Baltimore Encounters a Problem With Lead Contamination

Posted in: US Water News
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Article courtesy of Scott Dance | April 18th, 2016 | The Baltimore Sun | Shared as educational material.

Recently, the analysis of water quality tests in the City of Baltimore has shown that there were unaccepted levels of lead in the area’s water sources. Of the samples taken, four percent (two out of the fifty-two) had lead concentrations higher than fifteen parts per billion, which is considered the “action level” by the Environmental Protection Agency. These samples were taken in 2015 from homes in the East and Northern regions of Baltimore. Water tests done in 2012 had suggested safe levels of lead that deserved no concern, but unfortunately, it seems as certain changes have occurred.

Physician-epidemiologist in environmental health at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Dr. Ana Navas-Acien, recommends that residents in the area be checked for lead levels in their blood, especially if there happen to be children in the household. Unfortunately, there hasn’t been any federal response to the issue as the EPA only acts when over ten percent of the samples in a water quality test are above the action level.

Schools in the city have long been following safety procedures when it comes to safe drinking water for the students. Officials state that Baltimore has excellent water sources and the fortune is only compounded by the fact that the water mains are not made of lead. They claim that they have carefully kept watch over the water for the past few years. Moreover, Baltimore states that the test is not representative as it acquired the worst results possible. That being said, authorities have asked residents in affected areas to follow some guidelines on drinking water that has the potential to have traces of lead. Read more about the issues that Baltimore face and how it looks to address them here.

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