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  1. #41
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    This is probably going to offend a few, but I am going to throw it out anyway!

    Lead poisoning, or the effects of long term exposure, would be a good explanation of why this country is in the state it currently in! I mean how else can you explain all of the crazy ideas that are being pushed?

    Clearly, the Head Cheese, and several of the other politicians around him, must have, or had lead pipes in the places they reside!

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    Sort of common here in the old neighborhoods and for sure where I grew up.
    Then again so was leaded gasoline.. If you are 50+ and grew up in the USA you have lead poisoning which they say reduces your IQ.
    Bob

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    Quote Originally Posted by GregSY View Post
    That bit about the Romans getting lead poisoning has been around for years. It's entirely possible, but it'll never be proven
    What??? Archaeologists have dug up the bones of Romans and found high levels of lead in the bone. And forensic examiners have found in those bones skeletal deformities linked to heavy metal poisoning. Sure, we can't have a psychologist interview a 100BCE Roman to evaluate mental acuity and emotional stability, but lead poisoning of Roman residents is documented fact.

    I hear a lot of talk about how many house have lead pipes.
    You are missing the big point. Until not long ago, most municipal water supplies were delivered in lead pipes. In many places, they still are. So in those regions, 100% of households were affected until we learned to put additives in the city water supply to prevent lead from leaching into the water. Take Flint, MI, as a FINE example. When they switched water sources in 2014, and the new source didn't protect against the lead distribution pipes being eroded, the entire city was affected. 2014, 100% of households, close to 100,000 residents.

    [Added in edit] Apparently the latest census data shows Flint with about 80,000 residents, about a 20% drop from the previous figures.

    I'll bet less than 5% of all dwellings have lead pipe.
    Only because we have been trying, very aggressively for about a half century, to eliminate lead solder in copper plumbing! And again, getting the lead out of dwellings (even down to 0%) doesn't protect when there are 100 to 150 year old city water systems based on lead pipes.

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    I did not read all the threads but in response to the OP and a few of the naysayers:

    Lead pipe supply lines were required in Chicago until the late 1980's partly in response to the union. Though i never understood that - protecting an esoteric skill? What would the old lead-wipers learn instead?

    In DC, I helped replace lead lines in several renovations, though usually they were waste lines. But some supplies coming across under the yard were still lead. High end neighborhoods.

    Some of the naysayers and political ranters might have lead poisoning and not know it, could be the cause of the weird thinking patterns.
    All fun & games until it's your kids and relations.

    smt

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  8. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by sagande View Post
    Lead poisoning, or the effects of long term exposure, would be a good explanation of why this country is in the state it currently in! I mean how else can you explain all of the crazy ideas that are being pushed?
    It has been noted several times that the decline in airborne lead pollution after the US outlawed tetraethyl lead additive in gasoline tracks fairly well (with an appropriate delay corresponding to aging of exposed juveniles) with an overall long-term trend in reduced urban violence (shootings, muggings, etc.) This is a correlation, not a proven cause, and I don't know if anyone reputable has pushed it as a testable theory. But it certainly aligns with your "throw away" suggestion.

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  10. #46
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    House I grew up in always had some plants out front that like moist areas. There was no apparent reason for them liking it there, as the yard did not seem to be very moist. Well, eventually the water line was discovered to have been leaking for an unknown time, probably decades.

    When dug up, you guessed it, the water supply line was a lead pipe. No idea what is out in the street, but IIRC, the pipes were replaced decades ago when the street was re-done.

    House was built in 1914, and yes, some of the drains are still lead also.

    The area had very hard water, which probably protected us from lead effects.

    The water companies have to, among other things, keep the PH of the water at something like 9.5 on a scale of 14, because that is a minimum solubility point for lead. So that prevents as much lead from getting into the water. It actually does not take a lot of lead to build up in a person and cause problems. Especially children.

    Soft water really picks up lead, apparently, so perhaps the Romans, who did know lead was bad, had some sources of relatively soft water.... so some of them really got the lead effect.

    Yes lead is "natural". So are arsenic, angry grizzly bears, alligators, water moccasins, komodo dragons, and even atomic reactors. None of those are particularly healthful to be around.

    "Natural" does not equal healthful.

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    Ah but the boy from Texass knows all!

    Gw

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    So my dad was sort of a safety nut.
    Lots of kids in our family and one of his claims to fame is he got us all out of childhood more or less alive and kicking.

    Well one fine day two kids- me and my sister, figured out you could pull 22lr rounds with our teeth, set the shell on its side and make a nice little mortar gun by setting a match to the powder which would set off the primer and launch the case a few feet.

    All great fun till my dad caught us- on things where he was really worried he would just go dead silent and he must have been worried plenty to see us gnawing on those lead bullets...

    Another one of our tricks was to break a mercury thermometer and say it broke in our mouth to sett off the worry of mercury poisoning and hope it would buy us a day off school.
    Wow- I am embarrassed looking back and it is a wonder he didn't beat us to a pulp.

    Kids eh..

    Speaking of kids.
    My wife teaches in elementary and lead poisoning from paint is still a thing in this poor neighborhood - the old houses in poor repair are filled with lead dust.
    Adults just get a bit sickly but adolescents can have permanent damage to their brains development as I recall.

    It's a thing-

    Risk of lead exposure linked to decreased brain volume in adolescents -- ScienceDaily

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    A t-shirt I saw a few years ago had on it:

    "Why do the people who know the least know it the loudest?"

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    I have always called science "prescriptive".

    That is so many findings of science suggest a course change to best fit with best practice from everything from health, environment and just about every other damn thing we do.

    I like to say many chaff at that aspect of science and perhaps rightfully so as we all like to steer our own course without being told to do so.
    When confronted with being told what to do some folk get loud.

    Sometimes real loud...

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    I could agree with Biden that lead pipes are bad and need to be removed. That said, doesn't he have some rather more pressing issues such as the invasion on our Southern Border and the issues of inflation and energy cutoffs that have recently arisen since January 20?

    I'm just sayin'.


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    Quite a few actually. Plumbers still pull them out of some of the older buildings in Boston and elsewhere.

    If you are looking for used lead talk to high end roofers who do slate roofs.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Newman109 View Post
    I could agree with Biden that lead pipes are bad and need to be removed. That said, doesn't he have some rather more pressing issues such as the invasion on our Southern Border and the issues of inflation and energy cutoffs that have recently arisen since January 20?

    I'm just sayin'.

    Lead pipes aren't actually an issue unless the water has high acidity. That said, replacement of those pipes is desirable whenever possible, and lead main lines feeding homes are very amenable to being replaced by pipe bursting which doesn't require digging up the whole run from the street to the house.

    As sfriedberg said, responsible municipal systems treat the water to prevent lead leaching.

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  23. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by Newman109 View Post
    I could agree with Biden that lead pipes are bad and need to be removed. That said, doesn't he have some rather more pressing issues such as the invasion on our Southern Border and the issues of inflation and energy cutoffs that have recently arisen since January 20?

    I'm just sayin'.


    many things need to be done.

    Like the Bible says about tithing mint etc while omitting other things..... "do so but do not neglect the other".

    lead pipes and lead paint etc are known bad actors. A "silent pandemic" that has gone on for decades, and needs to be dealt with. Doing that work will employ many people, as well as benefit everyone.

    No matter what good work anyone wants to do, there are always people who say "this other thing is much more important", so don't do that thing you want to do. Why not do both?

    Do you want to handle the crime problem by de-funding the fire department in order to give more to the police?

    BTW, handling lead poisoning issues will almost certainly deal with some of the crime problem. Criminals are commonly folks of lower intelligence and limited ability to think ahead (not always, of course). Chronic lead poisoning is unlikely to improve the intelligence of the population.

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    Not sure politicians are capable of walking and chewing gum at the same time. Not even sure they're very good at either one when done singly. I also notice that peoples' ability to evaluate risk and reward is pretty dismal. The lottery, a tax on people that are bad at math, is a good example, followed by smoking, speeding, tailgating, drugs, overeating (me) and a bunch of other stuff.

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    some of the old main [trunk] lines for phones were in lead casings . good soft lead for muzzle loaders .remember the ad back in the 70's showing some slum kid in a crib with all the peeling paint on the walls after that i call them ghetto potato chips i know not nice but hey that's the world we live in and you have to find your entertainment were you find it .

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    Quote Originally Posted by 1yesca View Post
    some of the old main [trunk] lines for phones were in lead casings . good soft lead for muzzleloaders.
    Near where I live in Southeast Michigan there is US-25 which is the old Dixi highway. It used to carry the main trunk telephone lines from Toledo Ohio to Detroit Michigan. Toledo sets at an interesting point at the wester end of lake Erie. Almost everything coming from the east coast went through Toledo, this included telephone calls. Along US-25 there were at least 6 lead jacketed lines on poles that had to be 3 inches in diameter.

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    I beleive lead pipes became far more dangerous with advances in water treatment or so I read, additions dissolve it, lead was common over here in the 70s also, I got a grant to remove it, it paid for the new pipe, labour and you got to keep the lead, it was also used extensively for natural gas pipe, last one I came across was about 10 years back, the law prohibits it now so copper was used to replace it
    Mark

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    No matter what good work anyone wants to do, there are always people who say "this other thing is much more important", so don't do that thing you want to do. Why not do both?
    Two reasons: One, despite the typical politician beliefs, the government does not have unlimited money. This has been a huge problem across all administrations for years, all the way down to local governors and even mayors. There's X number of problems, but only <X money. The smart move- which is why no politician does it- is to prioritize on the important and/or widest ranging things first. (IE, why we spent billions on C19 vaccines and not lead pipe removal.)

    And two, we already are handling the lead pipe issue, and have been for forty years. When the Flint issue arose, the news said that to actually replace all the lead trunk lines would cost billions. Miles and miles of roads and property would have to be dug up, which was itself a massive cost, plus the economic damage of traffic diversion and lack of custom to affected businesses, and so on.

    Yes, it should be done, but as needed, not in one bulk run. And, the $4 billion infrastructure bill would probably not cover just Flint, even if it were all dedicated to that one cause.

    The bill is feel-good pap, and like most such things, the bulk of the money will go to padding the pockets of consultants, lining the nests of local governors (though only the ones loyal to whichever party is in power, of course) and the rest to 'connected' contractors. Five percent might actually get spent on the actual work, and when split up between all the different gimmes in the bill, will mean Flint gets two shovels and a Home Depot lead-testing kit.

    Doc.

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    Quote Originally Posted by APD View Post
    So if it is naturally occurring, its not toxic?
    Exactly, just like boron and uranium. All natural. Perfectly safe. NOT!


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