The water in almost 15,000 D.C. homes that received repairs during a massive effort to remove lead pipes may still be contaminated by dangerous levels of the metal, according to a report released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, says the Washington Post.
If those residences are home to
small children, pregnant women or anyone with a compromised immune system, the
water should be tested, said George Hawkins, general manager
of D.C. Water.
The CDC concluded that
homeowners who had pipes only partially replaced may have made the problem
worse. The center also confirmed that children living in the District were
exposed to an increased risk of lead poisoning from 2000 to 2006 as an
inadvertent result of efforts to disinfect the water supply that caused lead
pipes to corrode and leach into the water that flowed through them.
The findings are a sharp
reversal by the federal health agency, which initially said it had found no
evidence of measurable or significant harm to public health. A congressional
inquiry concluded in May that the CDC knowingly used false data in making a
"scientifically indefensible" claim that the water was safe to drink.
The report marks the first time
the CDC has publicly acknowledged that there was measurable health risk from the
city's lead crisis and that the primary remedy appears to have been flawed.
For the full story from the
Washington Post, read
Lead Still Threatens Homes In D.C.
December 2, 2010