Protect Your Tap: 10-Minute Lead Test
A Guide to Help Identify Lead Pipes and Reduce Risk
This guide will help you to determine if you have lead pipes and show you how you can reduce lead in your drinking water. With pictures and easy directions, it will walk you through a series of steps to find out about your water source, plumbing materials, actions to reduce your exposure, water testing information and provide resources to learn more.
In some cases, lead can enter drinking water through pipes that are called "lead service lines." Service lines are the sections of pipe used to connect a home to the main water pipe. Even if your service lines are not lead, lead can also be found in plumbing materials including; piping, solder, or faucets. Water that has high acidity or low mineral content can corrode piping and faucets causing lead to leach into your drinking water. This happens more readily with hot water. However, in homes served by a lead service line, the service line is the most significant source of lead to drinking water.
Lead is very dangerous to human health, particularly to the health and development of children. Babies and children who are exposed to lead could experience long-term problems with physical and mental growth and development, including slowed body growth, kidney problems, hearing problems, seizures, brain damage, lower IQ level, reduced attention span and behavior problems. Lead exposure can also seriously harm unborn babies, causing premature birth, lower birth weight and delayed mental and physical development.
Lead in homes can also come from paint, dust, soil, air and food. More information can be found in the resource section at the end of this guide.
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