Newark residents outraged after testing reveals lead contamination in water

Newark residents outraged after testing reveals lead contamination in water
© Getty Images

Newark, N.J. ,residents are furious after testing revealed lead contamination in their water, contrary to what city officials have insisted.

"I was extremely upset. Extremely upset," Newark resident Yvette Jordan told CBS News.

Testing found that about one-quarter of Newark children under 6 have detectable lead in their blood, according to the paper.

ADVERTISEMENT

The city heard of a lead contamination problem in some of its schools in 2016, but has since insisted that the water was safe to drink.

The city is now facing a lawsuit over the contamination, which Jordan has joined.

"'Your water is fine. Everything is fine,'" she said, recounting what she had heard from city officials.

Newark now says it is working to address the issue.

"We acted immediately to address what was happening," Mayor Ras Baraka told CBS.

Baraka said that the contamination came from old water pipes found in some neighborhoods, which spread lead into drinking water. 

The mayor contended that the blood testing and water contamination are unrelated.

"Water has not contributed in any significant way to the elevated lead levels in our children's blood," Baraka said.

"Lead-based paint and dust has done that in the city of Newark and, I would suspect, in many cities across America."