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  Chlorine Lead
How does it enter drinking water?
  • Many water treatment operations add Chlorine to drinking water as part of the water treatment process
  • Chlorine is also added to swimming pools to kill microbes and bacteria
  • Lead typically enters drinking water supplies from the corrosion of household plumbing systems (pipes, solders, fixtures)
  • The amount of lead in water depends on the corrosivity of the water
  • Many home built before 1986 were built with lead pipes, leading to increased chances of lead in those homes' drinking water
What are the potential health effects?
  • At levels specified for water treatment, Chlorine itself usually doesn't present major health concerns; however, it does affect water taste and odor
  • Chlorine does react with other substances present in water to produce disinfection by-products, such as Trihalomethanes (TTHM)
  • According to the EPA, some people who drink water containing TTHM in excess of the EPA's standard over many years may experience problems with their liver, kidneys, or central nervoussystem. They may also have an increased risk of getting cancer
  • Lead is a neurotoxin that accumulates in soft tissues and bone
  • Infants, children and pregnant or nursing women are at the greatest risk of lead exposure
  • At relatively low levels of exposure, these effects may include interference with red blood cell chemistry, delays in normal physical and mental development in babies and young children, slight deficits in attention span, impaired hearing, decreased learning abilities in children and slight increases in blood pressure in some adults
How can it be reduced in drinking water?
  • Filter your water
  • Look for an NSF certified drinking water filtration system that is certified to reduce lead in drinking water
  • Only use cold water for cooking and drinking: hot water leaches more contaminants from pipes and plumbing into the water
  • Flush pipes before drinking: the longer water sits in a home's pipes, the more lead it can contain. Let the water run until it gets as cold as possible--anywhere from 30 sec to 2 min--before using.
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