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EPA Deems Filtered Water Safe for Flint Residents

© Flickr / Daniel OrthState Officials in Flint Got Bottled Water 10 Months Before the Public
State Officials in Flint Got Bottled Water 10 Months Before the Public - Sputnik International
The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), together with US Centers for Disease Control (CDC), conducted tests at about 50 locations in Flint, Michigan, and have indicated that lead levels in filtered water are below what is considered dangerous to human health.

Tests show that the filters, distributed to homes by Michigan state agencies, reduce the level of lead in drinking water to less than 1 part per billion, well below the EPA's action level of 15 parts per billion.

"These findings reaffirm the effectiveness of filters at removing or reducing lead. This is an important step forward for providing a stable water system for the city of Flint," said Tom Burke, EPA Science Advisor and Deputy Assistant Administrator for EPA's Office of Research and Development.

The EPA reported that the water, if properly filtered, is safe for all to drink, including those more susceptible to the effects of lead poisoning such as pregnant and nursing women, and children.

"Residents can be confident that they can use filtered water and protect their developing fetus or young child from lead," US Department of Health and Human Services Assistant Secretary Dr. Nicole Lurie said in a statement.

However, not all homes in the city can be fitted with filters, according to Flint mayor Karen Weaver, and bottled water is still required at many locations.

"This is not the ultimate solution," she stated. "We still need new infrastructure, replacing the lead-tainted pipes in the city remains my top priority."

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The city of Flint saw drinking water lead levels exceeding the maximum federal safety measure after a state-appointed emergency manager switched the source of water from Detroit's municipal water system to the Flint River, to cut city budget costs. The city switched back in October 2015.

Corrosive Flint River water caused lead to leach from aging pipes into the water they were carrying, a condition that cannot be reversed by simply switching the water source back. A full replacement of almost the entire drinking water infrastructure is required in the city of 100,000.

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