It’s not just happening in Flint. Millions of Americans live in cities where old pipes could be leaching lead into drinking water. Pittsburgh is no exception. In recent years, lead levels in the city’s water have climbed above what the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency considers safe. And residents continue to live with the legacy of lead paint in their homes and lead-contaminated soil. So how did we get here? And what will it take to fix the problem?
Prior to the 1950s, doctors thought lead poisoning was mostly a risk for industrial workers. Then, a doctor's hunch to test kids for lead revealed the issue was far more widespread than anyone had imagined.