Actor, activist Mark Ruffalo in Flint with residents affected by water crisis

Mark Ruffalo was in Flint today trying to raise awareness about the Flint water crisis.

- Oscar nominated actor and clean water activist Mark Ruffalo  was in Flint on Monday.

He's hoping to raise national awareness about the crisis. Ruffalo is hearing first-hand about the health challenges facing families because of the toxic lead.

"This is a national disaster," Ruffalo said. "I'm imploring president Barack Obama to consider Flint, Michigan a national disaster starting today."

Actor and activist Mark Ruffalo is working with Water Defense and other environmental groups to mobilize for Flint, where local mom Nakiya Wakes is already dealing with the impact of lead on her children.

"I was pregnant with twins and I lost them due to this crisis," said Nakiya Wakes. "Both of my children have tested positive for a high level of lead. My son has had behavioral problems at school."

"Not only is the water in my house poisoned, my body is poisoned and I live in a house I can't sell," said resident Desiree Duell.

Duell is another mother speaking out, as is Harold Harrington, the business manager for Flint's plumber's union - Local 370 - the folks who pulled the first lead service line out of the ground last week. Harrington says testing shows his own home is cause for serious concern.

"I'm taking this personal now," he said. "I'm not going to get fooled again."

Harrington tested the water running through the old galvanized, compromised pipes in his home.

The water that flowed through this pipe was a 151 parts per billion lead that was in February. But that wasn't the only chemical found.

Water Defense has been testing water at Flint homes the past three weekends, the problem is not just with the drinking water.

Bathing in chloroform is much more dangerous than lead, said Scott Smith from Water Defense. "Because it goes through your skin, it goes into the air and you breathe it into your lungs."

Water defense says their tests are finding chloroform and other carcinogens.

"It's absolutely incomprehensible to me that you could say it's okay to bathe and shower in," he said.

In a statement from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, "It is still safe to bathe in unfiltered tap water."

The rest of the statement:

"Since we arrived on site on January we have set up a number of assessment activities including how to optimize the system for better disinfectant and phosphate distribution.


EPA is testing for many things including:
1.      Chlorine
2.      Sulfate
3.      Fluoride
4.      Total phosphorus
5.      pH
6.      chloride
7.      total trihalomethanes (which includes chloroform beginning this week)
8.      total metals (which includes lead and copper)
Beginning on March 7th through March 9th , EPA is testing 24 locations throughout Flint for the presence of trihalomethanes. We will be doing this testing once a month. This plan has been in the works since February.
We are coupling the sampling for disinfectant biproducts with sampling for chlorine, a disinfectant. We are sampling for chlorine twice a month.
We have are testing water in more than one point in a home and we are coordinating our efforts with health agencies.
It is still safe to bathe in unfiltered tap water."

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