Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

Levels of Lead in Drinking Water May Be Higher Than We Know

Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

Levels of Lead in Drinking Water May Be Higher Than We Know

Article excerpt

Dear Doctor K: Like a lot of people, I was shocked by the water disaster in Flint, Michigan. I felt terrible for those people. But then I started to wonder: How safe is my drinking water? Should I be worried?

Dear Reader: The sad answer to your question is that I don't know, and neither may your local department of public health.

Until a little more than a hundred years ago, the world's lead was virtually all buried in the ground, where nature put it. Then it was extracted from the earth and added to gasoline and paint, and turned into pipes, solder for pipes and plumbing fixtures. Automobiles put lead into the air. Paint peeling from walls was tasted by toddlers and, because lead tastes sweet, was tasted again. And lead appeared in the drinking water. …

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