Last week’s news that elevated lead levels had been found in some Imlay City homes’ drinking water was an unfortunate update to what has been a challenging three weeks for residents.
Due to recent developments in other Michigan towns, including Flint and Benton Harbor, most of us have some familiarity with the dangers of lead on human health and the particular impact it can have on children.
The state’s swift action, along with help from county and city officials, to distribute water filters is to be commended.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency, the most common sources of lead in drinking water are lead pipes, faucets and fixtures with lead service lines—that is, the pipes that connect the home to a water main—as being the most significant source of lead in water. Lead pipes are more likely to be found in homes built before 1986.
Unfortunately, the youngest among us are the most vulnerable to lead exposure; which can result in behavior and learning problems, slowed growth, hearing problems, anemia and more. Adults are not immune from its effects either and those exposed can suffer from cardiovascular effects, decreased kidney function and reproductive problems for both men and women.
The evidence shows that the presence of lead in drinking water is a serious issue that needs to be closely monitored. We trust that all the responsible parties will continue to give it the time and attention it deserves for the sake of residents’ health and their peace of mind.