Lead Contamination Beyond Flint: Drinking Water and Children's Health

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On the whole, American drinking water is safe. However, more than a year after toxic lead levels forced a federal state of emergency in Flint, MI, 63 percent of Americans report that they worry a great deal about polluted drinking water. This statistic comes from a new Gallup poll indicating that water pollution ranks the highest of six environmental concerns among respondents. While pipes in Flint are expected to be replaced with the help of a $97 million settlement, there are other cities with histories of unsafe lead levels — or other toxins — in drinking water. These contaminants can threaten health, particularly among children. This Forum grappled with safekeeping American drinking water supplies. Does the drinking water infrastructure need replacement? How would such an effort look? Do public alert systems help? What about other potential lead exposure sources? What is the role of regulation in a time of proposed deep cuts to EPA funding? What does the public need to know? This timely discussion was held in advance of Earth Day.

Presented April 20, 2017, jointly with The Huffington Post.

Watch the entire series at ForumHSPH.org.

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