Jackson, Mississippi: Parents in the dark on their children’s health as they learn the scope of lead problems in Jackson’s water


Jackson, Mississippi
CNN
 — 

When her firstborn exhibited extreme sensitivity to smell, sound and touch, along with some obsessive-compulsive tendencies, Sarah Howard wondered if it was her fault, if she’d done something to harm her baby boy during her pregnancy. She just didn’t know.

She and her husband, Andrew, had only recently moved to Jackson in 2006, and he was their first child, the 40-year-old mother of two told CNN.

As he got older, he wouldn’t use public restrooms. The noise of the flushing was overbearing, so he’d just hold it until he couldn’t. He wanted his bathtub filled to a specific level before he’d get in. He demanded pancakes cut a certain way, and his parents kept extra syrup on hand because he always wanted the bottle full. When Jackson’s muggy heat gave way to fleeting winter, the boy struggled wearing pants instead of shorts.

It didn’t compute. Sarah Howard felt she’d done everything right during her pregnancy, she thought, even giving up her beloved coffee.

“I used to wonder if I did something wrong. Did I take the wrong vitamin or something?” she said.

Today, she and Andrew suspect another culprit: Lead in their hometown’s water. It’s a suspicion shared by parents of about 2,000 kids – and quite likely, many more – now suing the city and state. Compounding matters in the capital city of roughly 150,000, residents are accustomed to boiling water, so they can bathe or cook with it, but with lead, boiling water increases the concentration of the known neurotoxin and probable carcinogen.

Several concerned mothers and fathers shared with CNN stories of their youngsters suffering from an array of ailments, and there was remarkable overlap in the symptoms and conditions: forgetfulness, lack of focus, hyperactivity, learning and behavioral disorders, sensory issues and skin problems. Lead exposure, the parents are learning, could cause all of these.

But they just don’t know.

Corey Stern is leading a team of lawyers – some local, some from his New York-based firm, which specializes in lead poisoning and recently secured a settlement of more than $600 million for children in Flint, Michigan – seeking accountability for Jackson families.

The legal team met with hundreds of parents this month at The Mississippi Children’s Museum. As their children practiced puppetry, raced boats on a miniature river, clambered about a jungle gym and spelled words on a Scrabble board the size of a living room, parents quizzed the attorneys about Jackson’s water crisis and the legal remedies to which they might be entitled.

Stern explained the tricky nature of lead poisoning. While the state has blood lead levels at which it takes action, experts concur there is no safe exposure level for humans and children are susceptible to brain damage, especially without medical intervention.

Mom and son share videos of daily life with no clean water in Jackson, Mississippi


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– Source:
CNN

“It’s not the kind of brain damage where if you walk down the street and you saw

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Mississippi Residence leaders destroy postpartum Medicaid extension | Health and Conditioning

JACKSON, Skip. (AP) — Republican leaders of the Mississippi Home killed a invoice Wednesday that would have permit moms continue to keep Medicaid coverage for a yr following offering delivery, up from the present-day two months.

Supporters claimed extending coverage less than the government health and fitness insurance policy method could assist minimize Mississippi’s maternal mortality charge, which is drastically better than the countrywide charge.

“A healthier child demands a nutritious mother or father,” explained Democratic Rep. Bryant Clark of Pickens, who backed the invoice.

Senate Bill 2033 passed the Republican-managed Senate 46-5 on Feb. 2.

The monthly bill passed the House Medicaid Committee March 1 but died Wednesday when Property Speaker Philip Gunn and Dwelling Medicaid Committee Chairman Joey Hood chose not to carry it up for a vote. Wednesday was the deadline for Residence and Senate committees to consider common bills that had passed the other chamber.

Gunn informed The Connected Push he did not want something that would surface to be a broader growth of Medicaid. Mississippi is one of a dozen states that have not expanded Medicaid to doing the job persons whose work opportunities do not give overall health coverage. The expansion is an choice below the federal wellbeing overhaul signed into legislation by then-President Barack Obama in 2010.

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“As I’ve reported pretty publicly, I am opposed to Medicaid enlargement,” Gunn mentioned Wednesday. “We require to glance for techniques to maintain persons off, not set them on.”

Gunn mentioned he is mindful Mississippi has a substantial maternal mortality fee, but he has not found information displaying that extending postpartum coverage would help you save income. Requested no matter whether it could save lives, Gunn said: “That has not been a component of the conversations that I’ve listened to.”

Hood, a Republican from Ackerman, would not response questions Wednesday about why he did not request a House vote on the invoice.

“We’ll go on to appear at that difficulty in the subsequent session,” Hood reported.

Cassandra Welchlin, executive director of Mississippi Black Women’s Roundtable, sharply criticized Gunn and Hood for killing the bill. She mentioned Gunn has campaigned as “pro-life” simply because of his help for abortion constraints.

“They really perhaps killed mothers who will never have access to overall health coverage to handle issues that may arise immediately after offering delivery,” Welchlin said.

About 60% of births in Mississippi in 2020 had been financed by Medicaid, in accordance to Kaiser Family members Foundation, a nonprofit corporation that tracks wellness figures. Only Louisiana experienced a bigger price, at 61%.

The Mississippi Point out Department of Overall health issued a report in April 2019 about maternal mortality in the point out from 2013 to 2016. A committee of medical professionals, nurses and some others examined deaths that happened during pregnancy or up to one year of the conclude of pregnancy.

The report reported for those people years, Mississippi experienced 33.2 fatalities for each 100,000 dwell

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Mississippi monthly bill sets spiritual exemption on COVID vaccine | Health and Health

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — Mississippi governing administration entities could not withhold solutions or refuse work to men and women who pick not to get vaccinated from COVID-19 under a monthly bill that passed the Republican-managed state Household on Thursday.

That prohibition consists of condition companies, city and county governments and educational institutions, local community faculties and universities.

Dwelling Bill 1509 also states private firms and authorities entities could not have to have a COVID-19 vaccination for any staff who has a “sincerely held religious objection.”

COVID-19 vaccine mandates have not been popular in Mississippi, and the point out has one particular of the lowest prices of vaccination from the virus in the United States. About 50% of eligible Mississippi citizens have gained at least two doses, according to a Mayo Clinic vaccine tracker. The national charge is 63.5%.

Public health officials say COVID-19 vaccinations do not always stop ailment but are successful at lowering extreme cases primary to hospitalization or dying.

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Mississippi House General public Health Committee Chairman Sam Mims of McComb, who is not a doctor, argued for the monthly bill Thursday. He claimed it would be up to businesses to figure out whether a worker’s objection is sincere.

“Maybe I skipped a thing,” Democratic Rep. Percy Watson of Hattiesburg reported all through the debate. “We are even now in a pandemic aren’t we?”

“Yes, sir,” Mims claimed. “Our scenarios are expanding.”

The 74-41 vote to go the bill was largely alongside party lines. The only Democrat voting for it was Rep. Tom Miles of Forest.

The invoice — sponsored by Dwelling Speaker Philip Gunn and several other Republicans — will transfer to the Senate for more function. Although the Senate is also controlled by Republicans, it truly is unclear regardless of whether the proposal will survive there.

Rep. Shanda Yates of Jackson, an impartial, questioned Mims if the monthly bill would make companies experience the risk of employment lawsuits.

“Our pro-small business, Republican-led supermajority Legislature is heading following our businesses?” Yates requested. “Non-public organizations?”

“We’re telling the citizens of Mississippi … we feel in your religious means, your religious rights, that you identify if you want to get this vaccine or not,” he stated.

Some other Republican-led states have enacted guidelines or are taking into consideration laws that would ban COVID-19 vaccination mandates. All those attempts have mainly been motivated by opposition to attempts by President Joe Biden’s administration to demand vaccinations or screening by some employers, wellbeing treatment vendors and federal contractors.

The U.S. Supreme Court on Jan. 13 ruled that the Occupational Safety and Well being Administration experienced overstepped its authority in trying to call for staff at massive providers to get vaccinated or experience common COVID-19 testing. OSHA withdrew the rule this week but still encourages staff to get vaccinated.

Mississippi Republican Gov. Tate Reeves has said repeatedly that he would not call for point out workers to be vaccinated from COVID-19.

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