The MBA has been working with St. Louis media historian Frank Absher to collect airchecks that preserve the history of radio in Missouri, and we are hoping radio stations across Missouri will get involved by recording and submitting their local broadcasts from Thursday, September 17th, The collection is maintained by the State Historical Society, where patrons can listen to local radio shows dating back to the s. With such historic anniversaries in our midst, the preservation of our radio history is on our minds now more than ever.
Missouri has some of the highest s of lead pipes in the U. The Natural Resources Defense Council estimates there are at leastlead pipes funneling tap water into Missouri homes and other buildings — the sixth-highest of any state in the nation. The environmental advocacy nonprofit said the total is likely an underestimate, given the challenges of surveying water systems and a lack of data. But a recent overhaul of federal regulations will force utilities to inventory lead water pipes nationwide in coming years, shedding more light on a decades-old public health issue.
In Missouri and across the country, drinking water is often flowing into homes through lead service lines, said Erik D. Olson, senior strategic director for health at NRDC. More durable and flexible than iron, lead was often the material of choice for water pipes, particularly in the early s. Some cities, like Chicago, took it a step further and mandated the use of lead pipes in building codes.
Though the federal government banned lead pipes more than 30 years ago, many water systems and utilities have yet to replace them. Federal law requires water utilities, cities and states to monitor water for lead and other contaminants. But because many lead service lines are on private property, it can be difficult to control water quality at the tap — and homeowners are generally on the hook for the cost of replacing them. But what happens is the lead is picked up in those narrower pipes that go from the water main in the street to your home.
Lead is a powerful toxin with wide-ranging, often insidious effects on human health.
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Even in small quantities, it can cause heart and kidney disease, fetal miscarriages and premature birth. In children, lead exposure can permanently damage the brain and nervous system and lead to behavioral problems. Many cities have adjusted their water pH or added special anti-corrosion chemicals to keep lead from leaching into the water.
But changes in water chemistry or physical disturbances to pipes during construction can release lead in drinking water, Olson said. For decades, the Environmental Protection Agency has not required cities or states to track the of lead service lines.
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Recently revised regulations will require all water systems nationwide to inventory lead pipes and share their data publicly — but not until To estimate the current of lead pipes in the U. Only ten states, including Illinois, provided statewide lead pipe estimates. Illinois had the highest of lead pipes of any U. Anotherpipes of unknown material may be lead, putting the potential statewide total in Illinois at 1.
The nonprofit relied on data from a water industry survey to estimate the of lead pipes in Missouri, which put the total at , the sixth-highest in the U. On a per capita basis, Missouri ranked fourth nationwide, with 5, lead lines perpeople.
Trying to catalog lead service lines can be very challenging, Giammar added, because many of these pipes were installed nearly a century ago. But that will change in the next several years, as newly-revised federal regulations go into effect and water utilities are required to report information on lead service lines.
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Monica Eng. David Kovaluk. Shahla Farzan. Shahla Farzan is a reporter at St. Louis Public Radio.
Before becoming a journalist, Shahla spent six years studying native bees, eventually earning her PhD in ecology from the University of California-Davis. Her work for St. Murrow Award. See stories by Shahla Farzan. Related Content. Toxic legacy: Wash U researchers look for ways to keep lead out of drinking water. Worried about lead?