UN human rights experts urged US to increase efforts to address water contamination in Flint

Mar 4, 2016 17:07 IST

Flint: A place in Michigan, US affected with lead-contaminated water

 Flint, Michigan of United States was in news on 3 March 2016. It was in news because, a group of human rights experts of United Nations urged the country to protect the rights of children and others who are most at risk of lead-contaminated water.

Flint is a place wherein majority of the population is predominantly African-American, and many residents live below the poverty line. This has drawn international attention to the toxic threats faced by children, particularly minority and poor communities across the country. The experts noted that lead is only one of many toxic chemicals to which residents in those communities are often disproportionately exposed.

The minorities across the US comprise nearly half the population living near potential sources of toxic emissions, the experts said that some 1.6 million children under the age of five live in hazardous areas where their bodies are particularly vulnerable to adverse health impacts of toxic chemical exposure.

Nearly twice as many African-American children across the country have high levels of lead in their blood as compared with white children, 5.6 percent versus 2.4 per cent, respectively.

In this light, the experts recommended US President Barack Obama for declaring a Federal state of emergency to accelerate the distribution of bottled water and filters in Flint.

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