Flint, Michigan, Water Contamination

2016 | February 1 – March 11, 2016

During April 25, 2014–October 15, 2015, approximately 99,000 residents of the City of Flint, MI, were exposed to lead. This exposure occurred after the drinking water source was switched from the Detroit Water Authority to the Flint Water System (FWS).

On December 14, 2015, lead contamination in the FWS was declared a state of emergency. By January 2016, CDC—led by the Department of Health and Human Services—was assisting the city of Flint and the state of Michigan in developing a response and recovery plan.


CDC’s response and recovery efforts included coordinating effective health messaging; assessing lead exposure; providing guidance on blood lead screening protocols; and identifying and linking community members to appropriate follow-up services.

In response to the crisis in Flint, Congress funded CDC to establish a federal advisory committee; enhance Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Program activities; and support a voluntary Flint lead exposure registry.