, and Newark, N.J, have excessively high levels of lead-contaminated drinking water, the situation
is not unique. Generally, millions of Americans may be drinking lead-contaminated
unknowingly because of old lead pipes, faucets, or other plumbing fixtures that have a high lead
concentration. Lead has devastating effects, especially in children, causing effects that can last a lifetime.
Common Causes of Lead Exposure
Instinctively, children put toys, fingers, and other objects in their mouths, thus,
putting them in danger of contacting lead paint or dust.
Contact with chips, dusts in buildings, and old lead paint in homes is a common way
of exposing children to lead. Children swallowing chipped pieces of lead paint is direct lead exposure. However,
swallowing house dust or soil contaminated with lead paint is more common in children.
- Soil and water: gasoline additives or paint can introduce lead to the soil, lasting for years. Also,
lead and copper
pipes soldered with lead can contaminate tap water.
- Lead paint: since 1978, the United States has banned using lead-based
paints in homes, children’s toys, and household furniture. However, lead-based paints are still
used in older homes and apartments, especially on walls and woodwork, exposing children to lead-based
- Children’s products: children’s jewelry or products from vinyl or plastic, including backpacks and lunch
boxes, often contain lead. Children can inhale lead when these products are burned, damaged, or
deteriorating. Also, mouthing or chewing these products can expose children to lead.
- Household dust: paint chips or soil brought from outside can contribute to lead-containing household
- Food: production, processing, packaging, preparation, or storage can expose food to lead. For instance,
vegetables may be grown in lead-containing soil or exposed to lead-containing fuel exhaust. Furthermore,
tins manufactured with lead solder can expose canned foods to lead. Also, food containers and pots like
lead-glazed pottery and leaded crystal glassware contain lead.
How Does Lead Contaminate Drinking Water?
Common sources of lead exposure in drinking water are lead pipes, faucets, and
plumbing fixtures. Corrosion and other chemical reactions can contaminate water with lead. These reactions can
result from high acidity levels, the concentration of minerals in the water, and how long water stays in lead
pipes. In addition, the amount of corrosive water in pipes and the presence of protective coatings can make
water unsafe for drinking by leaching lead into tap water.
Generally, homes built before 1986
have water pipes and
household plumbing fixtures that can contaminate drinking water with high lead levels. Also, communities close
to industrial or agricultural sites are at risk of having a high lead concentration in their tap water. Chemical
use and improper waste disposal can contaminate groundwater with lead. Each city is responsible for its water
maintenance and sanitation protocol; therefore, water quality varies with location and a city’s water system.
Lead-Causing Health Problems
Lead exposure over time can lead to abdominal pain, constipation, depression,
distraction, forgetfulness, irritation, and nausea or sickness
The body can absorb lead through the digestive tract, lungs, and skin. Accumulation
of lead in the body can cause lead poisoning. Ingesting lead poses serious health risks to children and adults.
Also, lead consumption can cause irreversible neurological problems in children, causing lead poisoning. Lead
poisoning is a chronic illness that causes severe damage to the immune system, bones, and teeth; it can also
lead to learning, behavioral, and developmental issues. Children can also experience stunted growth, hearing
impairment, and anemia. Premature births and hindered fetal development are also a result of lead poisoning. For
adults, problems in the kidney and cardiovascular and reproductive systems are a result of lead poisoning.
Lead exposure in children lowers IQ, causing hearing problems, slows growth, and
causes behavioral and learning difficulties. Infants get exposed to 40 to 60% of lead through drinking water in
their mixed formulas. The symptoms discussed in this article are just a few of the potential symptoms of lead
poisoning. These symptoms may be indicative of other health problems. Therefore, it is best to consult your
primary care physician if you have any concerns.
How Can You Reduce Lead in Drinking Water?
Knowing the type of contaminant in drinking water helps you know the most
appropriate filter. Utility companies provide your water supply’s contamination report. Nevertheless, you should
test the water from your faucet with a test kit because water can absorb contaminants after leaving the water
It is best to flush your home’s pipes by taking a shower, running the tap, or doing
the laundry or dishes before drinking. The time for running water depends on if your home has a lead service
line and the length of the lead service line. Residents can get recommendations about the length of flushing
times in their communities by contacting water utilities.
Using filters properly
Fortunately, it is possible to remove lead from drinking water. After identifying
the contamination source and the intensity of lead accumulation per gallon, one of the easiest ways of removing
lead from water is using an appropriate water
. It is essential to find sources of lead generation in your water supply.
is a process that allows solvents to pass through a porous membrane in a direction opposite to
that of natural osmosis when the solvent is subject to pressure. Reverse Osmosis Systems can remove particles
larger than water molecules, including naturally occurring trace minerals from water. The Reverse Osmosis
process is suitable for removing particles like lead, fluoride, arsenic, cadmium, mercury, and asbestos.
The NSF 58 and 372
Waterdrop Reverse Osmosis System has a 7-stage deep filtration process capable of removing
lead, chlorine, taste, and odor. The system can also remove sand, rust, solids, bacteria, viruses, and numerous
impurities. This smart RO system is the first of its kind in the U.S market, and it has composite filters and a
tankless design. Three filters provide the seven stages of filtration. The pre-sediment and carbon block filter
is a 3-in-1 filter functioning as a combination of three filters. The Reverse Osmosis System membrane filter has
an innovative design and efficiency of more than three filtration stages. In addition, the activated carbon
block has high-precision activated carbon granules from natural coconut shells for improving water taste.
To Wrap Things Up
Lead poisoning can have devastating effects on human health. Although eradicating
lead sources may be entirely impossible for an individual, getting an appropriate filter ensures that you get
clean, safe, and lead-free drinking water in your home.