National Library of Medicine

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Explore research on industrial lead exposure, childhood lead poisoning, and the health impacts of lead water pipes, as well as related public health guidance through items in the NLM Digital Collections.

A book cover page

Collection of Reports (condensed) and Opinions of Chemists in Regard to the Use of Lead Pipe for Service Pipe in the Distribution of Water for the Supply of Cities, James Pugh Kirkwood, 1859

Courtesy National Library of Medicine

Physicians, chemists, and city engineers presented their research on lead pipes in this collection of articles. Although there was consensus on lead’s toxicity, the scientists disagreed about how (and indeed if) lead pipes are safe to use for drinking water.