Chicago is one of the last cities to stop using lead in the service lines. It was so widely used that it wasn't until 1986 when congress officially banned the practice that Chicago stopped using it. Now over 400,000 homes in Chicago are using lead service lines, that's 4x more than Detroit. They anticipate replacing 2,400 homes per year for 45 million per year.
Is there a safe lead limit?
The EPA measures what limits of contaminants are consumable without adverse health reactions. These health goals are based on possible health risks and adequate margins of safety. In the case of lead, the EPA has ruled that zero is the maximum contaminant level for drinking water because lead is toxic and accumulates in the body over time.
Adverse Health Effects of Lead
Even low levels of lead in the blood of children can result in:
Behavior and learning problems
Lower IQ and hyperactivity
In rare cases, the ingestion of lead can cause seizures, coma, and even death.
In Pregnant Women
Reduced growth of the fetus
Find out more about lead's effects on pregnancy:
Effects of Workplace Hazards on Female Reproductive Health (National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health)
Lead can also be transmitted through breast milk. Read more on lead exposure in pregnancy and lactating women (PDF) (302 pp, 4.3 MB, About PDF)
Lead is also harmful to adults. Adults exposed to lead can suffer from:
Cardiovascular effects increased blood pressure and incidence of hypertension.
Decreased kidney function.
Reproductive problems (in both men and women).
If you have an old lead service line (from the street to your home) and you want it replaced, give Green Tech Plumbing a call. We've been serving the Northwestern Suburbs for more than a decade. We can help you change out that water service line from Lead to Copper, type K, which meets or exceeds building codes in all fifty states.