High Content of Lead Is Associated with the Softness of Drinking Water and Raised Cardiovascular Morbidity: A Review

  • Geir Bjørklund
  • Maryam Dadar
  • Salvatore Chirumbolo
  • Jan Aaseth


Daily ingestion of lead (Pb), even through piped drinking water, has long time been an important issue of concern, attracting for decades research in environmental science and toxicology, and again comes to prominence because of recent high-profile cases of exposure of populations in several countries to Pb-contaminated water. Numerous studies have reported an association between Pb in water and the risk of cardiovascular pathologies. Low levels of magnesium and calcium, i.e., low degree of hardness of the drinking water, may accentuate Pb leaching from water pipes and furthermore increase Pb absorption. This review evaluates the evidence for an association between Pb exposure from drinking water and cardiovascular end points in human populations.


Drinking water Lead Cardiovascular disease Mortality 



The authors thank Evens Emmanuel and John McArthur for valuable comments and assistance with the editing.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Council for Nutritional and Environmental MedicineMo i RanaNorway
  2. 2.Razi Vaccine and Serum Research Institute, Agricultural ResearchEducation and Extension Organization (AREEO)KarajIran
  3. 3.Department of Neurological and Movement SciencesUniversity of VeronaVeronaItaly
  4. 4.Faculty of Public HealthInland Norway University of Applied SciencesElverumNorway
  5. 5.Department of ResearchInnlandet Hospital TrustBrumunddalNorway

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