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These images of kids getting their blood tested in Flint are heartbreaking

Detroit Free Press

FLINT, Mich. — Detroit Free Press photographer Ryan Garza captured some heartbreaking images of children in Flint, Mich., Saturday. The photos were shot at a free lead level testing event at the Masonic Temple in downtown Flint.

Flint's drinking water became contaminated with lead in April 2014 while the city was under the control of a state-appointed emergency manager.

As a cost-cutting move, the city began temporarily drawing its drinking water from the Flint River and treating it at the city water treatment plant while it waited for a new water pipeline to Lake Huron to be completed. Previously, the city used Lake Huron water treated by the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department. The state Department of Environmental Quality has conceded it failed to require needed chemicals to be added to the corrosive Flint River water.

As a result, lead leached from pipes and fixtures into the drinking water.

Anyone who drank city tap water was exposed to lead, but children are more susceptible to lead poisoning than adults.

Adults and children had blood samples taken at the free lead level testing, which was sponsored by the Sanders Law Firm to help Flint residents dealing with the city's water crisis.

Jaylen Smith, 4, of Flint waits in line with his father, Keith Sanders, 25, of Flint to have blood samples taken to be tested for lead on Saturday, Jan. 23, 2016, at the Masonic Temple in downtown Flint.
Mycal Anderson, 9, of Flint sheds a tear while having a blood sample taken to be tested for lead on Saturday, Jan. 23, 2016, at the Masonic Temple in downtown Flint.
Mike Henry Sr. of Grand Blanc holds his grandson, Kaiden Olivares, 3, as he screams while giving a blood sample to be tested for lead on Saturday Jan. 23, 2016, at the Masonic Temple in downtown Flint.
Mike Henry Sr. of Grand Blanc wipes away tears after his grandson, Kaiden Olivares, 3, scream while giving a blood sample to be tested for lead on Saturday Jan. 23, 2016, at the Masonic Temple in downtown Flint.

How Flint's water crisis unfolded

Jessica Durando contributed to this report.