Flint residents are still fighting for their lives. - Grist


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REUTERS/Rebecca Cook

Flint residents are still fighting for their lives.

On Wednesday, Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette filed involuntary manslaughter charges against five public officials for their role in the death of Robert Skidmore, who was diagnosed with Legionnaires’ disease stemming from the city’s water crisis. Those charged are the head of Michigan’s health department, the manager of Flint’s public works department, the city’s emergency manager, and two state environmental regulators.

While the courts begin to punish government officials for their contributions to Flint’s tainted water, the city’s residents are still living with the consequences.

Residents were recently informed that tests conducted since 2014 may have underestimated blood-lead levels due to faulty equipment — an issue that will cause repercussions in East Chicago and other lead-contaminated locales.

“This throws a monkey wrench in the whole system,” Jerome Paulson, a pediatric and environmental health specialist at George Washington University, told Undark magazine.

Earlier this week, residents delivered messages in bottles to Gov. Rick Snyder and Schuette, detailing what the state government owes the people of Flint.

“My 34-year-old daughter died,” read one letter. “There is no amount of money that can take back the sleepless nights spent worrying about my son’s speech or the amount of hair I have lost,” read another.