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Water a Minor Source of Lead, WASA Is Told
[FINAL Edition]
The Washington Post - Washington, D.C.
Subjects: Lead poisoning; Investigations; Children & youth; Lead content; Drinking water; Public health
Author: Cohn, D'Vera
Date: May 7, 2004
Start Page: B.01
Section: METRO

Tee L. Guidotti, a physician and public health expert from George Washington University, told the agency board that water accounts for 7 percent of the lead exposure of a typical 2-year-old, the age when lead levels in the blood peak. The largest exposure -- 75 percent -- is from dust, he said, which comes from such sources as paint.

Guidotti's view that water accounts for 7 percent of the lead exposure in 2-year-olds is different from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's widely cited estimate that water accounts for as much as 20 percent of lead exposure for the overall population. Guidotti said his figure for toddlers comes from the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, which is part of the U.S. Health and Human Services Department.

WASA board Chairman Glenn S. Gerstell said he took "some comfort" from Guidotti's presentation, in which he said that lead in water is a lower risk than lead paint. "But I'm not going to minimize it at all," Gerstell said. "I don't think anything about this is reassuring."

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