Health effects of Lead

Greater Cincinnati Water Works is committed to revitalizing health in its communities by encouraging individuals to remove lead service lines.

There are numerous health effects caused by lead exposure, including irreversible interference to brain and nervous system development. There is no safe amount of lead exposure.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), “People with prolonged exposure to lead may also be at risk for high blood pressure, heart disease, kidney disease and reduced fertility.” While lead is harmful to all ages, children under 6 and women who are pregnant are at a higher risk.

Cincinnati Children’s Hospital says Lead poisoning can affect just about every system in the body yet often produces no obvious symptoms. The following are some of the most common symptoms of lead poisoning. However, each child may experience effects differently. Lead poisoning may cause:

  • Damage to the brain and nervous system
  • Behavior and learning problems
  • Slowed growth
  • Hearing problems
  • Headaches and persistent abdominal pain
  • Anemia

Lead service lines are the primary cause of lead in water. The most effective way to address lead exposure in water lines is to replace existing lead service lines.

To learn more about the health effects of lead, visit the following resources:

Environmental Defense Fund
Cincinnati Health Department website
Center for Disease Control – Lead
Cincinnati Children’s Hospital – Lead Poisoning

To best address the threat of lead in water in your home, request a quote and receive an estimated cost if you have a lead service line.

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