What is it about?
When kids drink water with lead in it, the lead can accumulate in their bodies and cause long-term damage to their developing brains. Lead in water usually comes from pipes, faucets, and other plumbing materials in the home. Most city water systems treat their water to make sure it is not too corrosive and that it provides a protective coating on the plumbing to prevent the lead from getting out. However, in the US, about 13% of households are not served by a city water system. Most of these households get their water from private wells. We found that kids getting their water from private wells have more lead in their blood than kids with city water service.
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Why is it important?
Long-term exposure to lead can damage children's developing brains. This can lead to attention deficits, poorer performance in school, and increased risks of juvenile delinquency. These effects can occur even when levels of lead are very low.
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This page is a summary of: Children drinking private well water have higher blood lead than those with city water, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, July 2020, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, DOI: 10.1073/pnas.2002729117.
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