What health problems can result from too much lead in my drinking water?

Lead is rarely found in source water, but it gets into tap water through corrosion of plumbing materials. If the drinking water contains excessive lead, both children and adults are adversely affected. In babies and children, excessive amounts of lead can result in delays in physical and mental development and slight deficits in attention span and learning abilities. In adults, too much lead can lead to kidney stones or high blood pressure.
Here are some tips for households concerned about lead in their water:

  • Don’t boil water to try to reduce the lead content. Boiling water increases the concentration of lead.
  • Use only cold water for preparing baby formula, cooking, and drinking.
  • Flush pipes by running the water before using it.
  • Allow the water to run until it’s cold.
  • Get a water filter attached to your kitchen faucet.
  • If you have high lead levels in your water, talk to your doctor about alternatives to using boiled water to make baby formula.

United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) “Water on Tap: What You Need to Know”


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