Tips to Help Reduce Lead Exposure in drinking water?

You can reduce or eliminate your exposure to lead in tap water by drinking or using only tap water that has been run through a “point-of-use” filter certified by an independent testing organization to reduce or eliminate lead (NSF/ANSI standard 53 for lead removal and NSF/ANSI standard 42 for particulate removal).

What is Lead?

It is a heavy metal that is denser than most common materials. Lead is soft and malleable, and also has a relatively low melting point. When freshly cut, lead is silvery with a hint of blue; it tarnishes to a dull gray color when exposed to air. Lead has the highest atomic number of any stable element and three of its isotopes are endpoints of major nuclear decay chains of heavier elements.

Lead is a naturally occurring element found in small amounts in the earth’s crust. While it has some beneficial uses, it can be toxic to humans and animals, causing health effects.

How much lead is safe in water?

How much lead is safe in water?


Various studies have found that blood lead concentrations are positively and significantly related to the amount of lead in drinking water. Accounting for other sources of lead exposure (e.g., food, dust), the U.S. EPA set the maximum allowable concentration of lead in public drinking water at 15 µg/L.

How do you counteract lead exposure?


Eat a Healthy Diet to Help Decrease Lead Absorption

  1. Milk and milk products, such as yogurt and cheese.
  2. Green leafy vegetables, including kale and turnip, mustard and collard greens.
  3. Calcium-fortified foods, such as orange juice, soy milk and tofu.
  4. Canned salmon and sardines.

Med, research shows it can cause learning and behavior problems; as it accumulates, it can cause lasting problems with growth and development. Infants and children are at a higher risk because they absorb lead more quickly than adults, in addition to being more likely to put non-food items that might contain lead in their mouth.

How to Avoid Lead

Lead is most likely to be consumed as lead-based paint in and outside the home — peels, chips or cracks — and ends up being consumed because it is on toys or other surfaces that kids put in their mouth. When lead is present in the water system, it can become more difficult to avoid (visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for more on lead in the water supply). To minimize exposure to lead:

  • Always wash your hands and ensure children wash their hands with uncontaminated water before eating.
  • Do not use imported pottery or leaded crystal to store or serve food.
  • Use an NSF-certified filter on your faucet for drinking water, food preparation and cooking, and be sure to change the filter cartridge by the date printed on the package. If a filter or bottled water are unavailable, visit the CDC’s source on lead to reduce or eliminate lead in tap water by using only cold tap water that has been thoroughly flushed from the pipes. Boiling water will not reduce the presence of lead.
  • Regularly clean toys, pacifiers, floors, windowsills and other surfaces using liquid cleaners that control dust.
  • Wipe or remove shoes before entering your home.
  • Get your home tested for lead if it was built before 1978.

Eat a Healthy Diet to Help Decrease Lead Absorption

Follow the 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans to include a variety of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, protein foods and dairy products. When there is nutritious food in the body, it is more difficult for lead to be absorbed. Make sure your diet is rich in important nutrients such as calcium, iron and vitamin C.

Calcium keeps your bones strong and the lead out. Calcium-rich foods include:

  • Milk and milk products, such as yogurt and cheese
  • Green leafy vegetables, including kale and turnip, mustard and collard greens
  • Calcium-fortified foods, such as orange juice, soy milk and tofu
  • Canned salmon and sardines
    Iron also blocks lead from being absorbed. Try these iron-rich foods:

    • Lean red meats
    • Iron-fortified cereal, bread and pasta
    • Dried fruit, such as raisins and prunes
    • Beans and lentils

    Vitamin C helps the body absorb iron better, but also may help with getting rid of lead. Foods rich in vitamin C include:

    • Citrus fruits, such as oranges and grapefruit
    • Other fruits such as kiwi, strawberries and melon
    • Tomatoes
    • Potatoes
    • Peppers

    Here is a sample menu to help incorporate these nutrient recommendations into your daily diet.

    • Breakfast: Iron-fortified cereal with low-fat or fat-free milk, topped with raisins
    • Snack: Orange slices
    • Lunch: Lean hamburger on an iron-fortified bun with red bell pepper strips
    • Snack: Low-fat or fat-free yogurt topped with fruit
    • Dinner: Chicken with brown rice, a spinach salad and a glass of low-fat or fat-free milk
    • Snack: Peanut butter on whole-grain crackers

    What happens if you drink water with lead?

    Lead is also harmful to adults. Adults exposed to lead can suffer from: Cardiovascular effects, increased blood pressure and incidence of hypertension. Decreased kidney function.
    EPA and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) agree that there is no known safe level of lead in a child’s blood. Lead is harmful to health, especially for children.

    Does boiling your water get rid of lead?

    Heating or boiling your water will not remove lead. Because some of the water evaporates during the boiling process, the lead concentration of the water can actually increase slightly as the water is boiled. Avoid cooking with or drinking hot tap water because hot water dissolves lead more readily than cold water does.

    Does lead poisoning go away?

    Lead poisoning is a type of metal poisoning caused by lead in the body. The brain is the most sensitive. Symptoms may include abdominal pain, constipation, headaches, irritability, memory problems, inability to have children, and tingling in the hands and feet.

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