Lead is not something most people think about when they drink tap water, but it should be. It is found in several people’s tap water despite the detrimental health issues it can cause. The most significant impact is on young children and unborn babies.
Lead Contaminants In Tap Water
How Water Gets Contaminated With Lead
Lead usually finds its way into drinking water through metal pipes. The service pipes containing lead could come from within or outside your house. Many tubes are made of several metals including lead. When the metal that makes up the pipes corrode, lead often comes off and into the tap water. It is more often found in homes with older pipes and appliances.
Health Effects of Consuming Lead
The consumption of lead is harmful to several body systems, especially to young children. Lead is distributed to your brain, liver, kidney, and bones. It is usually stored in bones and teeth. No amount of lead consumption is considered safe, and several people ingest it through their tap water every day.
While lead is harmful to every person’s body, it is especially detrimental to young children. Health problems caused by lead exposure are believed to be irreversible.
High levels of lead exposure can lead to several long-term issues that may even be fatal.
- Attacks on the brain of central nervous system that can lead to comas, convulsions, or death
- Mental and behavioral disorders
Even lower levels of lead exposure, which are considered safe, can have a considerable impact on a child’s health.
- A stunt in brain development resulting in a lowered IQ
- Different behavioral issues such as a decreased attention span, antisocial behavior, and reduced educational attainment
- Anemia, hypertension, immunotoxicity, renal impairment, and toxicity to reproductive organs
- Slowed growth
- Hearing problems
Lead consumption causes less harm to adults, but the risks are still there.
- Cardiovascular problems
- Higher blood pressure
- Decreased kidney function
- Reproductive problems in both men and women
Pregnant women have specific risks from lead exposure because of the child they are carrying. Not only do they have their own health to consider, but they have the health of their child to take into account.
There are several ways lead can affect the unborn child
- Reduced fetus growth
- Premature birth
Lead can also be transmitted to the child through breast milk.
How To Know If Your Water Is Lead Contaminated
There is really no way to know if your tap water is contaminated with lead by merely seeing, smelling, or tasting it. Because of this, many people have no idea that they are drinking lead in their water, or that this is something they should be worried about at all. Really, the only way to know for sure if there is lead in your water or not is to have it tested.
Most people are unaware of the health risks they are exposed to through most tap water. Not many people know whether or not they are consuming lead each time they drink the water in their home. The risk of putting lead in your body is often ignored or unknown. The only way to really know if you are at risk of lead poisoning is to have your water tested and find out. If you would like to learn more about testing your water, visit testmywater.org .