By Noah Smith Bloomberg OpinionWhen I was a kid, my dad half-joked that the Roman Empire fell because the Romans used lead to make their pipes, thus poisoning their drinking water supply. Even at age 7, I found that one hard to believe. But maybe, in some crucial ways, my dad was on to something. Strong evidence shows that lead is a uniquely toxic substance that can wreak permanent and devastating changes on both the human brain and a human life. Leads is also still ubiquitous in the U.S. Like the Romans, the U.S. uses lead to supply water — about a third of all U.S. water systems use lead pipes. And until just a few years ago, plumbing fixtures containing as much as 8 percent lead could be sold as “lead-free.” When those pipes become corroded, as they often do, people start consuming lead. And don’t be misled by the photos of brownish-yellow water coming out of pipes in the famously lead-contaminated city of Flint, Michigan — lead in drinking water is generally colorless, tasteless and odorless. People are breathing and eating lead too. Many houses built before 1978 have lead paint in them, sometimes buried under more recent… Read full this story
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Noah Smith: Clean up lead before it wrecks more American lives have 304 words, post on www.sunjournal.com at June 15, 2019. This is cached page on USA Posts. If you want remove this page, please contact us.