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  • Demonstrators protest over the Flint, Michigan contaminated water crisis outside of the venue where the Democratic U.S. presidential candidates

    Demonstrators protest over the Flint, Michigan contaminated water crisis outside of the venue where the Democratic U.S. presidential candidates' debate was being held in Flint, Michigan in this March 6, 2016. | Photo: Reuters

Flint residents had their water supply contaminated with lead when it switched its source of water. 

U.S. President Barack Obama will meet with 1,000 residents of Flint, Michigan, at a roundtable discussion about the city's water crisis during his visit to the Detroit suburb on Wednesday, the White House announced.

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White House spokesman Josh Earnest, speaking to reporters in a daily press briefing on Tuesday, also said the president would visit a local food bank and would likely have an opportunity to meet with the city's mayor and Michigan's governor.

Flint residents had their water supply tainted with lead, leached from ageing pipes, when it switched its source of water from Detroit's municipal system to the Flint River to save money.

 

The move has provoked a national controversy and prompted lawsuits by parents who say their children are showing dangerously high blood levels of lead.

Consuming lead can be particularly harmful to the developing brains of fetuses and young children, with effects ranging from learning difficulties to behavioral issues and convulsions.

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