It’s not an “over there” or “effecting them” issue; in fact, many communities are suffering at the hands of negligent leadership with respect to their drinking water. The people of Flint are fighting for their health and for their communities, but most importantly, they are setting the stage for a national discussion on holding those we have elected to protect our infrastructure accountable, locally and nationally. Click here for a short presentation with helpful links to signs and symptoms you can look for in your day to day work (and home) environment.
The following summarizes some of the key points:
- The timeline link shows the Flint drama unfolding from April 2014, when the water source was switched up through January of this year when the state of emergency was declared and the media coverage expanded from local, to regional and eventually to national coverage.
- With the additional pressure by a vocal public, demanding awareness and scrutiny, a suspiciously corresponding outbreak of Legionaire’s Disease in the same region has been brought to light.
- Mayo clinic has provided a guideline for signs and symptoms which you may leverage to say informed and vigilant.
So, what can we do about it as Nurses?
1/ Stay informed – Did you know that the National Patient Safety Foundation declared the week of March 13 – 19th as “National Patient Safety Week”, their website at http://www.unitedforpatientsafety.org/ has an informative blog containing news, and discussion pertaining to patient and community safety.
2/ Join the fight – This isn’t just about Flint. The Nurse Alliance of California wants you to know and be prepared for additional discoveries about local issues arising from leaders who are deliberately or ignorantly “asleep at the wheel”. Remember the Exide incident? The Natural Resources Defense Council (NDRC) has posted advice on preventing lead poisoning in children.