Lead in the environment in Connecticut is a major environmental health hazard. It has had wide use in a wide variety of commercial products ranging from leaded gas to household paint. However, lead is a toxic substance that affects the development of the nervous system, and extended exposure can lead to neorological dysfunction and even death.
Children six years old and under are most at risk because this is when the brain is developing. The primary source of lead exposure for most children is lead-based paint but lead in drinking water can add to exposure.
There is a high occurrence of lead ore deposits around that are gathered, and distributed around the world. A person’s environment is full of lead. People are exposed to lead in many different ways (such as paint, gasoline, solder, and consumer products) and through different pathways (such as air, food, water, dust, and soil).
Although all there are several exposure sources, lead-based paint is the most widespread and dangerous high-dose source of lead exposure. Additionally, lead in drinking water accounts for 10 to 20 percent of human exposure. Infants who consume mainly mixed formula can receive 40-60 percent of lead through drinking water.
Impacts on the Health of Connecticut Residents
Infants and children who drink water containing lead in excess could experience delays in their physical or mental development. Young children could show slight deficits in attention span and learning abilities. Adults with exposure, over years, may develop kidney problems or high blood pressure. Even low levels of lead exposure can result in decreased performance on intelligence tests.
Lead exposure in adults is also associated with fertility problems and cataracts. Additionally, lead is stored within bones/teeth, and can be released into the blood stream at times of stress. As new information has emerged about the neurological, reproductive, and possible hypertensive toxicity of lead, the CDC has progressively increased the level of concern for blood lead levels.
Lead in drinking water in Connecticut becomes a concern when lead levels exceed 15 ppb out of the tap. Either lead is getting into drinking water from the header pipe in the street, or lead is getting through the home’s plumbing. For immediate correction of the problem, run a shower and all sinks with cold water for a minimum of 5 minutes to clear out all of the lead. If warm water is used, the lead levels will be greatly increased.
If you’re concerned about lead in your CT water, call us today.