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Am J Public Health. 2008 Sep;98(9):1584-92. doi: 10.2105/AJPH.2007.113555. Epub 2008 Jul 16.

The lead industry and lead water pipes "A Modest Campaign".

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Lead pipes for carrying drinking water were well recognized as a cause of lead poisoning by the late 1800s in the United States. By the 1920s, many cities and towns were prohibiting or restricting their use. To combat this trend, the lead industry carried out a prolonged and effective campaign to promote the use of lead pipes. Led by the Lead Industries Association (LIA), representatives were sent to speak with plumbers' organizations, local water authorities, architects, and federal officials. The LIA also published numerous articles and books that extolled the advantages of lead over other materials and gave practical advice on the installation and repair of lead pipes. The LIA's activities over several decades therefore contributed to the present-day public health and economic cost of lead water pipes.

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