Report: Bed-Stuy water has among highest lead levels in NYC

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BEDFORD-STUYVESANT -

Bedford-Stuyvesant tap water has among the highest rates of lead throughout the five boroughs, according to a New York City Independent Budget Office report released Tuesday.

Tap water in Sunset Park and parts of Crown Heights are also on the higher side of lead traces. Some of the lowest in Brooklyn include Fort Greene, Brooklyn Heights and Brownsville.

The report states that lead levels continue to surpass the federal threshold in a small number of buildings. A couple of the biggest issues, according to the report, include no mandates that require private buildings to remove lead plumbing materials. The report says the Department of Environmental Protection has no leverage to compel lead cleanup in private residences, unless more than 10 percent of buildings sampled reflect lead issues.

The report also says that building owners are not required to notify a tenant of lead pipes or fixtures in a home.

Medical experts say the impact of lead exposure can range from developmental delays to lower IQ scores.

"NYC has the best tap water in the nation -- it is tested more than 600,000 times annually and is lead-free and meets or exceeds all health and safety regulations," a DEP spokesperson said in a statement.

There are some precautions you can take if you're uneasy about drinking from the tap. You can let the faucet run for about 30 seconds before taking a sip. The DEP also provides free lead-testing kits.

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