Rapid Communication| Volume 3, ISSUE 4, P241-243, August 2017

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Poor tap water quality experiences and poor sleep quality during the Flint, Michigan Municipal Water Crisis



      After inadequate official response to community concerns over water quality following changes in Flint's municipal water supply, this study sought evidence for a relationship between water quality and community mental health.


      The Speak to Your Health Community Survey is a community-based participatory component of the health surveillance system in Genesee County, Michigan. This cross-sectional survey recruits participants from every residential Census Tract of the county and strives for demographic representativeness.


      Respondents (n = 834) rated their tap water quality (taste, smell, appearance) as poor (36%), fair (18%), good (20%), very good (17%), and excellent (10%). They rated their sleep quality as poor (12%), fair (28%), good (39%), very good (18%), and excellent (4%), and had an average (SD) sleep length of 408 (90) minutes. Controlling for age, sex, years of education, and whether respondents were African American and Hispanic/Latino/a, lower perceived tap water quality was associated with lower sleep quality and shorter sleep length.


      Results indicate that adverse health conditions related to the water crisis extend beyond lead poisoning in children and include deterioration of sleep conditions among adult residents.


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