The Flint Water Crisis made national headlines because of the dangerous levels of lead found in corroded, aging pipes within the beleaguered Michigan city, the former auto industry headquarters where the poverty rate is currently over 41%.
Now, Flint water prosecutors have taken a bold new step in their new investigation into the crisis, as it has been announced that former Michigan Governor Rick Snyder and 65 other current or former officials have had their phones and electronic data seized, according to a report from The Associated Press.
Michigan Governor, Others May Be in Hot Water
Among the other officials whose phones were seized are Senior Adviser Rich Baird, Lt. Governor Brian Calley, and former cabinet members Nick Lyon and Dan Wyant.
“The Department of Attorney General through the Flint water criminal prosecution team is investigating the Flint water crisis as a whole,” Michigan Solicitor General Fadwa Hammoud said in a statement to MLive-The Flint Journal.
“As stated in recent motions, the prosecution is aware of substantial potential evidence that was not provided to the original prosecution team from the onset of the investigation. The team is currently in the process of obtaining this evidence through a variety of means, including search warrants. The team is also conducting a thorough review of existing and newly received evidence pertaining to the Flint water crisis.”
According to MLive, documents and search warrants seeking certain cell phones, desktop computers, laptop computers or tablets were sought two weeks ago by the Michigan attorney general’s office and signed by a district judge.
Hammoud said she has or plans to ask judges to put the eight remaining criminal cases on hold due to a flawed discovery process that resulted in millions of documents related to Flint water having never been reviewed by prosecutors.
Nation’s Water Crisis Not Confined to Flint
Aside from the ongoing risks nationwide presented by outdated infrastructure and lead pipes, holistic health advocates have raised concerns over the addition of industrial fluoride to the water supply in recent years, among many other chemicals, which many including former National Cancer Institute research Dr. Dean Burke have spoken out against.
Also according to a 2016 report published in the Science of the Total Environment journal, 37 different prescription drug residues have been found even in water that has already been treated, at 25 different treatment plants across the country.
Unfortunately for U.S. residents, the problem of lead in drinking water may be far more common than originally thought.
Almost 3,000 areas have tested worse than Flint according to a July 2016 report.
These include areas near the cities of Chicago, Philadelphia, Milwaukee, Pittsburgh, Baltimore, and Boston.
How to Remove Harmful Minerals and Chemicals From Your Water
If you live in any of these areas, you may want to invest in an advanced water filtration system. Many water filters found at big box stores like Brita and Pur don’t remove fluoride, and do not provide a complete water filtration process.
A water distiller can help remove virtually all contaminants, especially the higher-end models. The potential downside to distilled water is that beneficial minerals are removed; however this can be mitigated to a certain extent by adding back in Himalayan pink salt, Celtic sea salt or organic mineral supplements.
Another option many find useful is a reverse osmosis water filtration system.