The planet’s crust contains trace quantities of lead, a metal that occurs naturally. However, despite its practical applications, it can be poisonous to humans and animals and harm their health.
Where is Lead Found?
All aspects of our environment contain lead, including the air, soil, water, and even inside our homes. We are exposed mainly to human actions, such as burning fossil fuels, using lead-containing gasoline in the past, operating certain industrial facilities, and painting dwellings with lead-based paint. Products used in and around our houses that include lead or lead compounds include paint, ceramics, pipes, solder, gasoline, batteries, ammunition, and cosmetics.
These present and previous applications might release lead into the environment. Additionally, industrial sources and polluted areas, such as historic lead smelters, can release lead into the atmosphere. Even though lead levels in soil naturally fluctuate between 50 and 400 parts per million, mining, smelting, and refining operations have significantly raised lead levels in the environment, particularly in areas close to mine and smelting sites.
Impacts of Lead Exposure on Health in Drinking Water
Because lead has different physical and behavioral consequences in children than in adults, young children, babies, and pregnant women, a youngster may be significantly affected by a lead dose that would have minimal impact on an adult. Low exposure levels in children have been associated with poor blood cell development and function, learning problems, shorter height, hearing impairment, and harm to the central and peripheral nervous systems.
Awareness of all the potential lead exposure scenarios for kids is critical. Lead may be found in paint, dust, soil, air, food, drinking water, and some foods. Lead exposure from various sources may be to blame if a child’s blood lead level is at or above the CDC action limit of 5 micrograms per deciliter. According to the EPA, consuming water can account for 20% or more of a person’s overall lead exposure. In addition, 40% to 60% of infants who primarily ingest mixed formula can get lead poisoning from drinking water.
Even at modest levels, lead poisoning in children can result in the following problems:
- Behavior and learning problems
- Lower IQ and hyperactivity
- Slowed growth
- Hearing problems
Lead poisoning is an uncommon condition that can result in convulsions, unconsciousness, and even death.
Over time, lead may build up in our bodies, deposited in bones with calcium. Lead is utilized to help create the fetus’s bones during pregnancy when it is released from the mother’s bones as maternal calcium. This is particularly the case if a woman’s diet is deficient in calcium. As a result, the fetus may be exposed to lead if lead crosses the placental barrier. This might have detrimental repercussions on the woman and her unborn child, including:
- Reduced growth of the fetus
- Premature birth
Adults might also get sick from lead. Adults exposed to lead may experience:
- impact on the cardiovascular system, elevated blood pressure, and prevalence of hypertension
- decreased kidney performance
- Reproductive difficulties (in both men and women)
Can I shower in lead-contaminated water?
Yes. Even if the water’s lead content is higher than the EPA’s action threshold, you and your kids should be able to bathe and shower without any problems. This is because lead in water cannot be absorbed by human skin. This knowledge covers the vast majority of people and most situations. However, specific conditions may differ. Certain circumstances, such as those involving very acidic water, may require extra advice or stricter measures. For lead testing and diagnosing lead pollution in tap water, always turn to your local water authority first. Many public water agencies maintain web pages with information on drinking water quality, including lead and lead testing results.
Lower Your Chances of Exposure to Lead
To lessen your chance of being exposed to lead, take straightforward precautions, including keeping your house clean and well-maintained. Adopting these actions may reduce your home’s potential for lead exposure both now and in the future.
- To stop paint from deteriorating, inspect and maintain every painted surface.
- Repair water damage as soon as possible.
- Keep your house dust-free and spotless.
- Clean the painted surfaces surrounding doors, windows, and other objects that might stir up dust, including drawers. To remove paint splatter or dust, wipe these areas with a moist sponge or cloth.
- Only use cold water while preparing meals and beverages.
- Water faucets that are used for drinking or cooking should be flushed.
- Regularly remove dirt from faucet aerators and outlet screens.
- Wash your child’s toys, bottles, pacifiers, and hands often.
- Teach kids that after playing outside, they should wipe off, take off their shoes, and wash their hands.
- Lead testing services NJ: Make sure everyone in your household eats well-balanced meals. Healthy meals help kids absorb less lead.
Steps to Reduce Lead in Drinking Water: Crucial Actions
- Have you had your water tested? To get your water tested and to learn more about the lead levels in your drinking water, get in touch with lead testing.
- Identify your lead service line. To determine if the pipe (referred to as a service line) connecting your home to the water main is composed of lead, get in touch with your water company or a qualified plumber.
- Run your water. Before drinking, flush the pipes in your home by turning on the water, having a shower, doing laundry, or cleaning the dishes. For advice on recommended flushing times in their neighborhood, citizens should contact Lead testing services NJ.
- Learn about construction in your neighborhood. Any building or maintenance projects that disrupt your lead service line should be avoided. For example, a Lead testing services NJ line may leak more lead due to construction.
- Use cold water. Use only cold water while making baby formula, drinking, and cooking. Keep in mind that lead cannot be removed from water by boiling it.
- Clean your aerator. Keep the screen on your faucet clean (also known as an aerator). In your aerator, sediment, trash, and lead particles may assemble. Lead might enter your water if aerator particles become trapped with lead.
- Use your filter correctly. Use a filter that has been approved to eliminate lead if you do use one. See the instructions for information on how to install, use, and replace your cartridge correctly. The cartridge’s ability to remove lead may be diminished if used after its expiration date. Run cold water through the filter alone.