September 22, 2022 — Chicago’s tap water is supplying residents with lead, according to an analysis of city water data.
One in 20 tap water tests found lead levels at or above federal limits, The Guardian reported. The levels were about one-third more lead than allowed in bottled water.
“This means that of the 24,000 tests, approximately 1,000 homes had lead that exceeded federal standards,” wrote The Guardian. “Experts and residents say these results raise broader concerns because there are about 400,000 lead pipes supplying water to homes in the city, and the vast majority have not been tested under the program. .
“Furthermore, they say the city is not moving fast enough to eliminate the potential danger.”
Gizmodo cited one household that had 1,100 parts per billion. The limit proposed by the Environmental Protection Agency is 15 ppb.
Lead is a dangerous neurotoxin and is particularly harmful to infants and children. It impairs the development of the brain and central nervous system. Long-term exposure can lead to “intellectual disability and behavioral problems,” according to the World Health Organization.
The Guardian’s analysis found that most homes with high lead levels in Chicago are primarily in black or Hispanic neighborhoods.
Recently residents of Jackson, Mississippi saw dirty water leaking from their pipes. Residents of Baltimore and Mansfield, Mass., were ordered to boil their water after authorities discovered the presence of E. coli in the water supply.
And in Flint, Michigan, a water crisis began in 2014 after the city began supplying water from the heavily polluted Flint River instead of treated water from Lake Huron.