Invisible enemies are terrifying, just like the lead in our drinking water. If you keep consuming water being unaware of the existence of lead in it, your body can collect lead day by day until it affects your physical and mental health and causes profound harm. If you feel worried about the water quality in your area, find out more facts and useful information about lead in this article right now!
What will lead do to your health?
Lead can do great harm to our health and few can escape the suffering: from babies to women and men, all are vulnerable when confronted with the intruding of this heavy metal.
Adults exposed to lead can suffer from:
- cardiovascular diseases
- increased blood pressure
- incidence of hypertension
- decreased kidney function
- reproductive problems
The same dose of lead can hit a double effect on children, compared to grown-ups. Young children, who are still at an age of extremely curious about the world, are likely to put something into their mouths when we turn our back to them for seconds. And the thing that gets into their stomach can be the contaminated soil and flakes from decaying lead-containing paint.
Even low levels of lead can cause children:
- central and peripheral nervous system
- learning disabilities
- shorter stature
- impaired hearing
- impaired formation
- the function of blood cells
And fatal results can happen to children when they are exposed to high levels of lead for the long term:
- behavior problems
- lower IQ and hyperactivity
- even death
Pregnant women should be extremely careful about the intake of lead. Lead that goes into our body will not be eliminated but stored in our bones. During pregnancy, it will be released from mothers’ bones to build the bones of the fetus. The lead can result in the reduced growth of the fetus and premature birth. What’s more, lead can also be transmitted through breast milk to a baby.
How does lead get into drinking water?
One is the plumbing materials that contain lead. Areas with high-acidity or low-mineral water can easily have their pipes corroded, especially when the pipe systems or water delivery fixtures were built before 1986.
The other is the brass or chrome-plated brass faucets. If the faucets corrode, the lead will be released, too. Besides, if your tap comes with an aerator, lead sediments can clog up at the outlet and affect your daily water usage deeply.
How to know whether there is lead in your water?
Test the water.
First off, the best way is to contact your local water supply company for support. Some of them offer free tests. If they don’t respond as you expect, you can also ask for help from county health departments or a state-certified laboratory. If you have no idea who to contact, you can also call the Safe Drinking Water Hotline at 800-426-4791 or visiting www.epa.gov/safewater/labs.
If you are not going down well with the water testing authority, you can test the water by yourself. Search the right type of water test kit on Google, figure out what to choose depending on the overall water quality in your area, and order one from your local store or the online shop. Make sure you will follow directions carefully and only use “first-draw water”, the very first water coming out of your pipes after sitting overnight.
What to do when you found out lead exist in your water?
Clean your aerator regularly. Impurities and sediments such as debris and lead particles can be collected in the water outlet, which gives way to lead to go into the water and end up in your dinner dishes.
Use water filters properly. A water filtration system is useful in removing heavy metals as well as other contaminants. Make sure to use water filters with authorized certifications which prove they are capable of eliminating lead. Install the filter properly and stick to replace the cartridge in time, normally every six months.
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