It has been brought to authorities’ attention that water contamination has worsen lately. It’s not just about visible contamination such as dirt or sand, it is those toxic minerals such as lead and copper in our water. The effects of lead in drinking water can be DEADLY and we should not take it lightly.
Health Effects on Lead
Lead is an industrial material that is still widely used in places such as car batteries, soldering cables, weights for lifting and many more. It is harmless when in contact with solid lead through our skins but it will be life threatening if lead was consumed in our body.
Young children and infants are the most vulnerable to lead intoxication. Their immune systems are still in the early stage of development. The body is unable to react quickly on foreign contamination. Based on the studies conducted by Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), 5 microgram per deciliters of lead found in a child’s blood is consider intoxication.
With this small amount of lead, it may result in :
- Slower brain development
- Blood disorder such as anemia
- Learning disorder
- Hearing impairment
Pregnant women too are at greater risk when in contact with lead. When in contact with lead during their pregnancy, the toxic material that enter their body will flow into the fetus. Fetus is even more vulnerable compared to infants and children.
As a result, it will cause :
- Birth defects
- Premature birth
Although adults are less susceptible to lead intoxication, but it is able to bioaccumulate in our body. Frequently exposed to lead will suffer from :
- Cardiovascular sickness such as hypertension, high blood pressure
- Kidney and Liver failure.
- Damage on central nervous system
How Does Lead Appear In Drinking Water?
Lead normally appears from corroded pipes, low quality brass faucets and fixtures using lead solders. Old houses that was built in the 80’s are using lead pipes which have a high amount of lead tested in water.
Lead in water is cause by the worn pipes that have constant chemical reaction with minerals found the the water. Hot water is one of the factor that accelerate the chemical reaction against the corroded pipe that produce lead.
Other factors such as pH difference of the source of water and the types of mineral that is dissolved in the source water might increase the lead contamination in drinking water.
Will Lead Absorb Through Skin?
No. Lead will not penetrate through human skin. You are safe to shower and washing with contaminated water. However, it is unavoidable to have consume the water from the shower head and it is pretty dangerous as the toxic material will flow into your body.
Fruits and vegetables that was cleansed with water will absorb the minerals and causing intoxication when you consume. Indirectly, you increase the chances of consuming toxic material.
Ways to Avoid In Contact With Lead
- Avoid using hot water directly from the tap. Hot water are more likely to contain lead compare to cold water. Use only cold water on your dinner preparation
- Allow the tap to run for a 30 seconds to 2 minutes. Running the pipes for a while helps to flush out the contaminated water that has been idle for hours.
- Use water filter or water treatment systems. Most of the water treatment systems are able to remove lead from drinking water. You can find it in Amazon for as low as $13.
- Avoid contact of contaminated water on cuts and wounds. Lead will flow directly into your blood stream when in contact with cuts and wounds. This is the most dangerous situation that you can even imagine. You should only clean the wounds with clean water.
Boiling drinking water WILL NOT help in removing lead. It is not a type minerals like chlorine that can evaporate while exposed to high temperature.
Various test can be done to ensure the safety of your family members.
- Water Contamination Test. Visit your local drinking water authority to perform a water test to have a peace of mind. Lead is not able to be detected from naked eye. Hence, a laboratory test is required to analyze the water samples for harmful minerals. The test is in the range of $20 – $100.
- Blood Test. A simple blood test is able to distinguish whether are you in risk of lead intoxication. Perform a regular blood test to ensure the safety of your children as they are more vulnerable than you are.
Preventive measure is always better than cure. Start protecting your family from water contamination. Don’t you think so?