Tuesday, March 22, 2016


CDC dataz

60 ppb was the standard acceptbile level for lead in potable water in 1970.
It was then lowered to 30. 
30 ppb in 1985
25 ppb until 1991
10 ppb now.

If the water today hits 15 ppb action must be taken immediately to get it back down to 10. 

The worst homes in Flint had 157.  Not many homes.  90th percentile Flint homes see 27 ppb.  So it's like they are in 1983, drinking water out of the school water fountain.   You know who else drank out of school water fountains in 1983?  Me.  90th percentile means 90% of the houses are 27 ppb or less.  Often much much less.

(Now there were single, one-off nightmare cases, admittedly, where one house gets 10,000 ppb.  Those are some awful pipes leaching it that bad.  Legit lead poisoning there.)

So I wouldn't necessarily say that city officials in Flint are "Poisoning!" all the children.  Michale Moore makes it sound like mustache twirling villains (probably funded by the Koch Bros...) are putting a teaspoon of cyanide in every juice box, dipping all the apples in strychnine.  Mostly folks are drinking water like Moore had when he was a much smaller leftist toad, back in the day.  Doesn't sound as horrifying when you put it that way, tho. 

Put the fake handcuffs prop away, Mike.


Angus McThag said...

Despite what the CDC allows, I want to know what level of lead in ingested water is actually harmful.

Want to bet it's higher than 60 ppb?

Florida water has arsenic in it. This is because Florida soil is rich in arsenic. But if concentrations are low enough, your body naturally chelates it away (same with lead) with no harm done.

I've worked water treatment. The engineers were ever scornful about the government standards on what's in the water. I'm willing to bet if we tore off the hood and checked; that the 1970 levels were determined after checking to see what was harmful. Then in the '80's and "what about the children" some bureaucrat decided that there'd be a zero tolerance for lead policy and the mandated number is reduced as technology for removing it gets better.

New Jovian Thunderbolt said...

I think the standard got tougher when the tools to measure it got better. They could detect 10 ppb now, but couldn't back in 1971

B said...

Exactly. the testing then couldn't go much below 20 PPM.

Now we can measure to the PPBILLION.

in 1970, 10 PPM, (or even 30) was, essentially measured as zero.

Angus McThag said...

The question remains. At what concentration can the body no longer chelate the metal and lead poisoning begins?

I note that the first three pages of google results are essentially the CDC standard of 10 ppb repeated.

B said...

Excuse me. Please change (as appropriate) PPM to PPB, and PPB to PPT in my comment. Sometimes I have issues with powers of 10....

ProudHillbilly said...

Wonder how much I was drinking out of that fountain in, say, 1965?