Studies show an overall decrease in women’s fertility, lower live-birth rates, and an elevated number of fetal deaths due to environmental factors. Most likely you have seen those commercials that usually come on late at night talking about bringing clean water to a third world country in need.
The reality of that is there are actually some cities here in the United States with municipal water supplies unfit for human consumption. One such city that currently comes to mind is Flint, Michigan.
Health hazards of water containing lead
Water that is unfit to drink can cause untold damage to people’s health and well being. The water supplies in Flint can be used as an example of what can happen when water supplies have an unhealthy level of lead.
Effects of lead exposure directly impact women’s fertility
Research showed that the water in Flint had unsafe levels of lead. This resulted in a 12% decrease in fertility in women and a 58% rise in fetal deaths when compared to 15 neighboring cities. These numbers translate to a loss of approximately 250 new lives between November 2013 and March 2015.
The same research by David Slusky and WVU professor Daniel Grossman showed an average decline in birth weight of about 5% for the Flint area compared to surrounding cities during the same time frame. It is also well known that exposure to lead can have a negative impact on neurological health and cause behavioral problems.
Lead consumption and birth
Lead exposure can also impair physical, psychological, cognitive, and behavioral health beginning at birth and following a child into adulthood. Children born with issues directly linked lead exposure cannot recover, the effects are irreversible.
Although charges such as involuntary manslaughter and replacing the water lines by 2020 are been levied, as well as many open lawsuits still to be determined, the effect of the exposure on living children and loss of life cannot be replaced.