Experts conclude Flint River might have caused skin rashes

FILE - This Jan. 21, 2016 file photo shows the Flint River near downtown Flint, Mich. City leaders are floating a shockingly high price to replace the city's water infrastructure damaged after the state’s disastrous decision in 2014 to use the Flint River as the city’s drinking water source without adding a chemical to control corrosion, which caused high levels of chloride from the river to react with iron in the pipes, causing lead to leach into water for a year and a half and contributing to a spike in child lead poisoning before city and state officials fully acknowledged the problem. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya, File)

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Federal and state officials say the river water that Flint residents used for more than a year for bathing and cleaning may have caused skin rashes that possibly worsened because of people’s mental stress and hygiene changes made over concerns about the water.

A study released Tuesday says no definitive link can be made between the Michigan city’s 2014 switch in water source and rashes because of a lack of old water samples.

Dr. Nicole Lurie from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services says experts “found evidence supporting Flint residents’ concern that water from the Flint River might have led to skin problems.”

Lurie says Flint’s current Lake Huron water, which the city returned to last October, does not contain metals and minerals at levels known to be associated with skin problems.

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