A record number of fetal deaths have been recorded in Flint, Michigan, since the start of the city’s water crisis in 2014, a study shows.
Kansas University researchers found that babies born in Flint after the switch to river water were also nearly 150 grams lighter than those born in other areas of Michigan, and gained less weight, the Detroit Free Press reported.
Flint also saw fewer pregnancies and a higher number of fetal deaths during the period women and their fetuses were exposed to high levels of lead in drinking water, according to the university’s researchers, who reviewed health records from Flint and the state.
In addition, research by assistant professors and health economists David Slusky at Kansas University and Daniel Grossman at West Virginia University also found that fertility rates decreased by 12 percent among Flint women, and fetal death rates increased by 58 percent after April 2014.
The drinking water source for the city was switched to the Flint River in 2014, but insufficient water treatment exposed thousands of residents to high levels of lead.