Tainted tap water

Study shows tap water testing techniques may be outdated

A pair of recent studies have found that the way tap water is tested nationwide could be ineffective in detecting the presence of lead, according to the Chicago Tribune.

The Chicago-based federal studies, one conducted by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, found that a high percentage of homes that passed the initial standard test saw lead levels spike in samples taken directly afterward. In 29 of the homes, the highest levels of lead were found in the sixth or seventh liter of water drawn from the faucet. Some levels were twice as high as the federal standard.

The studies raise concerns over the validity of lead-testing methods used nationwide over the past two decades.

Any amount of lead in drinking water is unsafe, as even low exposure can result in reduced IQs in children, and chronic exposure can cause heart attacks and strokes in adults.