Just last Wednesday, Mississippi state authorities cautioned that pregnant women and young children in the city of Jackson – the state capital - should refrain from drinking unfiltered tap water because of the high levels of lead that have been discovered.
Lead is a metal that can cause behavior problems and learning disabilities in infants and children. State health officials notified Jackson in January that 22 percent of water samples taken from homes last June had tested above dangerous levels. Some of the lead levers were as high as eight times the federal level of 15 parts per billion, according to the Associated Press. City officials blame the problem on old, unsafe plumbing in individual homes.