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Lead

How does lead get into my drinking water?

Lead in home drinking water usually comes from solder used to join plumbing pipes or from lead pipes used in some older homes. Water is generally lead-free as it leaves the treatment plant, but by the time it comes out of the faucet, it may have dissolved lead from pipes or solder.

What are the health effects of lead?

Lead is toxic to many human tissues and enzymes. Children are more susceptible to lead poisoning because lead can accumulate in their nervous system as they grow and develop. Death by lead poisoning is uncommon, but dangerous levels of lead in children may cause serious health problems, including lower intelligence and poor school performance.

What are the Federal Standards for lead in drinking water?

If the lead content in your water exceeds the 0.015 mg/l federal standard, the potential risk must be reduced, particularly if young children drink the water. Avoid using water that has sat in the pipes for several hours (overnight or other long periods) for cooking or drinking. Never use water from the hot-water tap for cooking or drinking.

Treatment methods for lead include reverse osmosis and distillation.