A new report from Providence Water finds some homes served by the water authority may be exposed to elevated levels of lead.
The utility provides water to customers in Providence, North Providence, Johnston, and Cranston. Providence Water says the culprit is old lead pipes. About one in five Providence Water customers have lead pipes.
In a statement Providence Water writes:
"Providence Water tests approximately 200 homes every six months. Many of those homes have lead plumbing. There were some homes that exceeded the lead action level of 15 parts per billion. Those homes can flush their water for several minutes or replace their lead plumbing in order to avoid lead in their drinking water."
Lead poisoning can have adverse effects on organs and neurological functions.
Ruth Ann Norton is the director of the Green and Healthy Homes Initiative, a national non-profit, which operates a Rhode Island office.
Norton said despite its pervasiveness in some parts of the country, many people still don’t know about the dangers of lead exposure.
“It’s not in the daily consciousness of people, because it has to be continual education,” said Norton. “I would be surprised if the majority of homeowners were thinking about this as a major threat.”
The Water Authority offers several suggestions to avoid using water with traces of lead; one of the easiest ways to is to run faucets for several minutes after long periods of non-use.
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