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Source: News 12 Long Island

Feds may change lead poisoning guidelines

Posted: January 3, 2017
Originally Published: January 2, 2017

SOUTH HUNTINGTON - Federal officials may soon introduce new guidelines to determine what level of lead exposure is considered potentially harmful.

Residents living in old homes, like Dave Glassmann of South Huntington, say their pipes may have been soldered with lead when they were built in the 1940s and '50s.

The lead in those pipes can seep into drinking water.

Although the problem has become less prevalent over the years, federal health officials would like it gone completely. They're considering lowering the standard at which lead in humans is considered harmful. That could lead to the elimination of all sources of lead contamination.

"None of us should have any lead in our bodies," says Dr. Lucy Weinstein, a pediatrician. "It's not a natural element. We would love to get rid of all of it."

Lead also appeared in paint before being outlawed in 1978 -- meaning some Long Island homes and schools have it on the walls.

Adrienne Esposito, of Citizens Campaign for the Environment, says some schools have also been "remiss" in testing for lead in their drinking water.

"Lowering the lead will make schools even more accountable," Esposito says. "This means more schools may have to change pipes."