Are you concerned about the amount of lead in your tap water? Have you ever wondered what the safe amounts of lead in water are, or what the health risks of lead are?
The purpose of this in-depth post is to walk you through the warning signs of lead in tap water, the safe amount of lead in water, the best lead removal water filters, and how to make your home water lead-free.
Let’s dive in…
Water that has been successfully treated and is piped from the local public water utility has no lead. The biggest source of lead in water is the rusty metal pipes that convey it to our homes, schools, and businesses.
Most lead exposure happens when water comes into contact with plumbing fixtures, which is more common in many schools and hospitals due to the fact that most facilities were built many years ago.
- 1 Is Lead in Your Water and What Level Is Safe?
- 1.1 What are The Rules on Lead?
- 1.2 Signs of Lead in Tap Water
- 1.3 Lead Exposure Risks
- 1.4 Health Effects of Lead in Drinking Water
- 1.5 Best Water Filter for Lead Removal
- 1.5.1 1. Home Master Under-sink RO Water Filter System (TMAFC-ERP)
- 1.5.2 2. ISpring High Capacity RO Drinking Water Filtration System (RCC7)
- 1.5.3 3. APEC RO-90 Ultra Safe RO Drinking Water Filter Water System
- 1.5.4 The most common health effects of lead exposure from drinking water and other sources are listed below.
- 1.5.5 What Causes Lead in Water
- 1.6 Lead Exposure Prevention
Is Lead in Your Water and What Level Is Safe?
Lead primarily enters our drinking water via plumbing materials. When lead is consumed in water, whether consciously or accidentally, the concentration accumulates over time, resulting in lead poisoning.
This causes health issues such as abdominal, joint, and muscle pain, as well as brain damage, among other things.
What are The Rules on Lead?
Since 1991, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has established a rule stating that lead concentrations in all drinking water systems (schools, hospitals, apartments, homes, etc.) should not exceed an action level of 15 ppm of all taps sampled, and no more than 10%.
If the level of lead in the water exceeds the set standard of 15 ppm, the system should ensure that the public is well informed about the steps and actions that should be taken.
To always protect their health, they should replace infected lead pipes under their control, so that the public is safe and lead exposure is eliminated.
The EPA’s (Environmental Protection Agency) Action Limit for Lead in Drinking Water is 15 ppb, with the generally accepted action safe level for lead in water ppm.
Signs of Lead in Tap Water
The Environmental Protection Agency confirmed that polluted water accounts for 10% to 20% of our daily lead exposure.
- Rusted and ancient piping systems, such as faucets and pipes, are the primary source of lead in drinking water. This occurs when your plumbing system corrodes and releases lead into the water, or when low mineral content or acidic water remains on pipes for extended periods of time.
Lead Exposure Risks
Health Effects of Lead in Drinking Water
Lead poisoning is hazardous to one’s health since it impairs the entire functioning of the human body system, causing problems with the nervous system, heart, brain damage, and renal failure.
You should also be aware that pregnant women and children are particularly vulnerable to the Health Effects of Lead in Drinking Water.
Most homes built in the 1990s in the United States still have lead service pipes in use, and lead can easily wind up in their drinking water.
Always keep the long-term and short-term health implications of lead poisoning in mind.
Best Water Filter for Lead Removal
The most recent and simple method of removing lead from tap water is to use a water filter. But first, it’s a good idea to figure out where the contamination is coming from and how bad it is.
The following are some of the most effective and cost-effective lead removal filtration methods:
Reverse Osmosis: This filtration technology is thought to be the most effective at removing lead from drinking water, removing up to 99.9% of it.
Distillation: This filtration technology removes 99.9% of impurities and gives pure water. The disadvantage of this filtration technology is that it is quite sluggish and consumes a lot of electricity during the process.
Activated Carbon Filtration: The vast majority of activated carbon filter units are designed to remove up to 99 percent of lead. The disadvantage of this filtration process is that the filters frequently become clogged and lose their ability to remove lead.
1. Home Master Under-sink RO Water Filter System (TMAFC-ERP)
The Home Master System has a seven-stage filtration system, it can produce highly pure water by removing up to 99.9 percent of chemicals such as chlorine, chloramine, and other contaminants.
Has a built-in permeate pump that reduces water waste, saving you money in the long run by lowering your water bill.
It has a simple filter-changing mechanism that lasts a year or 2000 gallons. The downside is that it is quite pricey, but it is well worth the money.
2. ISpring High Capacity RO Drinking Water Filtration System (RCC7)
This high capacity reverse osmosis filtering type is an under-sink installed system that softens and filters tap water by removing up to 99.9% of over 1,000 pollutants including giardia, calcium, lead, salt and viruses.
It has the ability to reduce lead content by up to 99 percent and has very low maintenance expenses. Another key advantage is the leak detector, which informs you whenever moisture accumulates beneath the filter system.
This unit is very economical, with a pure to wastewater ratio of 1:3, and the system will always produce good-tasting, pure, safe and clean water every time you turn on the tap.
3. APEC RO-90 Ultra Safe RO Drinking Water Filter Water System
The RO-90 water filtration system is designed and assembled in the United States, where safety and quality standards are strictly adhered to, making it durable and effective in the reverse osmosis industry.
The APEC RO-90 has been tested and fully certified by WQA to remove 99 percent of high traces of water contaminants such as chlorine, fluoride, lead, heavy metal, bacteria, virus, and 1000+ contaminants.
The most common health effects of lead exposure from drinking water and other sources are listed below.
1. Prenatal Effects
Low amounts of lead exposure may have an effect on the mother and her fetus.
According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), “lead may readily pass the placenta to the fetus’s brain.”
These pregnant health risks may lead to gestational hypertension, miscarriage, preterm delivery, and low birth weight. It is strongly recommended that pregnant women avoid drinking water from lead pipes.
Pica is an unusual condition that makes people crave of items that are not meant to be edible like a paint chip, dust, chalk, hair, and hardened clay soil.
Children that show symptoms of lead poisoning tend to eat paint chips, dust, and chalkboard.
3. Lowered IQ in Children
Overexposure of lead through contaminated water, is known to produce a spectrum of damages across multiples body systems.
In young children, lead affect the growth and development, thereby causing Lowered IQ in Children’s brain, leading to a lower (IQ) intelligence quotient.
Also, Lead exposure can affect the behavior, intelligence, and attention life span of a child: note the World Health Organization.
4. A trigger of Autoimmune Diseases
The aforementioned conditions—multiple sclerosis, lupus, chronic fatigue syndrome, rheumatoid arthritis, type 1 diabetes, and fibromyalgia—have all been proven to be linked to a build-up of heavy metals, particularly lead.
Autoimmune illness develops when the immune system incorrectly identifies and attacks healthy cells.
5. Mood Swing Disorders
Lead exposure may negatively affect both adults’ and children’s mental health; adults may experience sadness and anxiety, while children can develop attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
The behavior of children who display temper tantrums, lash out, and grow more aggressive is called behavioral dyscontrol.
6. Loss of Appetite
The increased amount of lead absorbed by youngsters as a result of overexposure may lead to an inability to eat properly and contribute to weight loss as well.
There are, however, numerous health issues linked to each of these diseases, therefore it is strongly recommended that you see your doctor first.
Lead poisoning is deadly and affects children far more than adults. It may induce unconsciousness and convulsions in youngsters.
The behavioral problems and mental impairment that the children who survive lead poisoning may face may last for years to come.
What Causes Lead in Water
Because of human activities including fossil fuel burning, mining, and manufacturing, lead has recently increased in distribution.
The corrosion in our home plumbing system is the primary main source of lead in our homestead’s water.
Corrosion is a process in which water and metal come into contact and the water molecules react with the metal, thus destroying the pipe, fixtures, and faucets from the inside.
Other sources of lead exposure:
Soil: Lead particles that have settled on the ground from paint and leaded gasoline still exist for decades and even after they’ve settled, lead pollution is still a serious issue on the road and buildings constructed on tarmac.
The amount of lead included in ceramic glazers and porcelain may readily seep into food portions.
Dust in the air. Paint chips that usually fall off the wall may be mixed with dirt to make it more easier to inhale contaminated dust when sweeping the floor.
In these candies, lead is found in the component Tamarind.
China-made toys are often found to contain elevated levels of lead.
These occupations put people at a higher risk of lead exposure and carry it home on their clothing.
Lead Exposure Prevention
You can protect yourself and your family against lead poisoning with a few simple do-it-yourself projects.
1. Whenever possible, use a wet mop or a moist cloth to wipe dusty surfaces and wall peelings.
2. Take off any shoes that have grease on them. This will help to keep lead pollutants from entering your home or office building.
When playing outside with children, wash hands and toys with soap to minimize the risk of contamination from hand to mouth transmission of contaminated dirt or dust.
4. If you reside in a home with an ancient plumbing system (lead pipes or fittings), it is recommended that you run cold water for a minute before using the toilet.
5. Always keep your home in good condition by inspecting it for issues and paint peelings. Never remove paint peeling with a knife or sand it with sandpaper since this may create dust that has a high concentration of lead.
How to Make Your Home Lead-Free
The following are important guidelines for maintaining a lead-free household.
1. Inspect the paint on a regular basis for signs of peeling, chipping, or deterioration.
Remove all of the loose paint from an area that has been peeled by wetting it first and then sanding it to remove any remaining paint.
2. Conduct a regular inspection of all painted surfaces such as windows, stairways, and doors for signs of paint degradation. If you see any loose paint, gently remove it with a wet paper towel.
3. Always clean smooth surfaces once a week to keep dust under control.
To protect yourself and your children against lead poisoning, follow these precautions.
4. Hot water has much higher concentrations of lead concentrates than cold water. When cooking or preparing infant formula, be sure to use cold water at all times.
5. Make sure you get enough iron, calcium, and zinc in your diet on a regular basis.
Drink plenty of water and eat plenty of green vegetables, peanut butter, red pepper, and oranges, since these foods assist to reduce lead absorption.
7. Always run water from the faucet for a minute or two to flush away corrosion before consuming it to avoid poisoning yourself.
8. Make use of existing filtration devices, such as a water pitcher, which are capable of filtering out 99 percent of lead and other heavy elements, such as mercury, from the water.
Make sure that your drinking water is tested for lead.
Is it possible for bottled water to contain traces of lead?
Bottled water is a product that is closely supervised and controlled by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
The permitted amount of lead in bottled water is 5 parts per billion (ppb), which is lower than the 15 parts per billion (ppb) approved by the Environmental Protection Agency.
Furthermore, the Food and Drug Administration bans bottled water companies from utilizing any food-contact materials such as pipes, pumps, tanks, fittings, bottling equipment, containers, and other similar items that may make or adulterate the bottled water unfit for human consumption.
Daniel Keringet is a market researcher and publisher (Best Osmosis Experts) who got an interest in topics related to
Water safety out of curiosity and passion from the time he got into college. Now he is a full-time writer living in Naperville Illinois.