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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.
One of the largest chicken producers in the country — the family-owned Mountaire Corp. — agreed to pay $205 million to settle two court cases that its Delaware plants contaminated water wells, waterways, and the surrounding air with improperly disposed of wastewater.
Why this Matters: Groundwater contamination affects communities across the country. In Orange County and Oakland, California groundwater polluted with industrial waste is seeping into sources of drinking water.
By Natasha Lasky, ODP Staff Writer Over 70% of the drinking water in Orange County, California comes from groundwater. But historic manufacturing nearby has polluted it due to the improper discarding of toxic chemicals. The LA Times reports that there are three major cleanup projects involving groundwater beneath 22 Californian cities, including Anaheim, Santa Ana, […]
On Saturday, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis declared a state of emergency for Manatee County, Florida as a wastewater reservoir at the Piney Point facility was on the verge of collapsing and causing a catastrophic situation. As the New York Times reported, the reservoir holds nearly 400 million gallons of wastewater from a former phosphate mine […]
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