US Rep. Kildee proposes lower lead limit for tap water

Proposal comes in wake of lead contamination crisis in Flint

A Michigan congressman is proposing a tougher national limit for lead in drinking water in response to the crisis in Flint.

Democratic Rep. Dan Kildee introduced legislation Thursday to lower the standard from 15 parts per billion to 5 within a decade.

Water systems currently must act if more than 10 percent of sampled homes are above the threshold.

Kildee says U.S. tap water protections are “outdated and a patchwork of different rules,” and Flint is a “wake-up call” for the nation.

The World Health Organization’s guideline is 10 ppb, though water experts say the current U.S. rule is more protective because testing methods vary. Kildee says the lead standard for bottled water is 5 ppb.

Republican Gov. Rick Snyder has previously called for Michigan to enact a lower limit.



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