Almost half of Manhattan, Brooklyn buildings served by lead pipes: Report

Lead pipes were banned across the five boroughs over 60 years ago, but according to a new report, water may still be flowing through them for many New Yorkers.

A new report by the Coalition to End Lead Poisoning found that almost half of all buildings in Manhattan and Brooklyn are likely served by pipes made of the heavy metal.

Lead consumption has been linked to brain damage and developmental problems in children.

"Lead is a poisonous heavy metal. It's so toxic that there is no safe level of lead, and it affects children's ability to learn, and it affects their behavior," said Attorney Joan Leary Matthews.

The report analyzed public data from the city's Department of Environmental Protection.

Columbia professor David Rosner says low-income, high-density neighborhoods had the most amount of lead pipes. 

"It's not as bad as it was, but it's still a problem, and it shouldn't be for any child. We shouldn't have to worry about what comes out of our taps," Rosner said.

New York City Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Rohit T. Aggarwala told FOX 5 NY that the city is working to replace lead pipes, but that the project will take more time and money from the state to complete without raising water bills.

In the meantime, a chemical is being used to prevent lead from leaching into the water supply from the old pipes.