via Guy Anthony 

Will you still love me even when you discover my truth?

As someone who has been living with HIV since 2007 and was recently diagnosed as having bi-polar disorder, I understand what it’s like to operate from an emotional deficit.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention1 in 4 people will experience a mental health problem within their lifespan, and I happen to be one of them. There has been research that has demonstrated the heightened prevalence of depressive and anxiety disorders among Black gay men. Imagine the added layers of stress one is subjected to after an HIV-positive diagnosis. As AIDS.gov’s HIV Basics page on HIV and mental health explains, mental health refers to your emotional, psychological, and social well-being. Your mental health affects how you think, feel, and act, and it also helps determine how you handle stress, relate to others, and make choices.

HIVThat’s important for all people, including people living with HIV. When you have positive mental health, you are often able to function better in life and especially in relationships. You’re also often better able to decipher what may be hindering you from experiencing the types of relationships you deserve. When I began to realize that the emotionally fulfilling relationships I desired were escaping me because I hadn’t unpacked my “stuff” yet, I subsequently reached out for help, which allowed me to make healthier choices for myself in regards to love and who I allowed in my life intimately.

It was especially important for me to acknowledge that I needed help and that it was OK to seek it. I understood that I wasn’t equipped with the necessary tools to discern between what was good for me and what was just good to me. That’s the problem with having an unhealthy perception of your reality; you make decisions that rival your best judgment. It hasn’t been easy, but it has been surprisingly empowering to realize that neither HIV nor mental illness defines me. I define them both by reclaiming my narrative and putting a face to the disease and illness that has plagued my community for decades.

Today, I want you to ask yourself the hard questions: Do I honestly feel good about myself and do I feel good about the decisions I’ve made? If you answer no to either of these, I challenge you to do something about it!

Visit the HIV/AIDS Basics page for more information on Mental Health and HIV.


ABOUT GUY ANTHONY

Guy Anthony is a respected HIV/AIDS activist, community leader and author. Diagnosed with HIV as a teen, Guy has dedicated his adult life to the pursuit of neutralizing global HIV/Aids related stigmas. He served as a member of Atlanta’s black gay Community Advisory Board (CAB) from 2010-2013 and in 2011 co-created the hit online web-series, “MR.” named in honor of black gay rights activist and filmmaker, Marlon Riggs.

Released in December 2012, his book ‘Pos(+)tively Beautiful: A Book of Affirmations, Advocacy & Advice’ is a collection of inspiring narratives, raw imagery, and affirming anecdotes. After releasing his book of affirmations for people living with HIV, Guy was selected as a National Spokesperson and Ambassador for National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day in 2013 and since then has spoken with various MPowerment Projects in Georgia, New York, Tennessee, DC and Texas. His book was named #10 on MUSED Magazine’s list of books every black gay man should read along with some of the most influential LGBT authors of the 21st century.

Currently, Guy works as a Program Coordinator for the Treatment Adherence program at Us Helping Us, Inc. He serves as a member of The Metropolitan Washington Regional Ryan White Planning Council in Washington, DC, resident blogger for AIDS.gov , and brand ambassador for ViiV Healthcare, a global specialist HIV company dedicated to delivering advances in treatment and care for people living with HIV. He strongly believes that his visibility will help other HIV-positive young men recognize their own beauty and self-worth.

He also raps and sings in his spare time!

guyposing

What 200 Calories Look Like In Different Foods, VIDEO

What 200 Calories Look Like In Different Foods

Posted by Johanna Stevenson on Saturday, January 30, 2016

by Written by L. S. Wynn SOURCE

Some foods have significantly more Calories than others but what does the difference actually look like. Each of the photographs below represents 200 Calories of the particular type of food; the images are sorted from low to high calorie density. When you consider that an entire plate of broccoli contains the same number of Calories as a small spoonful of peanut butter, you might think twice the next time you decide what to eat. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the average adult needs to consume about 2000 – 2500 Calories to maintain their weight. In other words, you have a fixed amount of Calories to “spend” each day; based on the following pictures, which would you eat?

Answers to some questions and other notes:

Why 200 Calories? We could have chosen any amount of Calories for this project, but we wanted something that gave tangible volumes for the entire range of items. We felt that 100 Calories of butter or oil would have yielded diminutive portion sizes; on the other hand 500 Calories of celery would have been virtually incomprehensible.How did you choose which foods to include in the project? Many of the items we chose just happened to be in the wiseGEEK pantry; we chose the others because we wanted to display foods in a wide variety of categories. We stayed away from prepared foods such as funnel cake and spanakopitabecause their Caloric content is closely tied to the particular recipe used; we also avoided some more obscure foods such as mangosteen and jackfruit.

The sorting can be misleading because items with liquid tend to appear less Calorie dense; that’s why you will find coke amongst the vegetables and cooked pasta significantly higher than uncooked pasta.

All pictures were taken with the same camera (Nikon D70 digital camera) and with the same setup; in other words, the portion sizes displayed are all relative to each other.

The plate is 10.25″ (26cm) in diameter and the bowl is 6.25″ (16cm)

This article deals with Calories only. Don’t forget that there are other considerations when choosing which foods to eat, such as nutritive value and diversity of your food choices.

The capital “C” in “Calories” throughout this article denotes dietary as opposed to physics calories.

America has a lead poisoning problem

..America’s lead poisoning problem isn’t just in Flint. It’s everywhere.

The city of Flint, Michigan, is in the midst of a terrible and rightly shocking lead poisoning crisis. The number of kids testing positive for elevated lead levels in their bloodstreams has doubled in the past few years, after the city switched to a new, cheaper water source.

This is an extreme case, but the problem of lead exposure among children is not a local Flint story. If you look at public health data, you begin to realize two things. The first is that it’s actually really hard to get good data on which kids do and don’t experience lead exposure, and which parents should worry about the issue.

Second: The data that is available shows that lead exposure is a pervasive issue in the United States. In some places outside of Flint, more than half of children test positive for lead poisoning.

table-1

Houston County, Alabama, is, in a lot of ways, an unremarkable place. It has just over 100,000 residents and sits in the southeast corner of the state, bordering Florida and Georgia. Median household income there is about $40,000, slightly lower than average for the state.

But there is one way Houston County does stand out: In 2014, it reported the highest rate of lead poisoning in the nation of any counties that sent data to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Houston County tested 12 children for lead poisoning in 2014, which it defines as kids who have more than 5 micrograms of lead per deciliter of blood. Seven of those tests came back positive.

Nine counties nationwide told the CDC that 10 percent or more of their lead poisoning tests came back positive. Four of them are in Louisiana, two in Alabama, and the rest scattered across West Virginia, Kentucky, Indiana, and Oklahoma.

These are places that have told the federal government they actually have higher rates of lead poisoning than Flint, where officials say the number hovers around 4 percent. But these aren’t places we talk about that much.

 

map

 

The map above uses CDC data to show lead poisoning rates across the country. The reason so many of the counties are light gray is that most counties simply don’t report this information — nor are they required to.

Of the 3,143 counties in the United States, only 1,573 reported lead poisoning data in 2014. Forty-four percent of those counties reported no confirmed cases of lead in the bloodstream. But there are also the nine counties, largely in the south, where more than 10 percent of kids tested positive.

Twenty-one states do not regularly submit data to the CDC on lead surveillance programs in their states. Eleven of those 21 states do not submit any kind of lead surveillance data to the CDC — no state-level or county-level data. The other 10 states do submit data, but many haven’t submitted anything in the past two years. For instance, North Carolina hasn’t submitted its data since 2009. The states that don’t submit any data include Alaska, Arkansas, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Carolina, South Dakota, Utah, and Wyoming.

That means there are 1,570 counties we don’t have any data on at all, because states are not mandated to submit their data to the CDC.

Lead poisoning is incredibly hazardous to children’s health

Childhood lead exposure at nearly any level can lead to permanent learning disabilities, lower IQs, and even ADHD. Blood lead levels once believed to be safe — 30 μg/dL in the 1970s, then 25, then 15, then 10 — are now known to cause irreversible damage. The Environmental Protection Agency now says there is “no demonstrated safe concentration of lead in blood,” and even levels as low as 2 μg/dL can reduce a child’s IQ. CDC data estimates that almost 500,000 children in the US between the ages of 1 and 5 have a blood lead level above the 5 μg/dL standard.

The CDC recommends follow-up and intervention for kids with more than 10 micrograms of lead per deciliter of blood. But as my colleague, Matt Yglesias points out, 10 micrograms is a dubious threshold at best, as the underlying science suggests any amount of lead in the bloodstream is harmful. And if the state lead contamination tests are any indication, tons of kids are ingesting more lead than they should.

Black children are at twice the risk of lead exposure as white children

A 2013 study from the CDC found that lead exposure impacts black communities disproportionately to their white counterparts.

Although blood lead levels among all US children have dropped dramatically since the late 1990s, high blood lead levels among black children were still more than twice as prevalent as among their white counterparts.

percent

 

It’s possible there are other geographic trends to lead exposure, ones we might see if we had a more complete data set. But those are harder to know about when most counties don’t provide information about — and possibly don’t even test — the prevalence of lead poisoning among their children.

 

SOURCE

Dear People Of Michigan: We Told You So

TDHXdRlDear People Of Michigan: We Told You So

Back in 2011, when an unknown, nerdy former chairman of the board of a former computer giant called Gateway was sworn in as governor of the state of Michigan, his plans for the state set off alarm bells in more than a few state residents. Raising taxes on poor people and old people, cutting over a billion dollars out of the school budget to offset two billion in corporate tax cuts made us cringe. Then we learned of something even worse: A plan to substantially increase the powers and duties of the Emergency Financial Manager.

Governor Blanchard first used emergency managers during his administration. They had no power in any way to overrule the democratically elected local government, their purpose simply included helping that government work on budgeting better and get out of debt. The Nerd changed that. He decided that emergency managers shouldn’t share power, they should have ALL the power. They would strip the local government of all authority, break contracts, fire at will, and privatize any and all services the city, school district, township, or county provided to the residents. The Up North Progressive was one of many who noticed this sounded an awful lot like the plot of RoboCop.

It didn’t take long for those of us who were alarmed by this venture capitalist nerd and his sinister plans to organize and beat the streets. We worked through the summer of 2011 collecting signatures to recall him and hold a new election. We worked hard asking the unions to get involved. They refused. We worked hard to get the Democratic Party behind us. They refused. Michael Moore? Not a peep from him. As it slowly and depressingly sank in that we were stuck with Snyder for four years, we worked on other petition drives, including getting rid of the Nerd’s despicable emergency manager law. We didn’t succeed in collecting enough signatures to recall him, but we did collect enough to put eliminating P.A. 4 a.k.a Rick Snyder’s democracy-killing emergency manager law up to a vote of the people. The referendum went on the ballot in 2012, and the law was repealed.

Then Rick Snyder simply had the state legislature write up and pass a new version of the emergency manager law. Despite promising the city of Detroit there would be no bankruptcy, he secretly worked on finding an emergency manager to do just that. Despite obvious evidence that the Education Achievement Authority was a colossal failure, he threatened the rest of state he would expand his special pet school district to everyone. Despite the Michigan State Constitution banning school vouchers, he had software developers and members of his administration holding secret meetings called ‘skunkworks’ to force illegal school vouchers down Michiganians’ throats.

By the time 2014 came, his emergency managers were entrenched in communities helping Snyder’s corporate friends scoop up the assets and privatize them. Detroit residents had their water shut off. Detroit businesses continued getting all the water they wanted while owing millions to the city. As if cutting off city residents to water wasn’t bad enough, an even more deadly horror silently flowed into the taps of homes of Flint residents.

resignResignation that the Nerd won another four years to destroy Michigan gave way to anger when people made noise that Flint was being poisoned by the water they had to drink thanks to Rick Snyder’s emergency manager. There is no way to blame this on the city of Flint, or their elected leaders. The local government had no power. They didn’t make the decision to switch to a water supply that was toxic, the decision was made for them by a Snyder appointee who only had to report to Snyder.

So far, making sure branding the crisis is a priority to helping the people suffering through the crisis:

Good thing we have the logo sorted. How else would anyone know the state is taking proactive steps to solve problems? They’re not taking proactive steps. Mostly the state has been in damage control mode trying to figure out how to deal with what is according to them “apparently going to be a thing now.”

According to FOIA records, we know the Snyder administration knew 6 months ago there was a problem with the water in Flint. The city had already been poisoned with the water for a year by then. The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality denied the reports, told the EPA they were wrong. Told specialists from Virginia Tech they were wrong. Told pediatricians testing children’s blood and finding alarming levels of lead they were wrong. None of them were wrong. Lansing was wrong. Rick Snyder was wrong.

What happened in Flint, Detroit, and everywhere else Snyder has touched with his toxic hand is criminal. At the least, he shouldn’t be Governor anymore. His political career should be dead. Ideally, Snyder should have to answer for his crimes. Unfortunately he won’t.

Back in 2011, a small group of people realized the damage Rick Snyder could potentially do to the state and organized a recall campaign to get rid of him. Imagine how different things would be today if we had support from the unions, the Democratic Party, more people who knew what Snyder was doing was wrong, but didn’t get involved. Hate to say it, but we told you so.
SOURCE

Following Flint Tragedy, Republican Congress Votes to Block Clean Water Bill

water
black-guy
Flint has recently had a fatal outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease in Flint, which has killed 10 and sickened 87, which came on top of the revelations that the water has been poisoned with lead for years and that some state officials ignored evidence for months. Now just a day after that outbreak, a bipartisan bill on the national stage called the “Waters of the United States rule” has been voted against by Montana’s delegates, which will block the Environmental Protection Agency’s clean water rule.

The GOP-dominated U.S. Congress passed this bill, which will stop the EPA from caring for many of the waterways in the US, including the lead-polluted supply from the Flint River.

Corporate lobbyists spent millions encouraging Republicans to block clean water legislation despite the ongoing Flint water crisis. The bill has seen enthusiastic support from corporate interests. The US Chamber of Commerce, Dairy Farmers of America, chemical companies, utility companies, energy companies, mining companies, and logging companies are among over 230 organizations that listed the bill on lobbying disclosures since it was proposed in March 2014.

At first glance, the vote was unrelated to the Flint water emergency. If Obama does not veto this bill as he is expected to, it will allow more mismanagement of Flint’s already tainted water supply. Residents of the city will have life-long damages from lead poisoning, others are facing an already deadly Legionnaires’ outbreak, and many more were forced to buy expensive bottled water and filtration systems for years before the Governor Rick Snyder declared a State of Emergency and allowed people to begin providing aid.

Activists and residents are demanding the resignation of Governor Rick Snyder, and they furthermore demand that criminal charges be filed against him for mismanaging the Detroit water crisis. About 200 activists protested at Flint City Hall on January 8th. Today, dozens of people put on a demonstration inside the Michigan state Capitol.

House Democratic Leader Tim Greimel was quoted at the protest saying, “If the governor personally knew this was going on and decided not to do anything then yes, he should step down. But we first have to ascertain what did he know, and when did he know it.” More than 100 people came in on buses from Flint, and met with another group of protestors from Detroit. Protestors chanted that Snyder has “got to go.”

SOURCE

The people of #Michigan are filling up the rotunda in Lansing calling for Governor Rick Snyder to be held accountable for the #FlintWaterCrisis!

Posted by Cameron Fure on Thursday, January 14, 2016

Officials from Michigan from the Department of Environmental Quality have already resigned over the crisis, and activists have the Governor in mind next.

Obama Drops The Hammer And Vetoes Republican Bill That Kills Clean Water Rules

 

oba

In the aftermath of the poisoning of the children of Flint, Michigan, President Obama has vetoed a Republican bill that would have killed the EPA’s new clean water rules.

In his veto message, President Obama said:

I am returning herewith without my approval S.J. Res. 22, a resolution that would nullify a rule issued by the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of the Army to clarify the jurisdictional boundaries of the Clean Water Act. The rule, which is a product of extensive public involvement and years of work, is critical to our efforts to protect the Nation’s waters and keep them clean; is responsive to calls for rulemaking from the Congress, industry, and community stakeholders; and is consistent with decisions of the United States Supreme Court.

We must protect the waters that are vital for the health of our communities and the success of our businesses, agriculture, and energy development. As I have noted before, too many of our waters have been left vulnerable. Pollution from upstream sources ends up in the rivers, lakes, reservoirs, and coastal waters near which most Americans live and on which they depend for their drinking water, recreation, and economic development. Clarifying the scope of the Clean Water Act helps to protect these resources and safeguard public health. Because this resolution seeks to block the progress represented by this rule and deny businesses and communities the regulatory certainty and clarity needed to invest in projects that rely on clean water, I cannot support it. I am therefore vetoing this resolution.

Republicans were outraged because the EPA passed a new rule that would have given the federal government regulatory authority over small bodies of water and wetlands. Access to clean and safe water could be a big issue in the 2016 election after hundreds of children were poisoned by a Republican administration in Michigan.

President Obama has been there for the people of Flint, and he is standing tall for the basic right of access to clean water. In 2016, the American people should not have to rely on their president to protect their access to water, but such is the state of the Republican Party. Clean water is a matter of public health.

By dropping the veto hammer, President Obama has once again stopped the Republican agenda dead in its tracks.

SOURCE

UNDER A REPUBLICAN ADMINISTRATION: Flint Sends Overdue Notices to Residents Who Aren’t Paying for Their Water, Which Is Poison

-ed0203b75e562975jpg-1e2040163e30f993

Flint, Michigan, is sending out notices to residents who haven’t been paying for their city water services. The notices say that services could be cut off if payment isn’t received. This is a normal civic administrative practice except for one thing: Flint’s water is so badly poisoned that the National Guard and Federal Emergency Management Agency have been called in to manage the situation, which has left residents drinking bottled water that’s being given out as an emergency measure.

flintIn a matter that, remarkably, appears unrelated to the problems involving the toxic elements in the water, the city had been enjoined last year from sending overdue notices because of a lawsuit accusing it of raising service rates improperly. But with that restriction lifted, and after a break from issuing notices over the holidays, “officials say they will again start sending warnings to those behind on their bills,” the MLive site reported Thursday.*

As MLive notes in dry fashion:

Some residents have expressed outrage over the fact they are being billed for water they cannot drink without filtration due to elevated lead levels found in water in some Flint homes.

Sounds about right.

Police in Flint also confirmed this week that a break-in was reported over the Christmas holiday at an office in City Hall where documents related to the water crisis were kept. “At this point it’s hard to tell if any files were taken,” the city’s mayor says, but no other offices were apparently targeted by the burglary.

Federal authorities announced on Jan. 5 that they will investigate whether the water crisis, which you can read more about here, involved any criminal activity. As Daily Kos puts it, “It’s probably just a coincidence that this break-in occurred in the mayor’s suite, in the one office containing the documents relating to the lead poisoning of residents, with no other offices burglarized, just days before confirmation the federal government is officially investigating.”

*Correction, Jan. 14, 2016: This post originally misstated that the first new overdue notices were being sent this week. Some were sent in November before a break in collections over the holidays, and more are being sent now.

Flint-water-1

SOURCE

President Obama prepares to clean up the republican mess in Flint Michigan

Susanne.Posel-Headline.News_.Official-flint.water_.lead_.epa_.river_occupycorporatism-400x225

 

LANSING President Barack Obama on Saturday declared a federal emergency in Flint, freeing  up to $5 million in federal aid to  immediately assist with the public health crisis, but he denied Gov. Rick Snyder’s request for a disaster declaration.

A disaster declaration would have made larger amounts of federal funding available more quickly to help Flint residents whose drinking water is contaminated with lead. But under federal law, only natural disasters such as hurricanes and floods are eligible for disaster declarations, federal and state officials said. The lead contamination of Flint’s drinking water is a manmade catastrophe.

presdident-obamaThe president’s actions authorize the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to coordinate responses and cover 75% of the costs for much-needed water, filters, filter cartridges and other items for residents, capped initially at $5 million.  The president also offered assistance in finding other available federal assistance, a news release Saturday from the White House said.

Snyder, who on Thursday night asked Obama for federal financial aid in the crisis through declarations of both a federal emergency and a federal disaster, said in a news release Saturday he appreciates Obama granting the emergency request “and supporting Flint during this critical situation.”

“I have pledged to use all state resources possible to help heal Flint, and these additional resources will greatly assist in efforts under way to ensure every resident has access to clean water resources,” he said.

“I welcome the president’s quick action in support of the people of Flint after months of inaction by the governor,” Kildee said.  “The residents and children of Flint deserve every resource available to make sure that they have safe water and are able to recover from this terrible manmade disaster created by the state.”

635575962853531809-635575529877930466-012215-flint-water-issues-rg-03

On Friday, Kildee led a bipartisan effort in support of the request for federal assistance. Kildee had long called for  Snyder to request federal aid.

Typically, federal aid for an emergency is capped at $5 million, though the president can commit more if he goes through Congress.

Snyder’s application said as much as $55 million is needed in the near term to repair damaged lead service lines and as much as $41 million to pay for several months of water distribution and providing residents with testing, water filters and cartridges.

In what’s become a huge government scandal, garnering headlines across the country and around the world, Flint’s drinking water became contaminated with lead after the city temporarily switched its supply source in 2014 from Lake Huron water treated by the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department to more corrosive and polluted Flint River water, treated at the Flint water treatment plant.

The switch was made as a cost-cutting move while the city was under the control of a state-appointed emergency manager. The state Department of Environmental Quality has acknowledged a mistake in failing to require the addition of needed corrosion-control chemicals to the water. That caused lead, which causes brain damage and other health problems in children, to leach into the water from pipes and fixtures.

Resident complaints about the taste, odor and appearance of the water, which began immediately after the switch, were largely ignored by state officials. The state also dismissed reports of elevated lead levels in the blood of Flint children from pediatrician Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha before for the first time publicly acknowledging a problem in October 2015.

Snyder declared a state of emergency Jan. 5 and mobilized the National Guard Jan. 12 but has been widely and strongly criticized for not moving more quickly.

State Senate Minority Leader Jim Ananich, D-Flint, said federal assistance makes him “more confident … Flint families will begin receiving the help they deserve.”

water

“We need to remain committed and ensure the state fully accepts responsibility in this crisis and does everything they can to correct the long-term impact on our community,” Ananich said in a news release Saturday.

U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Lansing, said in a news release Saturday she appreciates “the president’s quick action in responding to the urgent needs of families in Flint.”

“I will continue to push for federal resources to address this crisis, and for a commitment of resources from the state to meet the immediate needs of the community and to set aside a future fund  to address the long-term needs of children and families,” Stabenow said.

U.S. Sen. Gary Peters, D-Bloomfield Township, also welcomed the announcement and said he will work to support further federal support for Flint residents. However, “the State of Michigan and Gov. Snyder must step up and provide the necessary resources to deal with the long-term effect of water contamination,” Peters said in a statement.

U.S. Rep. Debbie Dingell, D-Dearborn, praised Obama for moving “with unprecedented speed to respond, within 36 hours of receiving the request.”

Contact Paul Egan: 517-372-8660 or pegan@freepress.com. Follow him on Twitter @paulegan4.

 

SOURCE

 

All Flint’s children must be treated as exposed to lead

635883983237535270-0111-snyderflint-TG-0492

In order to address the public health crisis in Flint, every Flint child under 6 years of age — 8,657 children, based on an analysis of Census data — should be considered exposed to lead.

The direction came earlier this week from the doctor who forced the state to acknowledge Flint’s lead problem and the state itself.

The exposure began in April 2014 after the city switched from using Detroit’s water system, which pumps water out of Lake Huron, to its own treatment plant, which drew water from the Flint River.

In recommendations to the state on Monday, Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha said all kids under the age of 6 should be treated with some kind of prevention actions.

Eden Wells, the state’s chief medical executive, said Monday that all children who drank the city’s water since April 2014 have been exposed to lead. “It is important when we think about a public health perspective that we consider the whole cohort … exposed to the drinking water, especially 6 years and under since April 2014,  as exposed, regardless of what their blood level is on Jan. 11.”

The state’s most recent report, based on  tests conducted between October and December 2015, shows that 43 people — only a small portion of the number exposed — had elevated blood lead levels. That’s because these tests measure only the amount of lead in a person’s blood, which decreases after about 30 days, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

That means testing done today does not represent past exposure. Once lead is present in the bloodstream, it is distributed throughout the body, primarily to bones, teeth and soft tissue. Lead accumulates in the body over time. Blood-lead tests used to identify recent or ongoing exposure to lead, do not measure the overall lead burden in the body.

There is no safe level of lead in the body, but the impacts of lead are considered most severe on the developing brains and nervous systems of children and fetuses. And even the 8,657 Flint children younger than 6 exposed to lead may be a low estimate; It doesn’t include unborn children whose mothers drank tainted water during their pregnancies, or children and pregnant women who reside outside Flint but were exposed while visiting relatives, childcare centers or hospitals inside city limits.

Editor’s note: This article has been updated to clarify the health experts recommend that all of Flint’s children be treated as though they have been exposed to lead. 

Using the app? Tap here to see a map of the number of Flint children less than six years of age by block group.

Source: Environmental Systems Research Institute, 2015 population estimates.

SOURCE