Health Risks of Lead in Drinking Water

The drinking water supply of many cities with older plumbing can have up to ten times more lead than the legal limit, which is linked to major health risks such as cancer. Some older houses may also use lead pipes in the plumbing system.

Lead is a heavy metal which is found in soil, rocks and water and can be used in many products from batteries to roofs, so why is it in our drinking water? The metal can get into drinking water by being picked up as the water travels through old lead pipes. Water also comes in contact with the metal through lead-lined water tanks and other plumbing instruments.

The long term solution to dealing with lead in your drinking water is to remove or replace all lead pipes and all lead plumbing in your home. The building owner is responsible for the internal pipes and plumbing of a house, while the water supplier is responsible for the water mains pipes up to the external stopcock of the house.

It should be noted that boiling water does not remove lead either. Allowing your tap to run for a while could help reduce the amount of lead in your water before drinking it, depending on how far your house is from the mains but this is not a good solution.

The good news is that most households can have a constant supply of pure healthy drinking water from their own tap or faucet free of lead or other heavy metals and at a substantially lower cost than bottled water, simply by installing a quality home water filtration system.

August 19, 2019


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