What is Lead?
Lead is a naturally occurring metal utilised extensively in industries like mining, manufacturing, and smelting. Common uses of lead include in paints, pigments, solder, stained glass, lead crystal glassware, ammunition, ceramic glazes, jewellery, toys, cosmetics, and traditional medicines. Most of the world's lead supply is used in aviation fuel and lead-acid batteries. Despite its diverse applications, lead is highly toxic.
How Does Lead Get Into Your Water Supply?
The UK has banned the use of lead in common household materials and the installation of lead pipes was made illegal in 1970. Despite this, homes build prior to 1970 may still have lead pipes, or pipes joined with lead solder. It's crucial to note that lead solder has been illegal for use in drinking water pipes for over 25 years, but it still permissable in closed central heating pipework. This can lead to accidental misuse by amateur plumbers. Even old brass fittings can contribute to lead in water.
Industry estimates suggest that nearly 25% of the 24.8 million homes in England and Wales might have some lead in their drinking water supply network.
Are there any Benefits to Having Lead in Your Water?
The simple answer is no. There are no benefits to having lead in your water
What are the Risks of Lead in Your Water?
The World Health Organization (WHO) asserts that there are no safe blood lead concentrations. This means there's no safe amount of lead exposure. Over time, lead builds up in the body, lodging itself in organs, teeth, and even the bloodstream. This can lead to various health issues, particularly in children and pregnant women.
Symptoms of lead poisoning range from irritability, fatigue, weight loss, abdominal pain, to developmental delays in children. In adults, lead exposure can increase the risk of miscarriage, premature birth, depression, kidney disease, and heart attacks.
How Can You Remove Lead from Your Water?
Removing lead from your water isn't as simple as boiling it. Some water companies add orthophosphates to the water supply to reduce lead levels, but this can cause water pollution.
If you suspect your pipes may contain lead, a visual check and a simple scratch test can help confirm this. If found, it's best to replace these pipes as soon as possible.
If you don't have lead pipes, but are still concerned about lead in your water, consider using our HIP Duo Biotect Ultra Filter System or British Berkefeld Gravity Filter System with Ultra Sterasyl, which contain a lead removal media.