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Lake Jackson, Texas, a city in the greater Houston area, is “purg[ing] its water system for 60 days” after a brain-eating amoeba killed a 6-year old boy, NBC News reported. The city is currently under a boil-water notice, and officials have announced that it could take as long as 3 months to make the water safe. The amoeba moves quickly once it strikes – and the symptoms are much like the flu, with fever and vomiting, but then it moves on to symptoms like neck stiffness and hallucinations. People do not become infected from drinking contaminated water, but rather through ingesting it nasally, and symptoms start 1-9 days (median 5 days) after swimming or other nasal exposure.
This amoeba is not the only water risk that is found in the United States. In Flint, Michigan, due to “blatant environmental injustice” and racism, lead leaked into the city’s water supply and exposed between 6,000 and 12,000 children to a neurotoxin beginning in 2014. As we reported last year, “Low-income communities like Flint lack the political capital of wealthier communities and thus are routinely neglected and forgotten by lawmakers.” What happened in Flint and what happened in Lake Jackson obviously stem from different underlying contamination. Nevertheless, everyone deserves access to safe and clean water, and we need to ensure that happens across the country from Lake Jackson to Flint.
by Amy Lupica, ODP Staff Writer A first-of-its-kind study has found that in the next 20 years, 1.6 billion people will be affected by crumbling aquifers. Subsidence, the degradation of aquifers due to over-extraction of water and drought, causes the earth to cave in reducing aquifers’ ability to hold water and puts communities at risk […]
by Amy Lupica, ODP Staff Writer Despite a century of knowledge on the dangers of lead poisoning, dozens of studies showing the impacts of lead on children’s development, and high-profile humanitarian disasters like the 2014 Flint Water Crisis, millions of Americans are still being exposed to lead in their drinking water. What’s worse: new studies […]
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