As a toxicologist, I’ve always considered the length of exposure as more important than the peak exposure, looking at the area under the curve as being more important than actual lead levels of children. The Canfield et al study clearly illustrates this concept that, even at low levels of lead exposure and blood lead levels, the effects can be pronounced.

The recent revelations of lead contamination of water in Flint, Michigan, served as an epiphany for me. I examined the evidence that water lead may be an important factor, particularly at the lead levels that Canfield et al reported. If you use the US Environmental Protection Agency’s own model, the Integrated Exposure Uptake Biokinetic Model, a child drinking tap water, or having tap water used to mix his/her formula, with a lead concentration of 15 ppb will sustain blood lead levels in the range of 3 μg/dL over...

You do not currently have access to this content.