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Wrong-Headed Economics Stops Us Replacing Lead Pipes

In the second half of the 19th century, water engineers experimented with drinking-water pipes made from a number of different materials. The challenge was to find something with three essential characteristics: durability, malleability and resistance to corrosion.

After years of study, engineers found something that outperformed iron, steel and cement-lined iron pipes. The material in question? Lead.

The above excerpt was originally published in Newsweek.