Maryland Community Drinking Water Lead Levels Under Investigation
It has recently been discovered that residents of a neighborhood in Fallston, Maryland, may have been exposed to excessive levels of lead in their drinking water, resulting in an investigation by local health officials and potential lawsuits against the builder of the community or other entities that may be responsible for the contamination.
The Harford County Health Department is warning residents in the housing development of Grafton Ridge to drink boiled water and to test the lead blood levels of any children under 10 years old after it was discovered earlier this summer that drinking water in the Maryland community may have lead levels that exceed limits set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
At this time, it is unclear how long the lead levels have been elevated and the county is conducting additional testing in an attempt to track down the source of the lead exposure.
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According to a recent report by the Baltimore Sun, 14 out of 16 homes that have been tested so far had high lead levels in the drinking water in the Grafton Ridge development.
It is possible that a brass piece attached to the well pressure tanks used in the community could be contributing to the risk of lead poisoning, if it is being eroded by acidic water. The builder, Richmond American Homes, has indicate they will replace the parts with stainless steel ones to determine if it improves the water lead levels.
In the meantime, many residents have been contacting Maryland attorneys who are reviewing potential claims for the impact this may have on property values and for any injuries that are associated with lead poisoning from elevated lead levels in the drinking water.
Some concerns have also been raised that similar lead levels could be present in developments that neighbor Grafton Ridge in the Harford County area, such as Saddle View, Watervale Farm, Deer Hollow and Martin Meadows.
The Maryland community drinking water lead level problems were first discovered following the sale of one of the Grafton Ridge homes, when one of the parties requested a lead level test.
Elevated lead levels could pose a risk of lead poisoning, which may result in nervous system injury, brain damage, seizures or convulsions, growth or mental retardation, coma and even death for young children. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) consider 10 milligrams of lead per deciliter of blood to be the level of concern for exposure to lead. The CDC estimates that approximately 250,000 children in the U.S. have blood lead levels that high or higher.
One of the more common causes of lead exposure in the United States is lead paint, which was banned in 1978 due to the risk of severe and permanent brain damage and developmental problems, particularly in children. However, a number of older homes still contain the toxic paint on the walls, and if it flakes or peals off, young children could ingest the paint chips or breathe dust that comes from the paint, resulting in lead poisoning.
BNordAugust 20, 2011 at 1:19 am
Is chloramine used to disinfect the water in this area? A mix of chlorine and ammonia, chloramine is well known as a chemical that leches lead from lead pipes and brass plumbing fixtures. By now most people know about the HUGE problems with lead in the Wash'n D.C. water. Please see www.chloramine.org for more info.
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