Lead-Contaminated Drinking Water Goes Far Beyond Flint

More than a year after lead-contaminated drinking water prompted a state of emergency in Flint, Michigan, Americans across the country continue to worry about the quality of their drinking water.

In fact, 63 percent of Americans worry “a great deal” about polluted drinking water, and ranked it as more concerning than air pollution, climate change and the extinction of plant and animal species, according to a Gallup poll conducted in March. And while, on the whole, the United States’ drinking water supply is safe, communities around the country continue to grapple with lead exposure.

Perhaps most troubling of all, children are at the greatest risk for severe and irreversible lead-related health problems.

A panel of experts at The Forum at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health in Boston will join Erin Schumaker, senior healthy living editor at The Huffington Post, to discuss these issues and to explain how drinking water becomes contaminated with toxins, what happens to children exposed to lead, and how Flint’s water crisis could have been prevented.

The panel will also explore key resources for accessing information about the drinking water quality in communities and schools around the country.

The hour-long event will take place at 12:30 p.m. Thursday, April 20 and will feature Jeffrey Griffiths, professor of public health and community medicine at Tufts University School of Medicine and former chair of the U.S. EPA Drinking Water Committee Science Advisory Board; Maitreyi Mazumdar, a pediatric neurologist at Boston Children’s Hospital and assistant professor in the department of environmental health at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health; Eric Feigl-Ding, an epidemiologist at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and the founder of ToxinAlert.org; and Stephen Estes-Smargiassi, the director of planning and sustainability at Massachusetts Water Resources Authority.