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Lead is a toxic metal that can be harmful to human health even at low exposure levels


July 25,2017

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, by the looks of some of the comments yesterday , some residents in Ridgewood have clearly been drinking water with with lead in it for far to long.

In April the Ridgewood blog reported on the test results in the Ridgewood school system . The State of New Jersey requires all drinking water in our school facilities to be tested for lead during the 2016-2017 school year.

According to the EPA , “Lead can enter drinking water when service pipes that contain lead corrode, especially where the water has high acidity or low mineral content that corrodes pipes and fixtures. The most common problem is with brass or chrome-plated brass faucets and fixtures with lead solder, from which significant amounts of lead can enter into the water, especially hot water.”
The Safe Drinking Water Act requires EPA to determine the level of contaminants in drinking water at which no adverse health effects are likely to occur with an adequate margin of safety. These non-enforceable health goals, based solely on possible health risks, are called maximum contaminant level goals (MCLGs). EPA has set the maximum contaminant level goal for lead in drinking water at zero because lead is a toxic metal that can be harmful to human health even at low exposure levels. Lead is persistent, and it can bioaccumulate in the body over time.

Young children, infants, and fetuses are particularly vulnerable to lead because the physical and behavioral effects of lead occur at lower exposure levels in children than in adults. A dose of lead that would have little effect on an adult can have a significant effect on a child. In children, low levels of exposure have been linked to damage to the central and peripheral nervous system, learning disabilities, shorter stature, impaired hearing, and impaired formation and function of blood cells.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that public health actions be initiated when the level of lead in a child’s blood is 5 micrograms per deciliter (µg/dL) or more.

It is important to recognize all the ways a child can be exposed to lead. Children are exposed to lead in paint, dust, soil, air, and food, as well as drinking water. If the level of lead in a child’s blood is at or above the CDC action level of 5 micrograms per deciliter, it may be due to lead exposures from a combination of sources. EPA estimates that drinking water can make up 20 percent or more of a person’s total exposure to lead. Infants who consume mostly mixed formula can receive 40 percent to 60 percent of their exposure to lead from drinking water.

2 thoughts on “Lead is a toxic metal that can be harmful to human health even at low exposure levels

  1. There was lead everywhere till the middle of the century and people turned out just fine. There was no slowdown in economic progress or scientific progress.
    Likewise, the ‘greatest generation’ grew up surrounded by asbestos, lead, radioactive materials and what not. They went on to be.. well.. the greatest generation.
    We have removed all these things and look at what we are producing now – perpetually triggered snowflakes.
    This ridiculous discussion about trace lead levels – far far less than anything 95% of humanity past or present has lived with – is a great example of why we only raise snowflakes now.

  2. Forget the lead… its the Hydrogen that’s the problem.

    The Hydrogen levels are TWICE that of the Oxygen levels in the water provided by Ridgewood Water.
    that’s the same water that is coming into YOUR HOUSE, and ALL of the SCHOOLS, INCLUDING K and Pre-K schools!!

    This is the real crisis!!!

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