Dec 3, 2023

To protect kids, EPA wants total removal of lead pipes for the first time

(The Washington Post) The proposed rule, aimed at reducing exposure to a potent neurotoxin, would require water systems nationwide to replace lead pipes that carry tap water to homes, schools and offices

The EPA has said it could cost $45 billion.
But the costs of lead exposure are also high. Lead can cause irreversible cognitive damage and other health problems, even at low levels, and particularly in small children. Despite the significant health threat, cities have struggled to get rid of the estimated 9 million lead pipes that remain. And the federal government has never required their total replacement.

"This is a public health concern that has unfortunately spanned generations and an issue that has disproportionately affected low-income communities," EPA Administrator Michael Regan said during a call with reporters Wednesday. "Our proposed improvements are a major advancement."

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