As with most scandals, the story of the Flint water crisis is very complicated and goes back years. Here’s the short version: In 2014, Flint switched its water source to the Flint River, which resulted in the corrosion of old lead pipes and widespread lead contamination. Unaware of the danger, the people of Flint drank and bathed in the tainted water for 18 months. High levels of lead in the blood, as you might expect, can cause severe health problems — most notably lifelong developmental disabilities in children.
Though we’re told that the Michigan and federal governments are working hard to resolve the problem as quickly as possible, millions are still outraged. When we watch a high-profile tragedy unfold from hundreds or thousands of miles away, many of us feel a sense of powerlessness. If you’re looking for a way to help that goes beyond ranting and pointing fingers, consider donating a water filter or two to Flint residents.
ZeroWater — a Pennsylvania-based water filtration company — is working with United Way of Genesee County on an initiative called “Filters for Flint.” The concept is simple — for every one of their trademark water filters donated to a Flint resident, ZeroWater will donate an additional water filter.
It’s worth noting that ZeroWater’s filters are the only pour-through filters certified by the National Sanitation Foundation for the reduction of lead. These filters are also equipped to reduce chromium and other particulates, making them excellent products for anyone — not just those living in Genesee County.
Of course, you can do a lot more than donate a few filters. To help the children of Flint have a brighter future, consider donating to the Flint Child Health & Development Fund. You can also donate to or volunteer for one of the many organizations that work to get clean water directly to the people who need it.
It’s unbelievably tragic that Flint, Michigan — historically one of America’s great cities — should struggle for something as basic as clean water. There will be plenty of time for investigations and blaming — for now, we need to focus on keeping the people of Flint healthy and safe until there’s a more permanent solution.