GAO To Rebuke CDC for Playing Down Health Risk From Lead In DC Water

"The Government Accountability Office is preparing to issue a report that rebukes the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for saying in 2004 that elevated levels of lead in the District’s tap water did not pose a public health threat and for failing to quickly clarify its findings as complaints mounted.

The CDC has taken incremental steps to clear up public confusion and address flaws in the analysis. But as of January, the nation’s premier public health department had not published a definitive overview of how elevated levels of lead in tap water can harm children, the report says.

The GAO report, 'Lead in Tap Water: CDC Public Health Communications Need Improvement,' was obtained by The Washington Post and is expected to be released about April 13.

It calls on the CDC to publish an article that divulges all it knows about the dangers of lead in drinking water and explain the health risk to children. It also urges the agency to develop procedures to review previously published information and determine whether clarifications or corrections are needed to better inform the public."

Darryl Fears reports for the Washington Post April 3, 2011.

Source: Wash Post, 04/04/2011