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1st October 2017
Continued from Part 1

Nestlé Pays $200 a Year to Bottle Water Near Flint – Where Water Is Undrinkable- PART 2

"Forward together!”

“Not one step back!”

In April 2014, Flint switched from Detroit city water to the corrosive water in the Flint river. Luster remembers – it happened on her daughter’s birthday. She and her nine-year-old daughter (then seven) quickly became sick. By July, she had collapsed at her job as a retail manager. Even today, strange, unexplained health effects remain.

Luster, 43, has had part of her uterus removed, an unexplained abscess taken from her left breast, and a lymph node removed from her right underarm and back. She has lost a five-gallon bag’s worth of hair.

Now, she is a full-time organizer with Flint Rising, and is considering law school. And almost two years after the crisis made national headlines, Luster still does everything in her Flint home with bottled water – cooking, washing hands, and even seemingly innocuous tasks, like ironing. She filters bottled water to drink.

By this summer, the state of Michigan alone will have provided 157m bottles of water to Flint and counting. Once, a news crew counted how many 16.9-ounce bottles Luster’s household used in a day – 151. “So now you see, when I see a bottle of water, I don’t see, ‘Let me go get a drink.’”

Jessica Glenza is the Health reporter at the Guardian US. She tweets at JessicaGlenza.