This Is Why You Should Test Your Tap Water for Lead: Cognitive Effects Later on in Life
Researchers found that drinking water contaminated with lead can damage your cognition later on in life. Sadly, many of America's water systems may be contaminated with lead. Here's what you should know.
Lead May Be Present in Your Tap Water
Do you remember the Flint, Michigan water crisis? Although it was widely publicized in the media – it really wasn't the only city with lead contamination in the tap water. That's why it might not be a good idea to completely trust that your tap water is safe for consumption.
In fact, researchers found that Providence and Portland both have lead-contaminated tap water. The children in Providence have been found to have 300 percent higher levels of lead in their systems than the “level of concern.” In Portland, within a span of about a decade, the city exceeded EPA limits for lead tap water testing. Various homes' tap water tested positive for lead at 15 parts per billion, 35 parts per billion, 120 parts per billion, and even 910 parts per billion.
Many more cities across America have been discovered to have similar shocking levels of lead in their tap water. One concern for you is that cities don't test individual homes for lead – they test one home out of every thousand or so. That means even if your city boasts having low lead levels in its tap water, you could be one of the homes that has increased levels of lead.
Be proactive and test your own tap water for lead if you want to be more sure that you and your children are safe from lead exposure.
Exposure to Lead as a Child Damages Cognition and Intelligence
The long-term effects of lead exposure are highlighted in recent news. Researchers found that children with elevated lead levels when they're 11 years old end up having lower cognition, IQ, and socioeconomic status than their parents when they've reached 38 years old.
It's a bit scary that the lead in your tap water can change your children's lives such that they end up lower on the socioeconomic ladder than you. Your children are supposd to surpass you in their lifetimes – at least that's the dream most parents have. It's cruel to think that your tap water could effectively impair your children's futures.
It's too soon to say, but poverty caused by lead could fuel youth turning to drugs, gangs, and other illegal ways to make money. Lead's contribution to negative outcomes in the youth isn't so clear-cut, but it's definitely a significant factor.
Save your children's futures by testing your home's tap water for lead.