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Tribune Analysis Shows Alarming Amount of Lead in Chicago Tap Water

An alarming amount of lead has shown up in the water in Chicago homes, a recent analysis from the Chicago Tribune shows. Lead was found in the tap water of nearly 70 percent of 2,797 homes the Tribune tested over the past two years. Three out of every 10 tested showed levels in excess of 5 parts per billion, the maximum allowed in bottled water by the FDA. Under Chicago’s plumbing code, individual property owners are responsible for maintaining service lines, and Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s office said it’s up to homeowners to replace the lines. But that leaves many Chicagoans at risk. The Mayor’s Office said it was making efforts when asked why the City hasn’t removed lead service lines. “Since Mayor Rahm Emanuel took office, he has made it a priority to improve Chicago’s overall water quality and infrastructure,” read a statement. “Today, the city’s water exceeds the standards set by the (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency) for clean, safe drinking water. And the Department of Water Management continues to take a proactive approach to mitigating lead in our water system and is continually evaluating additional methods of lead mitigation.” Lead exposure has lead to more than 400,000 deaths a year, according to a study from The Lancet, a London-based medical journal. (Chicago Tribune)

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