211050 Elevated lead in blood from lead in drinking water

Monday, November 9, 2009: 4:30 PM

Simoni Triantafyllidou , Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA
This presentation will address the public health risk associated with consumption of lead-contaminated drinking water. A topic of great controversy, the contribution of drinking water lead to blood lead is receiving renewed interest from US public health agencies. This talk will emphasize chronic as well as acute health effects for the most sensitive population groups (infants, young children, pregnant or nursing women). It will summarize current knowledge on the connection between lead in water and lead in blood. At the same time, it will illustrate gaps and misconceptions that allowed cases of waterborne lead blood poisoning to go undetected. For example, an obvious implication due to insufficient sampling at hazardous taps is that correlations of water lead with health risks are often missed. This, combined with underestimation of lead-in-water potential bioavailability and toxicity, as well as improper medical diagnosis and other factors, has created the notion that drinking water lead is a minor source of elevated blood lead in children. Re-evaluation of the public health risk from lead in water is imperative, considering discussion in US EPA for major revisions of the Lead and Copper Rule, discussion in CDC on lowering the blood lead level of concern, and the goal of eliminating all incidences of elevated blood lead in US children by 2010.

Learning Objectives:
Discuss research that emphasizes the impacts of lead in water on the health of sensitive population groups

Keywords: Lead, Public Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: as an environmental engineer I have accumulated more than 3 years of research experience on this topic (MS studies and now PhD studies), examining lead corrosion of drinking water plumbing as it affects drinking water quality and public health. I have authored and co-authored several publications on various scientific aspects of this problem (most recent one in "Environmental Science and Technology" journal, regarding the association between lead in water and lead in blood for Washington DC children.)
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.