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This Lead is Killing Us: A History of Citizens Fighting Lead Poisoning in Their Communities : Public Library Events

This National Library of Medicine exhibit explores how citizens have confronted lead industries, housing authorities, and elected officials to protect their health against the dangers of lead poisoning.

Poisoned Water Screening & Crowd the Tap Demo


Join us for a screening of Nova’s Poisoned Water, this documentary explores what exactly went wrong in Flint—and what does it mean for the rest of the country? The screening will be followed by a quick citizen science demonstration of Crowd the Tap.

Crowd the Tap is a public science project focused on identifying and addressing lead contamination in household drinking water. Using information about the age of your home and the pipes in your home, to determine your household risk of lead contamination

Learn about a simple at-home test to for type of pipes in your home

Register your home water pipe data in a new national inventory.

This Lead is Killing Us event series is sponsored by a National Library of Medicine (NLM) Innovation grant award. Free NLM health resources will be provided at all events.

Teen Book Discussion Group

 Dates to be announced

In 2014, Flint, Michigan, was a cash-strapped city that had been built up, then abandoned by General Motors. As part of a plan to save money, government officials decided that Flint would temporarily switch its water supply from Lake Huron to the Flint River. Within months, many residents broke out in rashes. Then it got worse: children stopped growing. Some people were hospitalized with mysterious illnesses; others died. Citizens of Flint protested that the water was dangerous. Despite what seemed so apparent from the murky, foul-smelling liquid pouring from the city’s faucets, officials refused to listen. They treated the people of Flint as the problem, not the water, which was actually poisoning thousands.

Through interviews with residents and intensive research into legal records and news accounts, journalist Candy J. Cooper, assisted by writer-editor Marc Aronson, reveals the true story of Flint. Poisoned Water shows not just how the crisis unfolded in 2014, but also the history of racism and segregation that led up to it, the beliefs and attitudes that fueled it, and how the people of Flint fought―and are still fighting―for clean water and healthy lives.


About the Author

Candy J. Cooper is a Pulitzer Prize finalist and winner of the Selden Ring Award for Investigative Reporting. She has been a staff writer for four newspapers, including The Detroit Free Press and the San Francisco Examiner. Her work has appeared in the The New York Times, The Columbia Journalism Review and The Chronicle of Higher Education, among other publications. She has written several nonfiction series books for the classroom for Scholastic, and her essay on stepfamilies is part of an anthology, My Father Married Your Mother: Dispatches from the Blended Family, published by W. W. Norton. 

Book teaser and author biography from Candy J Cooper.

Crowd the Tap - Demonstrations

This Lead is Killing Us Online Exhibit


When people ingest lead—by breathing contaminated air, drinking contaminated water, or accidentally eating lead paint chips—they can become very sick. Lead poisoning causes neurological problems and sometimes even death. Today, researchers believe that no amount of exposure to lead is safe for children. This online exhibit explores over a century of citizens confronting lead industries, housing authorities, and elected officials to protect their health against the dangers of lead poisoning.

National Library of Medicine Exhibit site 

This Lead is Killing Us event series is brought to you by a grant award from the National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health

Adult Book Discussion Group

Online Meeting Dates: (Recordings will be available, for registrants unable to attend online meetings)

October 31st, Tuesday 12:30-1:15m 

November 7th, Tuesday 12:15-1pm 

November 14th, Tuesday 12:15-1pm 

November 21st, Tuesday 12:15-1pm 

November 28th, Tuesday 12:15-1pm 

December 5th, Tuesday 12:15-1pm 

December 12th, Tuesday 12:15-1pm 

December 19th, Tuesday 12:15-1pm 

The first 15 Registrants will receive a Free copy of the featured book.

 Here is the inspiring story of how Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha, alongside a team of researchers, parents, friends, and community leaders, discovered that the children of Flint, Michigan, were being exposed to lead in their tap water—and then battled her own government and a brutal backlash to expose that truth to the world. Paced like a scientific thriller, What the Eyes Don’t See reveals how misguided austerity policies, broken democracy, and callous bureaucratic indifference placed an entire city at risk. And at the center of the story is Dr. Mona herself—an immigrant, doctor, scientist, and mother whose family’s activist roots inspired her pursuit of justice.

What the Eyes Don’t See is a riveting account of a shameful disaster that became a tale of hope, the story of a city on the ropes that came together to fight for justice, self-determination, and the right to build a better world for their—and all of our—children.

About the Author

Mona Hanna-Attisha, MD, MPH, FAAP, is a physician, scientist, and activist who has been called to testify twice before the United States Congress, awarded the Freedom of Expression Courage Award by PEN America, and named one of Time magazine’s 100 Most Influential People in the World.

Book teaser and author biography from Penguin Randomhouse.


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