Vitruvius explicitly warned that using lead water pipes is dangerous. He made a conjecture that if the molten lead workers were unhealthy then lead was unhealthy for the human body. He also said that pipes made from the earth, such as clay, are more “wholesome” than lead pipes because they offer a more wholesome taste.(Hodge p. 486) Vitruvius has two arguments to support his theory on lead pipes. The first supporting argument of his theory is the lead workers, the men that worked with molten lead and inhaled the toxic fumes from it, looked and were unhealthy. The second supporting argument of his theory is that everybody wanted to serve food on dinnerware that was made from the earth, such as clay, rather than metallic dinnerware because the food tasted better. Vitruvius’ arguments may seem logical, however, they don’t justify his conclusion. Inhaling the toxic fumes from lead, the workers were ingesting lead differently than the Roman citizens, people that drank water that had been in contact with lead. Secondly, his dinnerware argument is weakened because he said the Romans did not want to eat off of lead dinnerware, however, he was referring to silver dinnerware. Hodge proposes two arguments as to why the Romans were not poisoned by the water that had been in contact with lead. The first argument, a chemistry based argument, is the water contained calcium carbonate which was able to form a solid crust, separating the water and lead. He also suggests that the water, which would have most likely been running over sedimentary rocks, would have absorbed the calcium carbonate from the rocks. However, if the water had been running over igneous rocks then it would not have absorbed the calcium carbonate, thus would not have formed the protective crust. The chemistry based argument is that the water contained calcium carbonate which formed a hard crust around the lead pipes. The calcium carbonate crust “not only insulates the pipes from the water inside them but itself is absorbent of lead, so that it actually tends to purify the water of any lead content it possesses.” (Hodge p. 488)The water would have mostly likely ran through sedimentary rocks picking up calcium carbonate along the way, however, if the water ran through igneous rocks it would not have absorbed the calcium carbonate. Therefore water that came by way of sedimentary rocks would have insufficient amounts of lead to harm. Geology is important to the chemistry based argument because water that runs through sedimentary rocks would contain the calcium carbonate but water that runs over igneous rocks would not contain calcium carbonate, thus would not form the protective crust. You should, in theory, be able to look at a geological map of the Roman Empire and identify “areas of potential lead hazard” by looking at areas of igneous rock. (Hodge p. 489) Hodge admits not to possess the geological knowledge of the exact locations of igneous rock and sedimentary rock throughout the Roman Empire. Nonetheless, Hodge still believes his claim is valid because he can make generalizations about the locations of sedimentary rock, much more common than igneous rock. He concludes that the Romans built most of their towns over sedimentary rocks, which made the water that runs through lead pipes safe to drink. The evidence of high calcium carbonate crust in the Roman aqueducts supports Hodge’s chemistry based argument. The left over calcium carbonate crust shows us that Roman water did indeed contain calcium carbonate, thus it made the drinking water safe by forming a chemical insulation between the water and lead. Forbes and Frontinus agree that there were high levels of crust in the Roman aqueducts and it contributed to the safety of Roman water. Hodge states another argument to prove that lead would not have affected the Roman water. He says that Roman water systems were meant to be running all day long unlike our water which is manually turned on. The flowing water would not have had more than 15 seconds to absorb any lead, while today when we turn our water off it can absorb lead for long periods of time. After reading the article the idea that persuaded me the most was the chemistry based argument. The calcium carbonate crust would form solid barrier between the lead and water. Also if the water was running through sedimentary rocks than it would be impenetrable to lead. These facts drive me to make the conclusion that lead poisoning would not have affected all Romans but only those who had new pipes and lived on top of igneous rocks. I was not persuaded by the tap system argument because I don’t know how much lead could have been absorbed in the 15 second period when water ran through the pipes. He should have conducted an experiment to get actual numbers on the difference between the lead content of running water and tapped water. All together I believe that Hodge’s conclusion is correct and I hope to see a real experiment to support his theory.