Abstract

Some municipalities are promoting lead-filtering point-of-use (POU) systems to minimize the risk of lead exposure through drinking water, often targeting use at racial minorities and low-income households. However, links among social inequality markers and adoption of these systems are not well understood. Survey data on adoption and use of POU systems were collected from a U.S. Mechanical Turk (MTurk) sample (N = 2,867) in March 2018. We use logistic regression to assess the association of race/ethnicity, socioeconomic status (SES), and lead-filtering POU adoption. We also examined key health behaviors related to POU use. We found that race and SES are indirectly predictive of lead-filtering POU adoption through the propensity of some respondents to report a residence with a lead service line and levels of concern and knowledge about lead exposure. In addition, individuals with similar levels of concern about lead in water have lower odds of adopting a POU system if they have lower, rather than higher, incomes. Among POU adopters, while confidence in correct use of these devices was relatively high, the frequency of filtered water use for cooking was lower than drinking frequency. Overall, these findings inform health policies aimed at mitigating risk of lead exposure through water.

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Supplementary data