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Why This Matters: Because of the way that lead accumulates in the body, ingesting even small amounts of it over a long period of time can be damaging to human health. The effects of long-term lead exposure in children include reduced IQ, lower academic performance, and attention deficit disorders. The study, conducted by Healthy Babies Bright Futures (HBBF), found that 15% of homes had high enough concentrations of lead to cause an IQ drop of half a point in infants exclusively fed formula mixed with tap water.
Only 26% of infants in the United States are exclusively breastfed from birth to six months of age. Most will be fed some form of formula, most likely powdered, during that time, which may put them at risk for lead exposure.
Twenty-six percent of Black infants are never breastfed, more than any other demographic. Many of these infants are fed exclusively with formula mixed with tap water.
Christin Farmer, the founder of Cleveland based Birthing Beautiful Communities, explained that in her city, maps showing lead in water supplies lined up very closely with maps of disadvantaged and low-income neighborhoods, “Black children have a disadvantage before they even arrive.”
Removing lead drinking water lines from the homes of children born in 2018 alone could protect 350,000 children and yield $2.7 billion.
The EPA, experts say, has dragged its feet, allowing loopholes in the system to disqualify dangerous pipes from removal processes.
Jane Houlihan, research director for HBBF, wants families to know that there is no need to panic and that there are ways to make sure that every feeding method is safe for infants. She encourages families to have their water tested, use water filters as an affordable way to prevent lead exposure, and use cold water for consumption as it is less likely to leech contaminants from pipes.
As California’s drought conditions are worsening, Nestle is pumping millions of gallons of water from the San Bernardino forest. State water officials have drafted a cease-and-desist order to force the company to stop overpumping from Strawberry Creek, which provides drinking water for about 750,000 people.
The ice-out date for Maine’s Lake Auburn is now three weeks earlier than it was two centuries ago, the Portland Press Herald reports, and other lakes across New England show similar trends. Climate change is not good for ice, and that includes Maine’s lakes that freeze over every winter.
Why This Matters: A disrupted winter with lakes that “defrost” earlier has multiple knock-on effects for freshwater: in addition to harming fish in lakes, the resulting large cyanobacteria algae blooms that form can be harmful to human health.
by Ashira Morris, ODP Staff Writer Drought conditions cover 85% of Mexico as lakes and reservoirs dry up across the country. Mexico City is experiencing its worst drought in 30 years, and the reservoirs and aquifers are so depleted that some residents don’t have tap water. The capital city relies on water pumped in from […]
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