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Advocacy on Childhood Lead Exposure

​In January 2016, the Academy called on the federal government to declare a public health emergency in Flint, Mich., where thousands of children have been exposed to lead in the drinking water.

"These children and their families will need long-term help in coping with the ways this lead exposure will impact their physical and behavioral health, their schooling, their exposure to toxic stress, and much more," AAP President Benard P. Dreyer, M.D., FAAP, wrote in a letter to President Barack Obama.

Problems arose in Flint in April 2014 when the city began using water from the Flint River through an old system without corrosion control. Pediatrician Mona Hanna-Attisha, M.D., M.P.H., FAAP, was among the experts who proved the water was poisoning children. Dr. Hanna-Attisha, Dr. Lawrence Reynolds, MD FAAP, and the AAP Michigan Chapter, along with the AAP's national office, have worked closely to advocate for the children and families in Flint to receive clean water and treatment for lead poisoning.

The AAP is asking the federal government to take additional action by directing resources from the Department of Health and Human Services, Environmental Protection Agency and Department of Education to Flint.

The Academy has offered its evidence-based interventions to provide long-term assistance to Flint families, and has pledged continued Academy support to the AAP Michigan Chapter in working to ensure that Flint children get the help they need.

American Academy of Pediatrics (Copyright © 2016)