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Child Lead Poisoning Rates Are Higher In Detroit Than Flint

The children of Detroit, Michigan have a higher rate of lead poisoning than the children of Flint. Flint gained national attention after the city's public water system became contaminated with lead, legionnaire's disease, and possibly other contaminants after the city changed its water source.

The children of Detroit, Michigan have a higher rate of lead poisoning than the children of Flint. Flint gained national attention after the city's public water system became contaminated with lead, legionnaire's disease, and possibly other contaminants after the city changed its water source.

Detroit had Michigan’s highest proportion of children test positive for lead poisoning – 8.8 percent citywide – in 2016, including one Zip Code where 22 percent of kids tested positive. Data from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services show kids are being sickened by lead in counties across the state from Manistee to Hillsdale and St. Clair. Rates continued to decline in Genesee County, where the Flint water crisis put a national spotlight on the problem of lead poisoning.

As a percentage of the population, many more children are suffering from lead poisoning in Detroit than Flint.

Just 1.8 percent of kids tested positive for lead poisoning in Flint, where millions of dollars in state and federal funding has been spent to mitigate the effects of lead-tainted water caused by the city switching its water source in 2014.

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