Lead is a naturally occurring metal found in the group of carbon. It’s found almost everywhere in the world. It is contained in many substances used in our day to lives e.g. gasoline, paints, and ceramic products.
However, materials that contain lead have been reduced over the years due to the adverse effects brought about by consumption of lead. This does not mean that lead is no longer a threat. It is still found in water at certain areas of the world, even in the developed countries.
Knowing whether your water contains lead
Lead is not like Chlorine. It has no smell or taste, and neither can it be seen. The best way to know if your water contains lead, or to know the levels of lead in your water, is for you to have it tested. This will provide you with reliable results that you can use to protect yourself from lead.
You can also ask your water provider for the details, or if you use public water, you can check the data on the internet.
How Lead Gets into Water
The primary source of lead contamination in drinking water is from plumbing. This is unlike other water contaminants where the disease occurs at the water source.
The pipes that are used to carry the water that you use may be the cause of the problem. Some tubes, especially the ones that were laid many years back, as is the case with older homes, are affected by this factor. The lead was used during the manufacturing of the pipes, plumbing materials and in the making of solder.
This does not mean that new houses do not contain any lead. The usage of lead in plumbing has been gradually deceased till recently when it was declared that all the pipes should be ‘lead-free.’ However, the term ‘Lead-free’ doesn’t even mean that the tubes do not contain any lead. It just means that the level of the lead held in the cells is tiny, making lead a common source of water contamination in homes.
Signs and Symptoms of Lead Poisoning
Low levels of lead poisoning in the body are not readily detectable through symptoms. This is the amount of lead in your blood has accumulated to high concentrations. Children are the most severely affected by this kind of poisoning.
Some Signs and Symptoms in Children
Loss of appetite
Slow growth and development
Symptoms in Adults
High Blood pressure
Reduced sperm count in males
Mood disorder and miscarriage in pregnant women.
Removal of Lead from Water
Because of the dangers posed by lead ingestion, it is crucial to know some methods that you can use to get rid of lead from your drinking and cooking water.
However before deciding on the type of plan to use to reduce lead consumption in your home, it is important first to seek to know the levels of lead contamination in your water.
Acquiring a Lead Water Filter
To protect you and your family from Lead ingestion, having a lead water filter is the best solution you can employ. Different types of filters are available that can help you filter lead from your drinking and cooking water. They can be under the sink water filters, countertop filters, water pitchers or just attached to the faucet.
One type of water filter that can guarantee complete removal of lead is the 5 stage reverse osmosis drinking water filtration system. This kind of filter uses five steps to ensure that you have access to highly purified drinking and cooking water at home. It will also prove to be highly useful if the water in your area contain any other type of contamination be it chlorine, sediment, excess minerals, other metals or bacteria and viruses that can cause water- borne diseases to your family.
Before you purchase any filter, you should check to ensure that the filter you are buying is NSF certified for Lead Removal.
Replacing Lead Water Pipes
Most plumbing lines that were built in the 20th century used Lead in significant levels. It is important to know the type of pipes that bring water to your home. You can do a DIY test all on your own. Look for a bare water pipe, especially in the basement. Scratch the pipe with a coin and check its color. It is made of copper if it has the color of a penny. If it has a nickel color, then most probably it’s made using Lead.
If Lead pipes have only been used in your home’s private plumbing, it will be easier to replace. It will also be cheaper.
However, if the plumbing is public, it is tough and expensive to have the pipes replaced. In such a case, you may need to resort to lead water filters.
Flushing out Water before usage
This may be a wasteful method and also a short term solution. All the same, it’s a useful one.
If the plumbing in your home uses lead pipes, then it’s advisable to flush out water in the morning. This is the water that has been sitting in the pipes overnight, where most probably lead will have entered into the water through leaching from the pipes.
It may not be the most efficient method, but it reduces the levels of lead that can be consumed.
Lead poisoning commonly occurs through water and poses great dangers to our health. It is important to establish if the water in your home contains lead. After that, you should then devise methods that will help you and your family stay away from the lead.
Choose a method of lead protection that will be sure to keep you safe. The most advisable way if your water contains lead is using water filters. You should then monitor your filtration unit and do filter replacements after some time.
This will help keep you and your family safe from lead.