ANN ARBOR (WWJ) – Mothers-to-be may want to think twice before turning on the tap in a house with old piping.

A new U of M study has found a link between lead exposure in pregnant women and hypertension, or high blood pressure, in their kids. What’s unique about the finding is that mom’s exposure seems only to increase a daughter’s risk of hypertension.

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Hypertension is the biggest risk factor in strokes and heart disease.

Dr. Howard Hu is a professor at the University of Michigan, and the study’s author. He told WWJ Newsradio 950 they began looking at mothers back in 1994.

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“We followed over 400 of the mother/offspring pairs for the next 18 years, and we measured the blood pressure in the offspring. but we matched that with the data we had on lead exposure in the mothers beginning when they were pregnant,” Hu said.

Lead is an ingredient in the paint of many homes built in the 70’s or earlier and also in old pipes.

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To read more on the study, click here.