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Expert Tells Water Quality Task Force That Science and Politics Factor into Decisions About Lead Exposure

The reality is hitting Milwaukee's Water Quality Task Force about just how awesome a task it is to reduce lead exposure.

"Each dot represents a lead poisoned child," said toxicologist and invited guest speaker Dr Robert Thiboldeaux while showing a map with red dots spread throughout the state of Wisconsin.

Although the highest concentrations included the Milwaukee metro area.

He told the panel that lead exposure can come in many forms, but the main issue at hand for Milwaukee is dealing with replacing lead water laterals and how the city and homeowners should balance the cost.

Then, there was the continuing debate about why scientists and government leaders allow for acceptable levels of exposure.

"I'm still wondering why so many fear saying that lead should be zero," said task force member Dr. Patricia McManus.

"In an ideal world, it should be zero," said Dr. Thiboldeaux. "These policy decisions are made on a scientific and political level."

Dr. Thiboldeaux said standards of exposure are agreed upon by federal officials.

He reminded the task force that the only way to confirm lead poisoning is through a specific blood test.

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