Lead In Drinking Water – Can We Stop it from becoming an Epidemic?

July 14, 2017

Lead has been utilized by humans for centuries. This corrosion-resistant material is used in everything from pipes, paint, car batteries, cable sheathing to the storage of corrosive liquids.  With so many industrial and consumer uses it is constantly surrounding us. The issue is that it is extremely toxic and capable of causing very serious health problems once it accumulates in the human body. For the last few years, there have been increasing reports of this toxic material making its way into our drinking water.

It has become a widespread issue. In Portland, OR where there are a large amount of older homes, the lead in paint and dust are causing lead exposure for the residents. In addition, the usage of lead in plumbing materials are corroding and making its way into the households and buildings throughout the city.

Unfortunately, this is happening in cities throughout the country. Lead is making its way into households, commercial buildings and even our schools.  It is important to know how serious of an impact lead can have on your body and ways that you can help protect you and your family.

Health Impacts

The toxic effects of lead are extremely serious. Once it has made its way into our system, it can impact practically every single organ and system in the human body. It is known to impair brain development, and in children this is a serious cause of concern. Children who are exposed to lead can develop learning and behavioral problems, anemia, kidney disease and more. It was found that 85% or more of infant lead exposure that occurs during the first year of life comes from lead in water, through reconstituted formula.

A mother who has had exposure to lead in her past (or present) can put her unborn baby at risk of very serious health issues throughout their entire lives. Lead exposure can cause premature births and dangerously low birth weights.

Laws and Regulations

In the 1974 Safe Drinking Water Act, Congress enacted the law to require the EPA to determine the level of contaminants in drinking water at which no adverse health effects are likely to occur (Maximum contaminant level goals or MCLGs). The MCLG for lead is zero. This level was determined based on the evidence that any exposure to lead is unsafe.

The EPA requires the water systems of all communities to deliver an annual water quality report called a Consumer Confidence Report (CCR) for their customers.

According to the EPA, there are only 9 states that have reported having safe levels of lead in their water. This is an extremely frightening piece of information that should be taken more seriously. The water pipes and delivery systems are getting old and need to be updated. These infrastructural issues need to be addressed before this problem turns into a major epidemic. In addition to the infrastructure issues throughout the US, there is the ever-present danger of lead plumbing services and fixtures containing lead even if the municipal supply is safe.

What Can You Do?

It is important to take the necessary precautions to protect you and your family from lead exposure. There are several steps that you can take in order to ensure you have safe and clean drinking water.

Water filtration systems can help rid your water of contaminants that it may pick up while traveling from its source to your home or business. You can install high-quality water treatment products and whole house water filtration systems.

Reduced pressure zone valve assemblies (RPZ valves) are also used to help protect water supplies from contamination or pollution. You can install an Irrigation backflow device on your potable water line to protect against both back siphonage and back pressure of contaminated water into the potable water supply. By keeping your water flowing in one direction, you can protect your water supply from containments and toxins.

Do not wait until it is too late. Contact DRF Water Heating Solutions to speak with one of our water experts who will provide you with the guidance and solutions necessary to keep your home, office and commercial building safe from the toxic chemicals that can find their way into your water.