Health Effects of Lead in Water & Treatment Options

Health Effects of Lead in Water & Treatment Options

Health Effects of Lead in Water & Treatment Options, It is alarming to discover lead in the water in your home. Your tap water poses a risk to the health of you and your family if lead is present. Because you can’t taste, smell, or see lead, it can be challenging to detect it in water. We’ll show you how to test for lead in your water and how to get rid of it.

Lead in Water Health Effects & How to Treat It

Lead in tap water sources

A naturally occurring element called lead can be found in some soils and water sources. Because of its soft, malleable texture, lead has been used historically in construction and plumbing pipes.

The majority of lead contamination is caused by corrosive water delivery pipes and fixtures, particularly those that were put in place before 1986, when lead was outlawed as a building material. Lead and other contaminants from old pipes are absorbed by water as it moves through water service lines.

Although it is no longer used in toys or homes, lead still has useful applications in the industrial and medical sectors. It can be used to securely store radioactive substances, block radioactive rays in x-rays, contain other corrosive substances, or contain line batteries.

Possible sources of lead in your water include:

  • Corrosive lead pipes are common in older homes. The rate of corrosion increases with the acidity of your water. Lead is absorbed by the water as the pipes corrode, and it then flows into your tap.
  • Older homes may also have lead-based paint, which eventually chips and leaves dust behind.
  • Soil: The soil in some places has high concentrations of lead. Families are exposed to the negative effects of lead as water seeps through the ground and into homes.

Is drinking water with lead safe?

No amount of lead in drinking water is safe because it is so toxic. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) actually considers no lead consumption to be safe in any amount. The EPA wants to see no lead in water, but city water cannot have more than 15 parts per billion.

Public water systems are required to monitor water for lead under the Lead and Copper Rule, which was established by the EPA to safeguard public drinking water supplies. The public must be informed on how to protect their health, and lead service lines under their control may need to be replaced if 10% of their customers exceed this limit.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) mandates that bottled water have a lead content of no more than 5 ppb.

According to a 2016 report from the EPA’s Safe Drinking Water Information System (SDWIS) database, excessive lead levels were found in the drinking water of over 6 million people and 2,000 water systems over a 4-year period. While the city’s corrosion control efforts in Flint, Michigan, were unsuccessful, they succeeded in Newark. This amount was exceeded by 12% of the water samples taken this year.

What harm can lead cause the body?

Both adults and children run a significant health risk when they consume lead. Young children who consume lead experience irreversible neurological and developmental changes, which result in lead poisoning.

Chronic lead poisoning can seriously harm the immune system, bones, and teeth, as well as cause learning, behavioral, and developmental problems. Additionally, anemia, hearing loss, and stunted growth are all possible in children. Lead impairs a fetus’s development and contributes to premature birth. Adults may have issues with their kidneys, hearts, or reproductive systems.

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These are only a few of the lead poisoning symptoms that could occur. It is best to speak with your primary care doctor if you are worried about these symptoms because they may also be a sign of a variety of other health conditions.

Is it possible for skin to absorb lead from water?

Thankfully, skin does not absorb lead from water, so bathing in lead-contaminated water is safe. This, however, varies based on the quantity of lead present in the water, the person’s health, and whether or not the water is consumed or inhaled.

groups at risk of lead poisoning

Lead poisoning is more likely to affect some groups than others. Compared to adults, children are more vulnerable to lead poisoning. Children are more likely to be exposed because of their propensity to put things in their mouths.

Premature labor or miscarriage are other risks that pregnant women are more likely to experience. Because babies absorb lead through their mothers, pregnant women and breastfeeding mothers run the risk of harming their babies’ organs and nervous systems.

How to conduct a home lead water test

Because lead has no taste or odor, it can be challenging to determine whether it is present in your water. The methods for testing your tap water for lead are listed below:

1. Have a licensed lab test your water.

The Safe Drinking Water Act, passed by Congress in 1974, established standards and regulations for the upkeep of public water supplies. By collaborating with EPA-certified labs to provide water testing, the EPA aids in the enforcement of this law and provides resources for the general public. These labs provide a thorough report on the composition of your water.

2. Use a kit to test your own water.

Using a lead test kit instead of sending your water to a lab may be more practical and less expensive. These tests can only tell you if there is lead in your water, not how much.

PurTest Lead Test Kit,


3. Speak to a water specialist.

Concerns about the quality of your water can be eased by contacting water experts like us. Your water problems can be found and fixed with our assistance. For assistance with your home or office’s water systems, get in touch with our water experts.

4. Request a water quality test from your water provider.

Governments in some cities provide free water testing. Inquire with your local government about testing.

How to handle lead in water and what not to do

  • A water filter or water filtration system should be installed.
  • To remove lead from your water supply, run the faucets and flush the toilets.
  • Since hot water is more corrosive, use cold water when cooking.
  • If the city supply is contaminated, bring fresh water to school for your children.
  • Avoid boiling water. While boiling water destroys living things, it has no effect on reducing lead.
  • Take a shower. As long as you don’t drink the water while you’re taking a shower, lead cannot be absorbed by the skin.
  • Avoid taking chances. No matter how little of it there is, lead is toxic. Preventive measures should be taken rather than waiting until lead poisoning symptoms appear.

1. Check the water.

To choose the right filter, you’ll need to know what’s in your water. Your water supply will be the subject of a report on contamination from the utility company. However, you should test the water coming out of your faucet with a water test kit because contaminants can be absorbed by the water after it leaves the water treatment plant.

2. Discover where the lead in your water came from.

Finding the source of contamination is the next step once you’ve established that your water is contaminated with lead. Check the header pipe outside your house or the pipes underneath your kitchen sink.

Copper or plastic pipes are readily visible and recognizable and can be distinguished from lead pipes. The pipes may be made of lead or steel if they are metal, black, or gray. Use a metal object, such as a quarter or key, to scratch the pipe’s surface to make a more thorough distinction. If the scratch leaves a white line, the pipe is lead. The best option is to have a licensed plumber replace your water pipes.

3. Construct a system for water filtration.

A point-of-use water filtration system installed right at your sink would be one of the best choices after a test reveals the lead levels in your drinking water. You can also filter the water in your entire house using a whole-house filtration system.

If you must use tap water while you are waiting to replace your pipes or install a filtration system, make sure the water is cold. Avoid boiling the water. Boiling temperatures can remove many contaminants from drinking water, but they cannot treat lead contamination in water.

Instead of removing the lead, boiling water concentrates it.

Systems for reverse osmosis (RO)

Reverse osmosis is one step in a multi-stage process used in an RO system to filter water. Lead and other dissolved solids are eliminated as water is forced through a semipermeable membrane. In order to ensure that the water you use in your home is secure and palatable, the system also filters the water using a number of components, such as a carbon and sediment filter.

Learn more about reverse osmosis and how it functions here. The best reverse osmosis system to choose for distillers of water

In the natural world, water is cleaned by evaporating into the atmosphere. To get rid of dangerous contaminants like lead, a water distiller imitates that procedure by turning water into steam.

Learn more about what a water distiller is and how it operates. Is distilled water safe to drink?

You can also buy an under-sink water filter that removes lead or use a specific carbon blend filter in an existing one.

Chrome faucet with Neo-Pure TL3-A502 ultrafiltration  an existing

FAQ How to Treat Lead in Water: Frequently Asked Questions

How can the issue of lead in water be resolved?

By drinking or using only tap water that has passed through a “point-of-use” filter certified by an independent testing organization to reduce or eliminate lead, you can reduce or eliminate your exposure to lead in tap water (NSFGARINGANSI standard 53 for lead removal and NSFGARINGANSI standard 42 for particulate removal).

Can lead toxicity be treated?

Can lead poisoning be cured? Lead poisoning has irreversible effects. However, you can lower blood lead levels and stop further exposure by identifying and eliminating any sources of lead in your child’s environment or home.

What happens if you drink lead-contaminated water?

When lead from tap water enters the bloodstream and raises blood lead levels, it can have negative health effects. It can harm the kidneys and the brain and interfere with the process of producing red blood cells, which carry oxygen to every cell in the body.

How will you handle the water that contains a lot of lead?

Adsorption. In adsorption, water is passed through a substance selected for its capacity to pull lead ions out of solution. Ionic lead can be removed from a solution using biomass and activated charcoal. Adsorption offers a cost-effective option for water treatment for the majority of industrial sites.

Can I use lead water to brush my teeth?

Lead-containing water can touch your skin without harming you. Simply don’t consume it! You can still bathe and wash your hands. Make sure to use water from a sink with a filter to brush your teeth.

Can lead be removed by water filters?

Washington The findings of a water filter study carried out in Benton Harbor, Michigan, were today made public by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Results from the examination of water samples from about 200 homes reveal that filters can significantly lower the amount of lead in drinking water when used correctly.

How can lead in your body be eliminated naturally?

In addition to improving iron absorption, vitamin C may also aid in lead elimination. Citrus fruits, including oranges and grapefruit, are among the foods high in vitamin C. Good sources of iron can be found in foods like lean beef. In addition to improving iron absorption, vitamin C may also aid in lead elimination. Citrus fruits, including oranges and grapefruit, are among the foods high in vitamin C. Good sources of iron can be found in foods like lean beef. bread, pasta, and cereals fortified with iron. lentils and beans. cooked potatoes and spinach.

Does lead get rid of vitamin C?

Blood lead levels have been consistently linked to vitamin C levels, as have organ damages. It might lessen the toxicity of lead to some organs by preventing lead uptake at the cellular level.

What removes lead from the body?

Give your kid nutritious foods containing calcium, iron, and vitamin C. These foods could aid in preventing lead poisoning. Milk, yogurt, cheese, and spinach are all sources of calcium. Lean red meats, beans, peanut butter, and cereals all contain iron.

How much time does it take for lead to leave your system?

According to estimates, lead’s half-life in adult human blood is 28 days. Over the course of a lifetime, the body builds up lead and typically releases it very slowly. Elevated lead exposures in the past and present raise patients’ risks for negative lead-related health effects.

What are the symptoms of adult lead poisoning?

Adults who are exposed to lead may develop high blood pressure, kidney, brain, and reproductive health problems. Lead poisoning can cause headaches, cramps in the stomach, constipation, pain in the muscles and joints, difficulty sleeping, fatigue, irritability, and a loss of sex desire. Adults with lead poisoning typically don’t appear or feel ill.

How can lead poisoning in your home be detected?

One of the following three methods can be used to test for lead in your home: household test kits These only reveal whether there is lead present, not how much. environmental lab examinations. These are more expensive than DIY home test kits. licensed risk assessors for lead.

Will a Brita filter get rid of lead?

Right from your tap, get water that is cleaner and tastes better. The contaminants our filters are certified to remove, including chlorine, lead, and copper for delicious water, are listed in this table.

Is drinking water from lead pipes safe?

The permitted levels of lead in drinking water pose almost no health risk. The Department of Health advises that you try to lower your lead exposure even more, especially if you’re pregnant or have young children.