See also: “Lead Levels Below EPA Limits Can Still Impact Your Health,” at National Public Radio (NPR), August 13, 2016
NPR reported that Jeff Cohen, who was on the EPA team that decided on the 15 parts per billion number, said linking it to a threshold for public health is a “misunderstanding.” “The goal of the rule is zero lead in drinking water,” he said. The EPA’s action level isn’t based on medical research. No amount of lead in drinking water is known to be safe. “It was never designed to identify a safe level of lead in drinking water,” Cohen told NPR. The number was simply what water utilities told the EPA they could manage with treatment back in the late 1980s, when the EPA’s Lead and Copper Rule was drafted.