Fetal deaths up, pregnancy down after Flint water crisis

There were 12 percent fewer pregnancies and 58 percent fewer live births in Flint than in other Michigan cities during Flint's water crisis, according to a new study. 

Initial findings show that average birth weights of babies effected by the water crisis in Flint were more than five ounces lower than in other Michigan cities. 

The new research from the University of Kansas (KU) and the University of West Virginia (WVU) suggests there may have been even more miscarriages in Flint than are documented. 

More than 2,000 babies born in Flint in 2014 and 2015 were exposed to lead. 

Dr Grossman and Slusky calculated the general fertility rates (GFR) of Flint and other major Michigan cities, and found a dramatic drop off in Flint, corresponding with the city's use of lead-contaminated water

Dr Grossman and Slusky calculated the general fertility rates (GFR) of Flint and other major Michigan cities, and found a dramatic drop off in Flint, corresponding with the city's use of lead-contaminated water

Mothers that were exposed to the contaminated water, between April 2014 and September 2015, gave birth to more female babies, indicating that male fetuses - known to be less resilient - may not have survived their mothers' pregnancies.

Health economists Dr Daniel Grossman of WVU and David Slusky of KU compared data for Flint between 2008 and 2015 to data from 15 other major Michigan cities. 

They compared data on sexual activity and birth rates before and after the flint water crisis to come up with a 'general fertility rate.' 

Exposure to lead is known to have negative effects on fertility for both men and women, and research has linked it to 'spontaneous abortion,' or fetal death.

More than five milligrams of lead in a woman's blood can have adverse effects on her her, her fertility, and, if she is or becomes pregnant, her baby. 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) site says that 'even low-level lead exposures in developing babies have been found to affect behavior and intelligence. Lead exposure can cause miscarriage, stillbirths, and infertility (in both men and women).' 

Taylormatthias Wilson-Williams, two months old in this Getty picture, was conceived in 2015 when his mother, Tiantha Williams was exposed to lead in Flint's water.  Taylormatthias was born 12 weeks premature, and during his first two months of life had to be on a heart monitor and breathing machine 

Taylormatthias Wilson-Williams, two months old in this Getty picture, was conceived in 2015 when his mother, Tiantha Williams was exposed to lead in Flint's water.  Taylormatthias was born 12 weeks premature, and during his first two months of life had to be on a heart monitor and breathing machine 

The researchers analyzed data from the US Census Bureau and found that there were about 7.5 fewer live births per thousand women in 2014 and 2015 in Flint than there were in the other large Michigan cities. 

Dr Grossman calls this a 'pretty substantial' difference.

Get the latest news delivered to your inbox

Follow us on social media networks

PREV Now beam of light can check your blood pressure
NEXT Diesel fumes harm children while they are in the womb!