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🔬 "There Is Still Lead In U.S. Tap Water"

Water Nerds

Photo by Adam Maloney / Unsplash

Table of Contents

Host: Analies Ross-Dyjak
Category: 🔬 Research

Podcast’s Essential Bites:

[0:48] “This lead problem that's happening in the US and has been happening for decades, hasn't been resolved. […] The NRDC, Natural Resources Defense Council […] conducted the study that found that 186 million people in the US are drinking water that is contaminated with lead. And that's also a relatively conservative number.”

[2:16] “Lead is still an issue […] across the whole country, but there are certainly some hotspots […] and older municipalities, older cities are really problem areas for lead in municipal distribution pipes and lead in homes. […] If your home was built before 1986, lead is most likely in your plumbing, your fixtures […] unless, of course, it's been mitigated. […] It's not something that they really highlight when you're purchasing a house.”

[3:23] “There are federal regulations that were created to protect us from exposure to lead, but these are really old laws. […] The Lead and Copper Rule is the only regulation that addresses lead in drinking water […] head on. […] [It] create[d] this safe level in the eyes of the government, that Americans should be drinking in terms of lead. And that is 15 parts per billion. […] The American Academy of Pediatrics and other health organizations stand by that there is no safe level of lead for children, so it should always be zero. And then especially for kids ages five and under. […] So there's a ton of discrepancy between those two numbers and a time discrepancy between what we're being told is safe and what's actually safe. And this number hasn't been updated since 1991.”

[5:42] “It's really up to the homeowner and just members of the community to advocate for these stricter laws, or even some sort of lead mitigation. A lot of cities will help finance lead replacement in your house, but the homeowner ultimately has to pay usually a few thousand dollars just just to ensure that the water coming out of their tap is safe.”

[6:21] “Another misconception about lead is that it actually has nothing really […] to do with the source water itself, other than how corrosive it is, and it has everything to do with the pipes. So even though you might have this super clean source water, it can be entirely ruined when it comes into contact with the lead pipes. […] Obviously corrosiveness plays a lot into how the water will react when it's inside the lead pipes. corrosive water can make the lead become more apparent when it's traveling through pipes.”

[8:48] “The Infrastructure Bill that was recently signed by President Biden [has] a large component of [what is] going to address drinking water. […] $45 billion […] is being allocated to replace all lead pipes, […] [which] sounds super significant. And it certainly is a step in the right direction. Just for a little bit of perspective, the city of Chicago is one of those cities [with] old infrastructure [and] high levels of lead. […] They did this comprehensive assessment of what it would cost to replace every single lead pipe in the city of Chicago and that number was $8.5 billion. […] And so $45 billion doesn't really cover all of those big municipalities in the US, let alone the smaller communities that might not have the same funding as a city like Chicago.”

Rating: 💧💧

🎙️ Full Episode: Apple
🕰️ 13 min | 🗓️ 01/02/2022
✅ Time saved: 11 min

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