City of Flint

A four-year, $14.4M non-research grant was awarded on August 1, 2017 to a consortium of investigators from Michigan State University (MSU) in partnership with the City of Flint and the Greater Flint Health Coalition, and others. In 2021, CDC awarded MSU $3.6M to continue the Flint Registry for an additional year.

To learn more about these efforts in Flint, contact the program below.

Michigan State University College of Human Medicine
Flint Registryexternal icon
200 East 1st Street
Flint, MI 48502
Phone: (810) 600-9180

Learn more about the Flint Lead Exposure Registry.

Success Story

Creating a Registry to Track Exposure to Contaminated Drinking Water in Flint, Michigan

Challenge

In April 2014, Flint’s drinking water source was changed from Great Lakes’ Lake Huron (which was provided by the Detroit Water and Sewage Department [DWSD]) to the Flint River without necessary corrosion control treatment to prevent lead release from pipes and plumbing. As a result, the levels of lead in Flint tap water increased above the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) action level, and the percentage of children with elevated blood lead levels (≥ 5 μg/dL) elevated BLLs nearly doubled. After eighteen months on untreated corrosive water, Flint was reconnected to Great Lakes water provided by DWSD on October 16, 2015.

Intervention

In response to the crisis in Flint, Congress funded CDC to support a voluntary Flint lead exposure registry. Funding was authorized by the Water Infrastructure Improvements for the Nation Act of 2016. A four-year, $14.4 million non-research grant was awarded on August 1, 2017, to a consortium of investigators from Michigan State University (MSU), the Greater Flint Health Coalition, the City of Flint, and others, led by Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha at MSU.

The registry goals are to identify eligible participants and ensure robust registry data; monitor health, child development, service utilization, and ongoing lead exposure; improve service delivery to lead-exposed individuals; and coordinate with other community and federally funded programs in Flint. Pre-enrollment for the registry began on January 22, 2018, with official enrollment beginning November 2018.

Impact

As of December 7, 2020, a total of 11,735 people had fully enrolled in the Flint Registry, and 17,848 referrals have already been made to critical health and development services. The most common referrals are for healthcare access, neurodevelopmental assessment, education services, lead inspection and abatement, and pipe replacement. Since launching, the Flint Registry is filling unmet needs, improving the lives of Flint residents, and sharing best practices with similarly impacted communities.

Funding for this work was made possible in part by EH17-1704 from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).  The views expressed in this material do not necessarily reflect the official policies of the CDC; nor does mention of trade names, commercial practices, or organizations imply endorsement by the U.S. Government.