Elon Musk has prompted a Twitter storm, by offering to get Flint residents filters so that they could meet “FDA” levels of lead in water. While any serious offers of help are certainly welcome, Mr. Musk did not seem to be aware that Flint residents are already getting free lead filters from the state. There is also widespread public distrust of the water produced by those filters, but it has been proven that they are very effective in removing lead to meet EPA standards.
Flint still has very serious problems with its water main infrastructure, many residents still only trust bottled water, and there are many other water related needs that are a high priority. If he is serious, we are hopeful that he will do his homework and address some of those concerns after a phone call with Mayor Weaver.
Update 6 pm 7-12-2018: When asked by reporters to comment on Mr. Musk’s offer of providing filters to meet FDA water lead regulations, Dr. Edwards gave a response that was flippant and without any of the context provided above. He sincerely apologizes for this mistake. While Flint residents may not presently need filters to remove lead, there is a long, long list of needs related to water safety and infrastructure that Flint does need. As we have noted many times, Flint is indeed suffering from a water infrastructure and affordability crisis, like many cities in the U.S., even if the water lead issue is presently being managed. We hope that Mr. Musk is serious about his offer to help and will follow through on it.
Dr. Marc Edwards