Getting the Lead Out: The Complete Resource on How to Prevent and Cope with Lead Poisoning

By Irene Kessel; John T. O'Connor | Go to book overview

CHAPTER SIXTEEN

Lead in Drinking Water

In most cases of lead poisoning, drinking water is not the primary cause, but only a contributing factor. Drinking water contributes about 20% of the lead exposure for an average 2-year-old, and from 5 to 50% for children generally. However, in some homes with corrosive water and lead pipes or fairly new lead solder, water could be the primary exposure route for lead. The most alarming occurrence of drinking water causing severe lead poisoning is that of an infant fed formula made with lead-contaminated tap water, in which case the water can account for 85% of the lead exposure, and can result in quite severe lead poisoning. 1


HOW LEAD GETS INTO OUR DRINKING WATER

Lead usually gets into our drinking water when the water absorbs the toxic element from our household plumbing systems or our water distribution systems.


Aggressiveness of Water

Drinking water will wear away at more of the lead it is exposed to if the water has certain characteristics. Water is referred to as AGGRESSIVE or CORROSIVE if it tends to eat away at the

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