Ann Arbor, MI, February 5th, 2016
Earlier this month, officials in Michigan began laying out their plans to address the water crisis in Flint. This follows an earlier declaration of a state of emergency for Genesee County and an ongoing multi-agency investigation into the water contamination that exposed thousands of people to elevated levels of lead.
The lead crisis began when the water utility began sourcing water from the Flint River to save money. Its corrosive properties leached lead from pipes and plumbing fixtures exposing thousands of people to the toxic heavy metal. Some reports indicate that approximately 200 children in the area now have elevated lead levels in their blood.
To add to the water issues, CNN recently reported that Genesee County has also experienced a spike in the number of cases of Legionnaires’ disease. They report that there were 87 cases of Legionnaires’ disease from June of 2014 through November of 2015. 10 deaths have occurred although it is not clear if the outbreak is directly related to the Flint water crisis.
Legionnaires' disease is caused by a type of bacteria known as Legionella. It can be found naturally in the surface and groundwater, soil, and in building water distribution systems. Legionnaires' disease can occur when people breathe in small droplets of water that contain the bacteria. Past outbreaks have been associated with plumbing systems, cooling towers, hot tubs, hot water tanks and even decorative fountains.
“While state and federal agencies are investigating both the lead and Legionnaires’ disease issues in Flint and Genesee County, this situation brings to light the importance of water testing in towns and cities across the nation,” said Diane Miskowski, MPH, National Legionella Program Manager at EMSL Analytical, Inc. “At EMSL, we offer water testing services for lead and other heavy metals as well as microbial pathogens and other contaminants. These services are available to public health agencies, environmental professionals and the general public.”
EMSL has also sponsored an educational video about lead in drinking water that can be seen at: http://youtu.be/2kvtAcpw1MY.
To learn more about lead, Legionella or other environmental, health and safety testing services, please visit www.EMSL.com, call (800) 220-3675 or email info@EMSL.com. To access EMSL’s Drinking Water Test Kit, please visit www.EMSLTestKits.com.
About EMSL Analytical, Inc.
EMSL Analytical is a nationally recognized and locally focused provider of environmental, indoor air quality, consumer product and materials testing services and products for professionals and the general public. The company has an extensive list of accreditations from leading organizations as well as state and federal regulating bodies.