Lead In Drinking Water

water glass

 

Although your drinking water is not usually a concentrated lead source like paint, it can still pose risks to you and your family. Those at the greatest risk, even with short-term exposure, are young children and pregnant women. Lead in drinking water can be a problem for infants whose diet consists of liquids, such as baby formula made with water. Never use water with high lead levels (more than 15 ppb) to mix into infant formula. It can severly impair a child's development, resulting in learning disabilities or stunted growth. Exposure for adults primarily affects the peripheral nervous system and can cause impairment of hearing, vision, and muscle coordination. Lead is also toxic to the blood, kidney, heart, and reproductive system.

Lead can enter your water from several points: Old buried lead pipes that connect your house to the water main (service lines), lead pipe connectors, lead-soldered joints in copper plumbing, and Chrome-plated faucets are generally made of brass, which contains 3 to 8 percent lead.

In some private wells, underwater pumps with brass fittings can cause elevated lead concentrations in drinking water, especially with new pumps and soft water. Contamination can occur when water comes in contact with these fixtures.

When water stands in lead pipes or plumbing systems containing lead for several hours or more, the lead may dissolve into your drinking water. This means the first water drawn from the tap in the morning, or later in the afternoon after returning from work or school, can contain fairly high levels of lead.

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Dave had an impressive website that seemed to be too thorough to be anything but genuine. The thing that seemed to sell me was that he says right on his website that you may pay a little more for his service, but that his quality is higher. So I decided to give him a try even though I had no reference from another person hoping for someone of top quality. I was not disappointed. He was at the home early as promised and had done an inspection of the exterior and was writing up notes so that when I arrived, he walked me through the exterior first. Even with his early arrival, we were still there for about 3 hours looking through every little corner and cubby. He would occasionally stop and fill out his inspection forms which were easy to follow and read; he gives you a full folder of his notes that are well organized.

Dave was open to all questions and concerns so every time I saw something that was potentially concerning to me, he would look, give his opinion and often shared other experiences with similar circumstances. He also had a good sense of humor which helped to lighten what can be a stressful experience (having someone pointing out problem items that you didn't see). I would highly recommend Massachusetts Home Inspections.

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Last updated on  Dec 27, 2012