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Lead Water Poisoning Crisis Erupts in Newark, New Jersey

The public health crisis in New Jersey’s largest city continues to escalate, as tests last week once again showed that Newark residents remain exposed to high levels of lead in drinking water, even with filters distributed at the end of 2018 under a program ostensibly aimed at reducing exposure to the neurotoxin.

On Monday, the city began handing out bottled water to residents at four locations for those living in the affected areas of Newark. Anger mounted as some residents were turned away, declared ineligible or given the dubious filters rather than clean bottled water. Others left in frustration, unwilling to wait in hours-long lines.

“The water problem in Newark is getting real bad, almost like Flint, Michigan,” Newark resident Faith Davis told CBS2 News while in line for water Monday. “Something should’ve been done a long time ago and they should’ve let us know.” City officials knew that high levels of lead had been detected in drinking fountains at public school buildings as early as 2010 and discovered elevated lead levels after citywide testing of home taps began in 2017.

Indeed, many of the experiences in Flint, the most notorious example of government officials criminally conspiring to allow poisoned water to be sold to residents, are being repeated in Newark. Even five years after the crisis began in that city, Flint residents are still fighting for clean water. Read more


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