Exposure to lead poses serious health risks to children. And while research shows blood lead levels have decreased substantially over the past 40 years in response to the federal Safe Drinking Water Act and Lead and Copper Rule, concerns about corrosion from aging lead service lines and lead pipes in older homes have fueled questions about water quality in communities nationwide. Continue reading
Lead contamination continues to make headlines more than a year after the Flint municipal lead crisis in Michigan hit the national news. The public outcry over the government’s response to dealing with the Detroit suburb’s lead-contaminated water spurred reporters across the country to revisit lead issues for their audiences.
The problem goes beyond lead-tainted pipes that were contamination source in Flint. Continue reading
At more than 100,000 offices and clinics across America, dentists stay busy placing and removing amalgam fillings as they care for their patients.
Dental amalgam – a mixture of metals such as silver, tin, copper and zinc bound together by mercury – is valued by clinicians for its workability, low cost and strength. Regulated as a medical device, dental amalgam is considered safe for most patients over the age of 6. Continue reading
It took engineering and fundraising efforts as well as years of work by oral health and children’s advocates, but the Santa Clara Water District is finally providing fluoridated tap water to large sections of San Jose, Calif.
The sprawling city, with a population of more than 1 million, had been known as the largest metropolitan jurisdiction in the nation that lacked a fluoridated drinking water program. The decay-fighting mineral will be phased into water supplies as upgrades to the city’s water treatment plants are completed. Continue reading
A year after the Flint water crisis made national waves, the legacy of lead continues to draw attention as reporters follow up on the evolving public health concern.
What was once a public battle over perception as manufacturers’ inundated products with lead – from gasoline to painted cribs, toys and houses – has shifted to a more subtle, but no less serious disaster, according to public health historians Gerald Markowitz and David Rosner. Continue reading
Yes, database websites can seem clunky, and government data can seem hopelessly riddled with errors.
But searching, downloading and analyzing it – specifically EPA records on drinking water – led USA Today to a blockbuster front-page story that not only drew attention to the threat of lead contamination beyond the crisis in Flint, Mich., but also stirred residents to action.