Lead in public water supplies of older cities is a very serious health hazard for citizens today. Lead has been a contaminant of civilizations for thousands of years. The toxic effects of lead have been studied in people of all ages, and there is no tolerable lower level of lead allowable in children. In fact, children should have nearly no lead in their bodies!
We get lead from drinking water, lead paint, dust of lead paint, and food grown in lead contaminated soil. The lead accumulates in the bones and stays there. While lead was banned from paint in 1978, many older houses still contain remnants of lead paint. Lead was previously used in the solder for plumbing. Fortunately this is no longer true. Chemicals used for infection control in public water systems are acid, which leaches lead from the solder of old pipes that have never been removed. The lead goes into the drinking water of unsuspecting people.
Lead in the body can result in immune impairment and central nervous system damage. Permanent mental impairment in children may result. Lead alters the functioning of DNA and worsens osteoporosis.
NOTES: One of the biggest problems with lead in the U.S. is the drinking water in the nation’s capital, Washington, D.C. The city’s water infrastructure is known to contain lead, and pipes have not been replaced fast enough. The water is acidic from additives, resulting in the release of lead from the solder into the drinking water. Lead was banned from plumbing solders in the U.S. in 1988.
Orthophosphates have been added to the water supply to prevent corrosion and the leaching of lead, but we don’t know for sure about the safety of orthophosphates for humans. Some people are sensitive to phosphates and can develop kidney diseases or stones. It is claimed that water pH is maintained above 7.0 where orthophosphates work best. However, testing of tap water around the country frequently show an acid pH of around 6.2.
There are natural products available to remove lead from the body, such as homeopathic medications. Herbs such as cilantro help remove heavy metals. There are also oral “chelating agents” which remove heavy metals from the body.
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