International and National Reports


2018 The Lancet

VOLUME 3, ISSUE 4, PE177-E184, APRIL 01, 2018

Low-level lead exposure and mortality in US adults: a population-based cohort study

"Lead exposure is a risk factor for cardiovascular disease mortality…."


"Lead is one of many recognized risk factors for cardiovascular disease…."


"chronic exposure to lead caused hypertension and enhanced the development of atherosclerosis…."


"Although reducing the amount of lead in blood might cut a patient's risk of cardiovascular disease mortality...."

     Study refers to Chelation as effective treatment

2018  The Lancet

VOLUME 3, ISSUE 4, PE156-E157, APRIL 01, 2018

Lead and the heart: an ancient metal's contribution to modern disease

" A key conclusion to be drawn from this analysis is that lead has a much greater effect on cardiovascular mortality than previously recognized. "

" The time has come to end inattention to the contribution of pollution to mortality from non-communicable diseases and to thoroughly re-examine lead's role in changing global patterns of cardiovascular disease. "



EPA & HSE   JOINT POSITION PAPER Lead (Pb) in Drinking Water

The legal parametric value for lead in drinking water will be set at 10µg/l from 25th December 2013.

Where a lead exceedance above the parametric value of 10µg/l has been identified, flushing the cold water tap before consumption may reduce the level of lead. However, the effectiveness of flushing should be verified by testing the water.

Lead (pb) exposure and levels in Ireland

Samples of Lead (pb) reporting in Ireland over recent years.

Taken from google search results  “figures for Lead toxicity in Ireland”

Irish-Times-old pipes.png

2015 Irish Times
The continuing threat of lead poisoning underlines the scale of shortcomings in Irish water quality


Lead toxicity: a review
“Lead toxicity is an important environmental disease and its effects on the human body are devastating. There is almost no function in the human body which is not affected by Lead toxicity.”

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August 2018

WHO (World Health Organisation)

"There is no known level of lead exposure that is considered safe"


Lead (pb) in Ireland


2018 Irish News

Lead exposure may be ‘leading risk factor' for premature heart disease death


2015 -

These are the 20 Dublin homes with the most lead in their drinking water


2016 - Dept. of Agriculture

Cattle Deaths from Lead poisoning.

See page 28 in report below.

As in previous years, lead was the most common cause of fatal toxicity in cattle in 2016, with 45 cases recorded. 

HSE website (as of Oct 2018)


  • The legal limit of lead in drinking water in Europe has been gradually reduced, from 50µg per litre in 1988 to 10µg per litre in December 2013.

  • This was done as part of a greater plan to reduce everybody’s lifetime exposure to lead to the lowest possible level.

  • However, some drinking water may not yet meet this new limit.

2014 - Irish Independent

One in 10 households at risk of lead poisoning from old pipes


2019 - April - Irish Times

Unsafe levels of lead found in drinking water across country

Tests show lead concentration nearly 15 times above legal limit

Summary observation based on above data.

The dangers of Lead poisoning have long been acknowledged, and most of the ways people come into contact with it in non-occupational situations have been policed and regulated for.

However there are still a large number of ways we can absorb Lead, this page only looks at the water.

It was only in 2013 that levels in public water supplies were reduced to present levels, from 50µg to 10µg.

So up to that time, people in Ireland were exposed to levels up to 50µg.

And anyone born before 1988 (when the level was set at 50µg) and living in Ireland, is likely to have been exposed to levels in excess of 50µg


On the same HSE website information page above

  • Boiling the water does not remove lead. However, boiling may slightly increase the level of lead in drinking water.

  • Employers and managers of buildings used by the public (schools, crèches, hospitals, health centres, etc) are responsible for ensuring that the drinking water complies with the lead limit of 10 µg per litre.

So even if the levels in the water are now just at the 10µg level, boiling it increases these levels.

and that means that all hot beverages, and foods cooked in water are likely to be containing elevated levels of lead.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), and many expert authorities, and with what we have learned about its links to various health conditions,  there are no safe levels of Lead.