Lead in Drinking Water
Why is lead in our water such a serious concern?
Lead is a neurotoxin and has a number of serious effects on our bodies:
- In adults, elavated lead levels can have cardiovascular effects, decreased kidney functioning, or cause reproductive problems.
- In children, elavated lead levels can cause behavior or learning problems such as lower IQ, ADD or ADHD, hearing problems or speech delays, and anemia.
- In pregnancy, elavated lead levels have been associated with gestational hypertension, spontaneous abortion, low birthweigtht, and impaired neurodevelopment.
Important Note on New Blood Lead Levels
What used to be a reference level of 10 micrograms per deciliter, experts are now using a reference level of 5 micrograms to identify children with blood levels that are higher than most children's levels. This new level is based on the U.S. population of children ages 1-5 years who are in the highest 2.5% of children when tested for lead in their blood.
Center for Disease Control & Prevention About Lead in Water
Center for Disease Control & Prevention What Parents Need to Know
NPR Lead Levels Below EPA Limits Can Still Impact Your Health
NPR Where Lead Lurks and Why Even Small Amounts Matter