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Book and Media Reviews
April 11, 2007

The Great Lead Water Pipe Disaster

Author Affiliations

Book and Media Reviews Section Editor: John L. Zeller, MD, PhD, Fishbein Fellow.

JAMA. 2007;297(14):1601-1604. doi:10.1001/jama.297.14.1601

Although lead is no longer used in gasoline or paint in the United States, its toxic legacy remains. Cognitive impairment among US children with high blood lead levels has been reported, and the annual economic burden of lead poisoning remains as high as $43.4 billion.1 While efforts are under way to remove lead-based paint from homes, ingestion of contaminated water still persists as a threat. Leaded pipes remain in many older US homes, and a recent cluster of childhood lead poisoning cases in Washington, DC, reminds us that proper treatment is needed to prevent its absorption into the water supply.