Lead has been used in plumbing for thousands of years. In fact, the word "plumbing" comes from the Latin "plumbum," which means lead.
As long as there is lead, however, there is lead poisoning. At acute levels of exposure, lead poisoning can be fatal. Common symptoms of lead poisoning may include fatigue, abdominal pain, headache, mood disorders and more.
Before a law passed in 1986 banning lead for plumbing in the United States, houses were built around the country at least up until World War II. Those same plumbing systems with lead pipes can still contaminate drinking water today, although the source of most lead poisoning these days is due to the presence of lead in household paints.
The EPA sets a target of zero parts per billion for lead. When contaminant levels reach 15 parts per billion, the environmental agency employs an additional treatment technique to control for corrosion.
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