In a new study, researchers say the experiences of residents of Flint, Michigan, show that environmental disasters like the water crisis can have long-term consequences for mental health.
Flint residents reported changes to the water’s color, smell and taste soon after the city turned to the Flint River as a water source in April 2014. Following outraged pushback by residents and reports of children with mysterious illnesses, tests by the US Environmental Protection Agency and scientists at Virginia Tech detected dangerous levels of lead in the water.
For the new study, published in JAMA Network Open on Tuesday, nearly 2,000 adults living in Flint throughout the crisis were asked about their experiences, their psychological symptoms five years after the crisis and whether they had access to or used mental health services between August 2019 and April 2020. Most of the…