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The Effects Of Heavy Metals On Tap Water

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Review of Literature This review of literature presents three themes necessary to understand the context of testing for heavy metals in tap water: the toxicology of heavy metals, their prevalence in tap water, and potential remediation techniques.

Health Impacts of Heavy Metals in Tap Water

Research on blood lead levels (BLL) and health bolster the well-established relationship between elevated blood lead levels and physiology. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), BLL above 15µg/dL in young children can result in damage to brain, red blood cells and kidneys (EPA, 2005). In pregnant women it can lead to significant harm to the fetus. A correlation between lead levels and elevated urea levels, which are a marker of
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Although the link between EBLL and health is well recognized, the link between ingestion of tap water with elevated lead levels and EBLL is more contested. Supporting the correlation, an epidemiological study investigating the Flint Michigan Water Crisis by Hanna-Attisha et al. (2016) has drawn a definitive link between elevated lead levels in drinking water and an increase in blood lead levels, and an experimental study comparing the health of individuals drinking tap vs bottled water indicated that iron, chromium and lead levels were significantly higher in tap water consumers ( Badr et al., 2011). On the other hand, multiple studies on the BLL of residents with elevated lead in tap water, such as those performed by the CDC in D.C. homes following statewide elevated lead water levels, have not found a correlation between elevated lead in tap water and EBLL (Center for Disease Control, 2004; Guidotti et al., 2007). However, these studies do not rule out lead in water as a public health risk. In fact, the CDC advocates that all sources of lead should be weighted equally and removed to decrease exposure (Renner, 2010). Thus, the research on the relationship between heavy metals such as lead and copper and health
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