FLINT, Mich. – The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services yesterday reminded parents that it is okay to bathe in water from the Flint water system. The state is aware of concerns related to skin issues, but there is no known scientific link connecting rashes to the change in water source.
“Based on current testing and guidance from our federal partners, it’s important to reiterate to families that bathing is safe for adults and children in Flint,” said Dr. Eden Wells, chief medical executive with the MDHHS. “Naturally, people in Flint continue to be concerned about water quality and our department is working closely with officials from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as well as the local provider community to monitor all health issues that may be related to water. At this time there is no evidence to suggest this guidance should change.”
MDHHS is currently recommending that bath time be used for bathing only, after which children should be taken out of the bath. Children should be supervised at all times while bathing and caution should be used to ensure that children do not drink the water. Any resident with concerns about a rash should contact their primary care doctor immediately.
Currently, rashes are only reportable to MDHHS when there is a suspect infectious disease such as measles or chickenpox. MDHHS, along with the local provider community, is working in partnership with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to determine what additional supports and surveillance may be necessary.
In addition to Michigan Department of Environmental Quality water testing, the EPA samples throughout the city of Flint show that residual chlorine is present in the system, which helps to prevent bacteria. While there are levels in some areas of the system that could be improved, the EPA also collected and analyzed a sample for bacteria at the site with the lowest chlorine level. The test showed that no bacteria (coliform and E. coli) were present.
For more information about Flint water, visit www.michigan.gov/FlintWater. Flint residents with questions should call 2-1-1 to be connected to local resources.
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