Information and Resources regarding Lead
About Lead Poisoning:
● Federal guidance indicates that children under the age of six are at the highest risk for harmful lead exposure, and they can be exposed to lead from a variety of sources, including paint, soil and even some consumer products.
● If parents are concerned about their children, they should contact their child’s physician or another medical provider who can administer a blood test.
● The Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH)’s lead hotline can address any health related questions. For questions or more information, parents should call 312-747-5323. Additional information about lead and children can be found at www.cdc.gov/lead.
Lead in Water – A Brief Overview:
● Lead comes from many different sources: paint, soil, consumer products, and water, to name a few.
● Drinking water in Chicago comes from Lake Michigan. The Great Lakes system is the largest source of fresh surface water in the world.
● Chicago’s water supply is free of lead when it leaves the treatment plant. However, lead can be found in some interior plumbing fixtures and materials, and lead found in tap water usually comes from the corrosion of these items. This explains why only one of the samples at a school may have returned with elevated results – the issue is not system-wide, but is specific to the fixtures or pipes for that fountain and will be addressed though the remediation plan.
● Lead enters drinking water when service pipes containing lead corrode. This is most commonly associated with chrome-plated brass faucets or fixtures connected with lead solder leaching into the water.
● The amount of lead in water depends on the temperature of the water, how long the water sits in the pipes, the acidity and the types of minerals found in the water.
● Buildings built before 1986 are at a greater risk of exposure due to lead being an allowable building material.
● Per EPA’s Lead and Copper Rule (LCR), EPA’s action level for lead in water is set at 15 parts per billion (ppb).