Friday, August 30, 2019

When The News Hits Home

I found this google image of the old apartment building my family lived in in Newark, NJ in the 1950s, when I was writing my memories of growing up and posting the old stories here on the blog last year.
I've been thinking about this old apartment building again ever since I read the news that Newark, NJ has a serious lead pipe water problem. It made me wonder if my siblings and I were exposed to lead during our childhood years. We lived in that apartment until I was 8 years old.

So I went to the city website and put in the address to see what it said about the water there. Uh-oh. This came up.
If you don't click on the pic, here's what it says: Our records show that this residence has a lead service line, was built before 1986, and is connected to the Pequannock system. The city recommends you pick up a filter from a distribution center and register for the Lead Service Replacement Program.

So my siblings and I are wondering what the effects of lead are that may still have an impact on our bodies all these many, many years later. I think there really is no way to know. It just is a little bit unnerving to know that 60 years ago we were drinking water out of lead pipes. Let me just say here, UGH.

21 comments:

  1. Not sure if there are any lead pipes left here in the UK, we used to use it on joints as I remember seeing it on our toilet feed and I think it was used on the flush. Only bit I remember is a lump my dada had in the shed & I used to melt bit off to make fishing weights. Did a few stupid things as a kid. I think it all depends on how long you were useing the water from the pipes for. The longer the exposure the more likly to be problems. Find it hard to believe they were not replaced.

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    1. Billy-- I was just so surprised to learn that I was exposed to lead pipes for the first eight years of my life. Interestingly, the dangers of lead pipes were known a long, long time ago.

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    2. Yes it killed off a lot of Romans

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  2. Who knows how much pollution we've absorbed during our lifetimes. It's a wonder we've made it this far.

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    1. John-- True. We came of age in time when chemicals and poisons were everywhere. Ugh.

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  3. As farm kids we handled DDT. I think our bodies can handle some of this stuff...maybe?

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    1. Red- Oh wow, you remind me of the summertime in the 60s when trucks spraying DDT used to drive down our suburban street. Ugh. Haven't thought of that in quite some time.

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  4. Now way to tell, of course, but I often think about the fact that not a single cell in my body remembers when I was 8, they've all regenerated themselves many times over, so hopefully no lingering effects? That's pseudo science, I know.

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    1. 37paddington-- I love thinking about our cells changing so many times over the years. It's true. Our bodies are not what they were when we were 8. Yay!

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  5. I like paddington's take on it for all of us who soaked up poisons innocently. As a kid in Key West we use to run behind the mosquito truck to get our bodies sprayed so the mosquitoes didn't get us. Too bad we didn't know then what we know now.

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    1. Patti-- I remember those mosquito spraying trucks. They used to drive up and down our suburban street. It's amazing what we've been exposed to during our lives. Ugh.

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  6. Reading Billy's first comment above I was reminded of how we kids used to play with mercury, too.

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    1. Catalyst-- Oh yes, I had forgotten about the mercury. We sure were exposed to a lot of ugh!

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  7. I suspect you are not terribly at risk of having any effects if they haven't shown up at this point. It does bring to mind the awful things were were exposed to as children. I remember my grandmother letting me use the pump sprayer filled with DDT. And my friend, a dentist's daughter regularly brought mercury for us to play with. I saved my dimes to coat them with mercury.

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    1. NCmountainwoman-- I think you are right about that. I do wonder about my osteoporosis. It is so interesting to think about what we were exposed to at a very young age.

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  8. my sisters and I would join other neighbor kids and run outside to watch the crop dusters fly over the orchard at the end of the street. It was so much fun to dance in the chemical rain. We all have multiple autoimmune diseases. Go figure. You're FINE, Robin, you're FINE.

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    1. Tara-- I think about my sister and her many, many ailments that have plagued her since her earliest days. She has suffered and I do wonder if the lead in the water may have had such horrible effects on her. Ugh.

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  9. I suspect a whole lot of people from the Northeast and Midwest are in the same boat. It was pretty common to have lead pipes back in the day, I think!

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    1. Steve-- I think you are right. It really was unnerving to learn this though. Oy the things we dealt with in the 50s and 60s. Ugh.

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  10. One of the biggest problems is that some of the filters people were given were malfunctioning and not removing the lead properly. Currently there are water drop off station in many areas of NJ - places people can bring bottled water for delivery to the Newark residents who have not received new filters yet. There is more to the story that involves courts and politics , but honestly I haven’t kept up with it on a regular basis. It does make you wonder though about all we grew up with - lead, DDT, asbestos, and so much more.

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    1. Sharon-- It really blows my mind to consider what we were exposed to as young children. Such crazy poisons. I can't imagine living someplace now that actually still has lead pipes. It's crazy. Ugh.

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