Setting the Record Straight on Lead in D.C. Water

Friday, August 14, 2009

I want to thank The Post for clarifying its coverage of my 2007 study on lead in D.C. water. As The Post has reported, an independent panel of experts found that my conclusions were not influenced by the D.C. Water and Sewer Authority. Nor was I a "paid consultant" to the water authority, as you recognized in the clarification published July 23. The paper deserves credit for publicly setting the record straight.

In the interests of clarity and understanding this important public health issue, I would like to point out that our study concluded that the data we analyzed showed no identifiable correlation between increased lead in D.C. drinking water and elevated blood lead levels.

The suggestion that our conclusion was published by mistake does a great disservice to me and risks creating panic in the community when none is warranted. I did agree to delete one of many sentences in the paper that stated the conclusion but then mistakenly uploaded an earlier draft in which the sentence appeared. The editor missed the mistake, too. An independent reviewing panel found "no evidence on the part of the author to deceive or subvert the publication process."

Lead in D.C. water is an important public health concern and one that is emotionally charged. My co-authors and I stand by our paper, which reported the findings of a valid scientific study with carefully considered and responsible conclusions.



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