Lead in drinking water is bad of course, its toxic. Lead is one of the most common elements on earth. In fact, there’s 13mg of lead in every kilogram of the earth’s crust! Lead is useful in things that are essential to our daily living. It is used as main ingredients in making some kinds of batteries, alloys, ammunition, rust inhibitors, sheaths for cable and many other things.
Lead is also used as an integral component of many pipes and plumbing items. It is especially common in pipes of older structures which is the primary cause of lead contamination in water.
How can you get exposed to lead?
Lead is useful in things that are essential to our daily living. It is used as main ingredients in making some kinds of batteries, alloys, ammunition, rust inhibitors, sheaths for cable and many other things. Lead is also used as an integral component of many pipes and plumbing items. It is especially common in pipes of older structures which is the primary cause of lead contamination in water.
There are also many factors that contribute to the leaching of lead into the water from the pipes and plumbing. These factors include the pH level of the water, chloride in the water, the hardness of the water as well as the length of time of exposure to the pipes containing lead. Lead can also find its way into your water supply from dissolution from its natural form, with it being a very common element on the surface of the earth.
You and your family can be exposed to lead through many different media. For instance, lead can be present in the air, and it can be present in our daily dietary intake without our knowledge. We can also be exposed to lead as we handle various items every day. In fact, many medical items contained lead until the recent years when these were slowly removed from the hospital and healthcare setting.
Although there are many media of exposure, lead contamination of your water supply should be a major priority. Lead in water is more controllable compared to other media that lead contamination is associated to.
Why You Need To Test Your Water for Lead
It is important to test your water for lead because it’s a very toxic element. Exposure to lead can lead to irreversible consequences, especially in young children. It can be absorbed more easily when there is a decreased level of iron in the body. People, especially children with anemia are more at risk for lead absorption.
Researchers have formed several strong points about the effects of lead in humans and animals. In humans, lead is a potent poison. It is even more dangerous for children and pregnant women. In pregnant women, lead exposure leads to preterm delivery in most cases. The baby could also be deformed due to lead exposure. In young, growing children, exposure to low levels of lead can cause a decrease in intellectual ability.
In acute intoxication, muscle tremors, headaches, tiredness, dullness and abdominal cramps may be present. Also, hallucinations, memory loss and encephalopathy could also occur at higher concentrations of lead. The most prominent effect of lead in humans is renal damage.
Chronic symptoms may also vary. It could include gastrointestinal symptoms, mood disturbances, and other cognitive effects may also occur. Lead exposure is also associated with high blood pressure.
Men exposed to high concentrations of lead in drinking water could also suffer from reproductive effects such as decreased sperm count.
Overall, lead can have detrimental effects to people of all ages and all races. Therefore, water tests must regularly be done for the presence of contaminants, especially lead. When it proves to be present in your drinking water, you need to take appropriate measures to get rid of the lead contamination. You need to identify the root of your lead contamination problem. It could be your pipes and fittings. If those are the main causes of lead contamination in your household, you will need to replace your pipes and corrosion control must be done. A water system that can filter lead off from your household’s water supply can be used to make sure that your water is pure and safe enough for drinking.
Need help with your well water? I have been assisting homeowners, small communities and businesses improve their well water quality since 1989. Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have a question about water testing, test kits or well water systems in general. Gerry Bulfin CWS-IV Master Water Specialist WQA Certified Licensed California Water Treatment Contractor