Virginia Tech professor Marc Edwards speaks about the Flint water crisis before the U.S. House Committee on Government Oversight and Reform in this March 2016 Flint Journal file photo.(Jake May | MLive.com)

FLINT, MI — A professor who helped expose the Flint water crisis says a single, new lead sinker placed in a water faucet can spike lead levels up to 96,000 parts per billion — more than 6,000 times the federal limit.

Marc Edwards, a professor at Virginia Tech, posted the results of new experiments conducted with water from Flint on the Flint Water Study website on Monday, Oct. 2.

The tests show a single, new lead sinker, placed in a faucet with Flint water can cause lead levels to skyrocket, while lead from a fishing sinker leaches very little lead when treated with phosphate to make the surface less reactive chemically.

The changes showed the effect of inhibitors like phosphate in water and the effect  on lead levels based on the duration of exposure.

Lead from a fishing sinker leaches very little lead — just 2 ppb — when treated with phosphate to render the surface less reactive chemically, results from the experiments show.



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