Lead levels in ancient Rome’s water were high, but not toxic

By Ashley Yeager, 16:47 PM April 21, 2014

Ancient Romans probably drank tap water with up to 100 times as much lead as that found in the local spring water of the time, thanks to the metal pipes used for the earliest plumbing in the city. The higher levels of lead in the drinking water, however, were probably not excessive enough to be harmful, researchers report April 21 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

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