Access to clean, safe drinking water is a fundamental right. That right is violated when our water contains lead, a dangerous neurotoxin that can cause irreversible health harm even at low levels. Unfortunately, millions of people across the country are drinking lead-contaminated water, despite the federal law in place to prevent this.
The Campaign for Lead Free Water is a team of individuals and organizations that acknowledges the following well-established facts:
- The vast majority of US homes have some lead-bearing plumbing, which leaches lead even when the water is optimally treated to minimize its corrosivity;
- Current water sampling techniques often fail to detect worst-case lead levels to which people are exposed;
- Lead in drinking water can be the largest and even sole source of lead for some of the most vulnerable among us – fetuses, infants dependent on reconstituted formula, and young children.
The threat posed by lead in drinking water is often downplayed or overshadowed by the real danger of lead from paint, but as the lead poisoning disasters in Washington, DC and Flint, Michigan have shown us, the extent and severity of lead in drinking water are grossly under-appreciated and routinely misrepresented even by lead experts.
To protect the public from lead in water, we need effective regulations, dedicated funds to address this problem, as well as active participation in policy-making and implementation by water consumers. The Campaign for Lead Free Water is united in calling on government regulators, elected representatives, and water utilities to partner with concerned and affected communities in order to develop science-based, socially just, and locally appropriate policies and programs, consistent with the following five principles:
Everyone deserves access to safe, affordable drinking water, regardless of income, race, or ethnicity.
Water utilities and government officials must do more to prevent lead from contaminating drinking water and to remove it once it leaches.
The federal law in place to protect consumers from lead in drinking water must be updated to reflect current scientific understanding about the leaching of lead from plumbing materials.
To protect themselves and hold their government officials accountable, people must be empowered with access to accurate and complete information about lead in drinking water and how lead-in-water regulations work.
People have a right to participate meaningfully in the making, implementation, and oversight of regulations meant to prevent human exposures to lead in drinking water.