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QUESTION: What are the health effects of lead in the drinking water at a level of 1.7 over 8 years time? 01/11/11 Ohio, USA - United States of America

What would the health affects to men, women and children/teens be with exposure to lead in the drinking water at a level of 1.7 over 8 years time? We lived in a home with the lead level in the water of 1.7 and because we lived there of course were chronically exposed on a daily basis.  Also; lost 14 pets in 8 years each pet with the same symptoms.  Appetite and weight loss, blood in diahorrea, wasting, anemia and death.  Thank you.

ANSWER: Nov  1 2011 

Dear Winnie,

it's vital that you tell me the unit of measure for the lead content of your drinking water, and whether it was tested at a lab, and, if you have this information, the analysis methodology.

All studies of the health effects of lead in humans can only tell you, for a population of people, what kind of health effects you might see at a particular blood lead level or bone lead level, so I would strongly recommend that you ask the doctor to test the blood lead level of all the family members who were drinking the lead-contaminated water.

Also, are you still drinking it?

Is someone else still drinking it? If so, can you advise them to ask their doctor for a blood lead test? If anyone who has been drinking the water is prone to iron deficiency anaemia, or if you've never had your iron studies done, then I advise requesting iron studies be done on the same sample as is collected for the lead analysis.

When you have the blood lead results, I'd be more than happy to comment on them, but in the meantime, if you want to know what kinds of health effects occur from lead exposure, I will email you our info pack on that topic in a separate email.

Please know that each family member will typically have a different blood lead level, because everyone is exposed to different sources of lead and we all drink different amounts of water at home, and depending on your age, sex, and nutritional status - even if two people have exactly the same intake of lead, their blood lead level can vary due to their rate of absorption of the lead they take in.

So you need to test everyone who has been exposed to the lead, to know the full impact.

I hope this helps and I look forward to hearing from you again.

Kind regards

Yours Sincerely

Elizabeth O'Brien

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