Lead Drinking Water Crisis in Flint Michigan KDF

Lead- Metals- Corrosive Water
Water Quality Association Addresses Drinking Water Crisis in Flint, Michigan

Offers facts and tips about treating for lead contamination

Lisle, Illinois -The Water Quality Association (WQA), an Illinois-based not-for-profit organization, is offering informational resources to help with the drinking water crisis in Flint, Michigan. Flint residents are expected to receive federal aid to help ensure their access to safe drinking water. On January 16, 2016, President Obama signed an Emergency Declaration for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to coordinate all disaster- relief efforts. The declaration states that, “This emergency assistance is to provide water, water filters, water filter cartridges, water test kits, and other necessary related items for a period of no more than 90 days.”

Lead (Pb) has been identified as the waterborne contaminant of primary concern for Flint’s residents. To minimize the presence of contaminants such as lead, which may enter the water after it has left a municipal treatment facility, WQA recommends water treatment equipment that has been certified by an ANSI (American National Standards Institute)-accredited certification body. Such accredited entities include WQA’s Gold Seal Product Certification Program, NSF International and Underwriters Laboratory. Flint residents are encouraged to visit www.wqa.org to search for the names of products certified by WQA for lead reduction. Click here to download a technical fact sheet about Lead (Pb).

It is important consumers follow the manufacturer’s instructions for maintenance. WQA also lists of water treatment professionals across the U.S. on its website at www.wqa.org.
Additional notes
1. Recommend that we concentrate on the following – get kids and adults blood tested.
2. Get first flush testing completed for lead and alternative water source for drinking.
3. Install point of use treatment in the interim.
4. Develop a plan to remove the lead service lines.
5. Develop a plan to install corrosion control.
6. Lawsuits should wait until the problem is addressed.

More on lead in drinking water- Corrosion 

Check out the Know Your H20? App

Water Treatment Systems – Must Likely need a neutralizing filter and a filter that has KDF 85 or KDF 55 media.


More – 2/4/2016

Water Quality Association Addresses Frequently Asked Questions about Lead in Water

Lisle, Illinois -The Water Quality Association (WQA), an Illinois-based not-for-profit organization, is offering informational resources to help differentiate fact from fiction regarding the drinking water crisis in Flint, Michigan. The Association has compiled answers to several of the most common questions, while addressing some widespread misconceptions Flint residents may have about lead (Pb) in drinking water.

What are potential health effects from lead?

Lead poisoning often displays no outward symptoms; however, irritability, weight loss, vomiting, constipation, and stomach pain are possible signs to look for. Young children and pregnant women are at the greatest risk, even from short-term exposure. Reduced cognitive development and neurobehavioral deficits are associated with blood levels less than 10 micrograms of lead per deciliter of blood in children.[1] Therefore, there is no safe level for lead to be present in the blood of children.[2] Individuals will adsorb more lead if they have poor nutrition than those with better diets.

Can a Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) meter be used to detect lead in drinking water?

No. There have been some misconceptions around TDS Meters. These meters cannot measure lead specifically; they detect the conductivity directly related to the concentration of combined total dissolved solids such as minerals, salts and metals. The typical sample of tap water in the U.S. contains approximately 350 parts per million (ppm) of TDS[3], which, as a whole does not on its own indicate a health concern and in many cases is used as a means to enhance taste of water.  Lead concentration is found 1000 times lower at the parts per billion (ppb) level, and is too small to be detected without sophisticated instrumentation. Moreover, because TDS meters don’t measure individual ions, lead cannot be detected on its own.

Where can I go to get my water tested?

Water testing should be done be a certified testing laboratory.[4] WQA strongly recommends water testing be conducted at each point of use in accordance with appropriate sampling procedures. The water should be checked after a period of disuse before a specific water treatment product is selected. Water conditions can change, so the water should be tested both before a treatment product has been installed and at regular intervals following installation. Studies have shown the reported levels of lead found in some Flint, MI water results are higher than conditions under which the manufacturer set the replacement recommendations for filters in published manuals.

How do I maintain a filter once it is installed?

Always follow the manufacturer’s installation instructions and contact the manufacturer to confirm usage and capacity. To ensure the manufacturer can provide the most accurate recommendations, have test results for lead and iron on hand for review.

Where do I find a product certified for lead reduction?

American National Standards Institute (ANSI)-accredited entities offering product certification include: WQA’s Product Certification Program, NSF International, International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials, and Underwriters Laboratory. To find products certified by WQA for lead reduction. Contact information for local professionals and manufacturers of certified products can also be found wqa.org.

Flint Authority Falsely Reports Water Quality Testing for Lead in Drinking Water

Not our work – but Great Story

“FLINT, MI – As concerns about Flint’s water quality were mounting earlier this year, the city disregarded federal rules requiring it to seek out homes with lead plumbing for testing, potentially leading the city and state to underestimate for months the extent of toxic lead leaching into Flint’s tap water.

City water officials filed certified documents with state regulators that claimed the city only tested tap water from homes where residents were at the highest risk of lead poisoning, but records obtained by The Flint Journal-MLive show those claims were false and may have delayed efforts to fix the public health emergency.

Water samples sent to state labs for testing in the first six months of this year were all marked as having come from homes with lead service lines, but actually almost always came from homes at less risk of lead leaching – houses with underground plumbing made of copper, galvanized steel or materials that could not be identified, according to the city’s own documents given to The Journal through the Freedom of Information Act.

In response to questioning, Flint Utilities Administrator Mike Glasgow said the city was struggling to collect the number of samples that were required following the city’s switch to the Flint River as its water source in April 2014.”

To read more on this story – go to http://www.mlive.com/news/flint/index.ssf/2015/11/documents_show_city_filed_fals.html

Learn More about Your Drinking Water

  1. Get the Know Your H20? Phone App (Free) – http://www.knowyourh20.us
  2. Learn more about Corrosive Water and Affordable Water Testing – http://www.water-research.ne


Flint Michigan Officials Drinking Water We Have Problems

Flint Officials Are No Longer Saying the Water Is Fine



OCT. 7, 2015

“FLINT, Mich. — All along, through months of complaints from residents of this city about the peculiar colors and odors they said were coming from their faucets, the overriding message from the authorities here was that the water would be just fine.

Yes, there had been a boil order when fecal coliform bacteria turned up in some neighborhoods last year. And yes, the extra chlorine that was pumped in to solve that problem seemed to create another one — increased levels of a different contaminant.

Still, the guidance from Flint officials about the temporary water supply they switched to in 2014 — partly to save money — sounded reassuring. In a notice sent to residents in July, city officials declared: “This is not an emergency. If a situation arises where the water is no longer safe to drink, you will be notified within 24 hours.”

The soothing talk has vanished. In recent weeks, testing has shown increased levels of lead in the blood of some Flint children — and health officials pointed to the water as a possible source.

First, the city advised residents to run their water for five minutes before using it, to use only cold water for drinking and cooking, and to install lead-removing water filters. Then county officials issued an emergency advisory recommending that people not drink Flint’s water unless it is tested for lead or filtered.

And last Friday, after corroborating that lead levels had risen in some children, state officials called for the water to be tested at all Flint public schools and for stepped-up efforts to replace lead service lines; they also promised $1 million to provide filters.

Officials met here on Wednesday afternoon, and talks were underway, officials said, for additional solutions that could come as early as Thursday. Gov. Rick Snyder said on Twitter late Wednesday that he planned to make an announcement about the situation on Thursday morning.

Private groups have raced to donate bottled water to schools, where the water fountains are now shut off, as well as filters to families who cannot afford them. Saying “we’re just in a heck of a bind,” Robert J. Pickell, the Genesee County sheriff, began serving bottled water and food that need not be cooked in water to hundreds of inmates in the county jail. Some residents have begun washing their children and pets with bottled water.

And Flint’s mayor, Dayne Walling, who had attended a 2014 event to celebrate the switch to the new water supply, called for returning to the city’s old water supply and urged state officials to provide millions of dollars to help pay for it.

The contaminated water was just the latest blow to Flint, an economically battered city that has struggled for years with factory closings, job losses and population decline.”

Full Article


  1. This can be a problem associated with bacterial regrowth, Microbiologically induced corrosion, corrosive water, and a plumbing problem.
  2. The primary recommendations get a comprehensive water quality test of the first flush and flushed water sample.
  3. Always flush the water line prior to use and use cold water and not hot water.
  4. Base decisions on facts not fear.
  5. Special Informational Water Screening Testing – Get your water screened for water contamination including lead – unflushed and flushed water samples tested for  30 parameters including corrosion potential for only $ 175.00.  Email

New Lead-Free Requirement Lead in Drinking Water Act

New lead-free requirement

With the federal lead-content law taking effect on January 4, 2014, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is offering an informational handout to help companies whose products are certified as lead-free explain new certification marks.

There is no mandatory federal requirement for product testing or third-party certification under the Safe Drinking Water Act, but some entities may require certification.

Consumers may choose to increase their level of confidence by purchasing products with a mark indicating products have been certified by an accredited third-party certification body as meeting the new lead-free requirement.

Products that have not been certified may still meet the new lead-free requirement. If you are unable to determine if a product is lead-free, contacting the manufacturer is the best way to confirm the lead content.

Although other states have laws pertaining to the lead content in products, California is currently the only state that has a bill (SB 1334) requiring certification, according to the EPA. However, there may be local laws or entities in other states that require it.

Becoming fully effective in the beginning of 2014, the Reduction of Lead in Drinking Water Act defines “lead-free” as not containing more than 0.2% lead when used with solder and flux. Products also must not exceed a weighted average of 0.25% lead when used with the wetted surfaces of pipes and pipe and plumbing fittings and fixtures. The new EPA handout also contains a helpful diagram for determining which products must meet the new lead-free requirement.

Original Content of http://www.pacleanwater.org

Other corrosion related problems with water – metallic taste, lead, copper, zinc


We seek new people at all skill levels for a variety of programs. One thing that everyone can do is attend meetings to share ideas on improving CCGG, enabling us to better understand and address the concerns of well owners.

Everything we do began with an idea.

We realize your time is precious and the world is hectic. CCGG’s volunteers do only what they’re comfortable with. It can be a little or a lot.

For more information, please go to CCGG’s About Page or contact us.

Carbon County Groundwater Guardians is a 501(c)(3) IRS approved nonprofit, volunteer organization and your donation is tax deductible to the extent allowed by law..  Unsolicited donations are appreciated.

Help the Organization and Get Your Water Tested or Order the Private Well Owner Guide (proceeds benefit This Organization).

Heavy Metal Poisioning Metals in Your Environment

It May NOT Be the Water  (This is not our work, but great information- see credit).

“Heavy metal poisoning is caused by metals that accumulate within the body’s fat cells, central nervous system, bones, brain, glands, and/or hair to produce negative health effects. Such metals are unsafe at any level in the body, and their presence in the body is not normal.

The most common heavy metal poisons are lead, cadmium, mercury, and nickel. Aluminum, while not a heavy metal, can also cause toxicity and poor health. They are by no means the only toxic metals that can cause poor health.

Do You Have a Problem
Symptoms of heavy metal poisoning can vary greatly, and depending on the type of metal toxicity, the age of the affected person (children are more susceptible to heavy metal poisoning), the length of the exposure, and the presence or absence of protective minerals and other nutrients that inhibit the absorption, binding, and effects of the toxic metals. For example, calcium deficiency exacerbates lead toxicity, while normal levels of calcium in the body help to protect against lead toxicity.

One common side effect of these metals is a metallic taste in the mouth. What follows are other common side effects for each of these toxic metals:

Aluminum: Aluminum toxicity may be associated with headaches, cognitive problems, learning disabilities, poor bone density (osteoporosis), ringing in the ears, gastrointestinal disorders, colic, hyperactivity in children, and ataxia (an abnormal walking pattern). Its possible role in poor memory or Alzheimer’s disease is speculative at this time but also worth noting.

Cadmium: Cadmium toxicity can cause fatigue, irritability, headaches, high blood pressure, enlargement of the prostate gland, increased risk for cancer, hair loss, learning disabilities, kidney and liver disorders, skin disorders, painful joints, and decreased immune functioning.

Lead: Lead toxicity can cause poor bone growth and development, learning disabilities, fatigue, poor task performance, irritability, anxiety, high blood pressure, weight loss, increased susceptibility to infection, ringing in the ears, decreased cognitive functioning and concentration and spelling skills, headaches, gastrointestinal problems, constipation, muscle and joint pain, tremors, and overall general decreased immune functioning.

Mercury: Mercury toxicity can cause cognitive and memory problems, irritability, fatigue, insomnia, gastrointestinal disorders, decreased immune response, irrational behavior, numbness, tingling, muscular weakness, impaired vision and hearing, allergic conditions, asthma, and multiple sclerosis.

Nickel: Nickel toxicity may be associated with fatigue, respiratory illnesses, heart conditions, skin rashes, psoriasis, fatigue, and headaches.


Exposure to toxic metals is quite common, given the degree of environmental toxins that now affect our planet. What follows are some of the most likely sources of exposure for each of the most common toxic metals:

Aluminum: Aluminum-containing antacids, many over-the-counter drugs and douches that contain aluminum, aluminum cookware and aluminum foil (especially when preparing and storing acidic foods), antiperspirants, most commercial baking powders, and contaminated water.

Cadmium: Possible contamination from cigarette and pipe smoke, instant coffee and tea, nickel-cadmium batteries, contaminated water, some soft drinks, refined grains, fungicides, pesticides, and some plastics.

Lead: Cigarette smoke, eating paint that is lead-based (in children, especially in poor housing or older housing), eating and cooking foods in ceramic glazes that are lead-based, leaded gasoline, eating liver that may be contaminated with lead, living in the inner city that may have elevated lead air levels, contaminated water, canned foods (especially fruit in which the lead-soldered cans may leach into the food), certain bone meal supplements, and insecticides.

Mercury: Possible contamination from mercury-based dental amalgam fillings, laxatives that contain calomel, some hemorrhoid suppositories, inks used by some printers and tattooists, some paints, some cosmetics, and many products that may contain small amounts of mercury such as fabric softeners, wood preservatives, solvents, drugs, and some plastics and contaminated fish.

Nickel: Many pieces of jewelry contain nickel and wearing them next to skin creates some absorption. Some metal cooking utensils have nickel added to them, even stainless steel, which is mostly a problem when cooking acidic foods. Cigarette smoke, hydrogenated fats (as nickel is the catalyst for the reaction to create them), some refined foods, and fertilizers contain nickel.

Note: Vaccinations and common dental amalgam fillings are two primary causes of heavy metal poisoning from mercury, as mercury is contained in many vaccines and well as in silver amalgams.

Caution: Heavy metal poisoning is a serious health problem and should not be ignored. To determine whether you are affected by this problem, consult with a holistic practitioner with experience in screening for these poisons and then work with him or her to effectively detoxify your body.”

It may be your drinking water – So get it tested and you should learn about drinking water quality. You are free to choose any lab you want and any testing options you want. If any result is above the Maximum Contaminate Level (MCL) or you just don’t understand the results, you can receive specific advice and recommendations if you send a copy of the tests to Mr. Oram at 15 Hillcrest Drive, Dallas, PA 18612.   Also, you should order the new booklet for Private Well Owners In PA – proceeds benefit our non-profit organization.

We seek new people at all skill levels for a variety of programs. One thing that everyone can do is attend meetings to share ideas on improving CCGG, enabling us to better understand and address the concerns of well owners.

Everything we do began with an idea.

We realize your time is precious and the world is hectic. CCGG’s volunteers do only what they’re comfortable with. It can be a little or a lot.

For more information, please go to CCGG’s About Page or contact us.

Carbon County Groundwater Guardians is a 501(c)(3) IRS approved nonprofit, volunteer organization and your donation is tax deductible to the extent allowed by law.

Source – http://www.naturalhomecures.com/member/heavymetalpoisoning.html

Private Well Owners Workshop in Luzerne County Pennsylvania

We ARE What We Drink !
Learning More About Our Water In Northeast Pennsylvania

A private well owner workshop designed to educate and protect citizens from common and potential contaminants. Join us for a great day of education and an opportunity to test a sample of your own well water (pH and a few other parameters).

Saturday, July 27,2013
10:00AM –12:00PM

9:00AM –9:45AM
Check-in & Family Nature Walk •
The Educational Workshop is free!
• All children are welcome to attend as well!
• Please bring a sample of your tap water to the workshop for an initial pH test!

Workshop Sessions:

10:00 AM Your Water: The Contaminants You Can’t See! presented by Brian Oram, B.F. Environmental Consultants  (PDF version of presentation)

11:00 AM Protecting Your Water: Taking the First Step presented by Brian Oram, B.F. Environmental Consultants  (PDF version of presentation)

11:45PM Test your well water’s pH and a few other factors

Limit of 40 attendees—Pre-registration is required by July 19th. Brian Oram’s attendance is made possible by the Carbon County Groundwater Guardians.

The mission of the Luzerne Conservation District is to conserve land and water resources in Luzerne County by promoting public awareness, providing technical assistance, and encouraging regulatory compliance.  (PDF Document for Event)- Other outreach in Luzerne County, PA

We seek new people at all skill levels for a variety of programs. One thing that everyone can do is attend meetings to share ideas on improving CCGG, enabling us to better understand and address the concerns of well owners.

Everything we do began with an idea.

We realize your time is precious and the world is hectic. CCGG’s volunteers do only what they’re comfortable with. It can be a little or a lot.

For more information, please go to CCGG’s About Page or contact us.

Carbon County Groundwater Guardians is a 501(c)(3) IRS approved nonprofit, volunteer organization and your donation is tax deductible to the extent allowed by law.  Help the Organization and Get Your Water Tested or Order the Private Well Owner Guide (proceeds benefit This Organiazation).

Midwest utility to shut coal-burning power plants


Thursday, 01.26.12
Akron Beacon Journal

AKRON, Ohio — FirstEnergy Corp. on Thursday said it will retire six coal-fired power plants, including four in Ohio, because of stricter federal anti-pollution rules.

The six older and dirtier plants will be closed by Sept. 1.

“It was a tough decision,” said Charles D. Lasky, vice president of fossil fleet operations for FirstEnergy Generation Corp.

FirstEnergy will be among the first American utilities to close aging, polluting power plants after tighter federal clean-air rules were finalized last month.

FirstEnergy had been keeping a close eye on proposed federal rules on mercury, heavy metals and air toxics from coal-burning power plants for years, Lasky said.

The new rules provided FirstEnergy with “sufficient certainty” to proceed with the closings, he said.

The federal mandate that improvements be completed within three years was a factor in the decision to retire the six plants, which represent 12 percent of the utility’s generation capacity, he said.

The decision affects 529 workers who will be eligible for severance benefits, the Akron-based utility said.

It indicated that the number of affected workers might be less because some might be considered for other openings within the company and because of a new retirement benefit being offered to workers 55 and older.

About one-third of those 529 workers are eligible for retirement. The utility has about 100 openings in its fossil fuel division, officials said.

The plants to be closed are:

-Bay Shore Plant, Boilers 2-4, in Oregon, Ohio, outside Toledo. One boiler with anti-pollution equipment will remain open.

-Eastlake Plant with five boilers, Eastlake.

-Ashtabula Plant, Ashtabula.

-Lake Shore Plant, Cleveland.

-Armstrong Power Station, Adrian, Pa.

-R. Paul Smith Power Station, Williamsport, Md.

The Eastlake plant is the largest, capable of producing 1,233 megawatts; the Williamsport plant is the smallest at 116 megawatts.

The average age of the six plants is 55 years, Lasky said.

The closings were triggered by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s new Mercury and Air Toxic Standards (MATS), which were finalized Dec. 21.

Reducing emissions of mercury, heavy metals and airborne toxics from coal-burning power plants will protect people’s health, the EPA said.

Installing anti-pollution equipment on small, old power plants was not economically feasible, FirstEnergy concluded.

Lasky declined to say how much it would have cost FirstEnergy to equip the plants with bag houses, activated carbon filters and lime or sorbent injection systems to meet the new federal rules.

FirstEnergy saw no advantage to waiting to see whether legal challenges might overturn the new rules, said Ray Evans, executive director of environmental for FirstEnergy Services.

In some cases, there is not enough land around the old plants to install anti-pollution equipment, he said.

Lead poisoning: number one environmental health threat to children ages six and younger in the U.S.

EPA News Release
Contact: Donna Heron 215-814-5113 / heron.donna@epa.gov

Lead Poisoning Prevention Week (Oct. 23-30)

PHILADELPHIA (October 25, 2011) — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has declared October 23-30, 2011 Lead Poisoning Prevention Week as part of the agency’s on-going efforts to make families aware of the hazards presented by lead and lead-based paint in the home and places where children under six years of age are regularly present.

Lead is a toxic metal that was used for many years in paint and other products found in and around our homes. Beginning in 1978, lead-based paint was banned from residential use, leaded gasoline has been eliminated, and household plumbing is no longer made with lead materials.

Lead is a major environmental health hazard for young children. Research shows that blood lead levels of 10 micrograms per deciliter of blood (µg/dL) in young children can result in lowered intelligence, reading and learning disabilities, impaired hearing, reduced attention span, hyperactivity, and antisocial behavior. However, there currently is no demonstrated safe concentration of lead in blood, and adverse health effects can occur at lower concentrations.

If caught early, these effects can be limited by reducing exposure to lead or through medical treatment. Children under six years of age are particularly at risk and pregnant women should avoid exposure to lead as the effects can be passed on to the child.

If your home was built before 1978, lead still may be present. The most common source of household lead exposure is through deteriorating lead-based paint.

EPA’s Lead-Based Paint Renovation, Repair and Paint Rule (RRP) became effective on April 22, 2010. Under the RRP, anyone paid to work on residences built before 1978 and/or facilities where children under the age of six are regularly present (such as daycare centers, schools, clinics, etc.) are required to be Certified Lead Safe by EPA and must be trained to follow specific work practices to reduce lead contamination, and provide the EPA publication “Renovate Right” to owners and/or residents prior to the commencement of the work.

The rule applies when the renovation or repair disturbs six sq. ft. of interior (about the size of a standard poster) or 20 sq. ft (about the size of a standard door) of exterior painted surfaces.

The rule does not apply to individuals doing work on their personal residences. However, EPA recommends that lead-safe work practices be used by individual homeowners whenever possible.

Recognizing that families have a right to know about lead-based paint and potential lead hazards in their homes, EPA and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development developed the Lead-Based Paint Disclosure Rule which has been in effect since 1996.

The Lead-Based Paint Disclosure Rule requires that both the owners of residential rental properties and the sellers of residential property built before 1978, disclose known information on lead-based paint and lead-based paint hazards before a lease or sale takes effect. Sales contracts and leases must include a disclosure form about lead-based paint. Buyers have up to 10 days to check for lead hazards. Further, landlords and sellers must also provide the EPA publication “Protect Your Family from Lead in Your Home.”

For more information on protecting your home and family from exposure to lead and to find or become a “Certified Lead-Safe Firm” go to: www.epa.gov/lead or call the National Lead Information Center at 1-800-424-LEAD (5323)

Aircraft to help re-vegetate portion of Palmerton Zinc Superfund Site

(PHILADELPHIA – March 11, 2011) – The U. S. Environmental Protection Agency in cooperation with the National Park Service, will oversee use of an aircraft to plant grass and other vegetation on a 500-acre section of the Palmerton Zinc Superfund site in Pennsylvania along the Appalachian Trail at the top of Blue Mountain.

This project is part of an ongoing action to repair environmental damage that was caused by emissions from zinc smelting operations in the Borough of Palmerton.  Due to the steep and remote location, a modified crop dusting aircraft will be used to distribute a specific mixture of seed, lime and fertilizer on the property owned by the National Park Service and Pennsylvania State Game Land.  Weather-permitting, work is scheduled to begin the week of March 14 and should take five to six weeks to complete.

“The re-vegetation of Blue Mountain marks another step forward in a lengthy clean-up process and helps restore a beautiful portion of Appalachian Trail with native grasses, plants and shrubs so that it blends in naturally with the Pennsylvania countryside,” said EPA’s Mid-Atlantic Regional Administrator Shawn M. Garvin.

“This step has been a long time coming and we are delighted to have this remediation work getting underway,” said Pamela Underhill, Park Manager for the Appalachian National Scenic Trail.

During the planting, the public will see aircraft originating from the nearby Slatington, Pa. airport flying low over the top of Blue Mountain.  This aerial reseeding technique was previously used to restore other sections of the mountain west and east of the Lehigh River.  The mixture of seed used during this restoration is designed to foster the growth of warm season grasses, shrubs and trees native to the area.

The restoration work is being paid for by CBS Inc., formerly Viacom International, the party potentially responsible for the contamination.  More information on the Palmerton site can be found on EPA’s website at: http://www.epa.gov/reg3hwmd/super/sites/PAD002395887/index.htm .

Contacts: Roy Seneca (EPA) seneca.roy@epa.gov 215-814-5567
David Reus David_Reus@nps.gov  (National Park Service) 304-535-4001

Congress moves to reduce lead in drinking water


Congress moves to reduce lead in drinking water

The Associated Press
Friday, December 17, 2010

WASHINGTON — Congress on Friday sent President Barack Obama a bill that would significantly reduce exposures to lead in drinking water.

Lead contamination can pose serious health risks, particularly to pregnant women and children. It has been linked to health problems such as kidney disease, hypertension, reduced IQs in children, and brain damage.

The House approved the bill on a 226-109 vote. The Senate approved it earlier on a voice vote.

The bill would set federal standards for levels of permissible lead in plumbing fixtures that carry drinking water, with allowable lead content going from the current federal level of as much as 8 percent to 0.25 percent. It limits the amount of lead that can leach from plumbing into drinking water.

Rep. Mike Doyle, D-Pa., said the new standards would nearly eradicate lead in facets and fixtures. He cited Environmental Protection Agency estimates that lead from these sources contribute to up to 20 percent of human exposure.

The bill becomes effective 36 months after it is signed into law. It would then prohibit manufacturers and importers from selling plumbing fixtures that don’t meet the new standards.

“In 21st century America, we have a responsibility to do more to protect our children and families against lead exposure acquired through plumbing systems,” said Rep. Anna Eshoo, D-Calif., who authored the bill in the House. “Lead-free plumbing is an existing alternative, it’s affordable and it’s time we adopt it across the nation.” Health studies, she said, have estimated that lead exposure costs the nation $43 billion in lost time and health costs.

“Lead, a toxic heavy metal, does not belong in our drinking water,” Senate sponsor Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., said Thursday night after the Senate passed the bill on a voice vote. “This is a major step forward in the effort to eliminate lead in our drinking water.”

Almost all the opposition came from Republicans. Rep. Cliff Stearns, R-Fla., questioned the necessity of passing a federal law when major producers of faucets are already making safer equipment and some states are imposing their own tough standards.

He added that “people should not mistake this bill as a panacea when studies have shown that lead service lines are the biggest culprits of leaked lead.”

An Associated Press investigation last year found that contaminants have surfaced at public and private schools in all 50 states, with lead among the most frequent causes of unsafe water.

Last month residents in New York City were told to run their taps for 30 seconds before drinking water after tests showed elevated lead levels in some older buildings.

“Lead in drinking water poses a dangerous health risk, particularly to pregnant women, infants and children, and it is refreshing to see that members of both parties in the Senate and House can agree on making the water we drink every day safer,” said Mae Wu, an attorney at the Natural Resources Defense Council.