December 18, 2017

The lead contamination crises in Flint, Michigan, and East Chicago, Indiana, as well as the surge of news reports about lead risks in communities across the country have shone a national spotlight on the problem of childhood lead exposure. Lead poisoning is completely preventable, yet lead persists in communities throughout the U.S.

This a critical moment for action to protect the nation’s children, enhance their opportunities to succeed, and reduce costs to taxpayers. A recent report from the Health Impact Project, 10 Policies to Prevent and Respond to Childhood Lead Exposure, assesses the lead risks communities face and key federal, state, and local solutions.

The report identifies two targets for reducing lead exposure in drinking water:

  • Reducing lead in drinking water in homes built before 1986 and in other places children frequent. Recommendations include stronger EPA requirements to reduce the corrosivity of drinking water, improve water sampling protocols, and create a...

November 7, 2017

Access to safe drinking water was highlighted as an important strategy for reducing sugary drink consumption among children aged 0-5 when experts convened at a recent workshop hosted by the National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine (NASEM). 

Christina Hecht, of the University of California Nutrition Policy Institute (NPI), spoke to colleagues about key steps to increasing water consumption for young children. NPI serves as the hub for the National Drinking Water Alliance.

Because children younger than seven are particularly vulnerable to the toxic effects of lead, and other contaminants, Hecht explained that an initial step in water promotion is to consider safety. She noted that while most communities have safe tap water, not all do. Even though most water utilities provide safe water, lead can leach into tap water from lead service lines and premise plumbing. Hecht described provisions for testing for lead in tap water in licensed child care centers, which p...

March 29, 2017

In the newly released report “Grading the nation: State disclosure policies for lead pipes,” the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) calls out the importance of determining whether homes have lead service lines.

EDF analyzed and graded housing disclosure policies across the nation and found that only three states specifically require sellers to inform buyers if the property has lead pipes. EDF advocates for greater transparency in real estate transactions, so that homebuyers know whether their potential home has a lead service line.

In an online post, “California requires replacement of all lead service lines – but vigilance needed on implementation” (Jan. 19), EDF highlights 2016 legislation making California the first state in the nation to require drinking water utilities to inventory lead service lines and provide a timeline for replacement.

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