Lead is a toxic heavy metal that can cause serious health effects, especially in children. In Tampa homes built before 1986, lead pipes and plumbing fixtures may still be present, putting residents at risk of lead exposure through drinking water. Proactively testing for lead and remediating any issues is crucial for protecting your family's health.
How Lead Gets into Drinking Water
There are a few ways lead can enter drinking water in older homes:
Lead service lines - The pipe that connects your home to the main water line may be made of lead. As water passes through, lead can leach into the water.
Lead solder - Copper pipes were often joined together with lead solder until it was banned in 1986. Over time, the solder can corrode and release lead.
Brass fixtures - Faucets, valves, and other fixtures made before 2014 may contain some lead that can get into water, especially if the fixtures are corroded.
Lead paint - Lead particles from deteriorating lead-based paint can make their way into tap water, particularly if the home has older galvanized steel pipes which can capture lead particles.
Even low levels of lead exposure can cause health issues, so it's essential to test your home and address any potential lead hazards.
Health Effects of Lead Exposure
Lead is dangerous because it can accumulate in the body over time. The effects are usually irreversible and can include:
Developmental delays and learning difficulties in children - Lead interferes with brain development, lowering IQ.
Behavioral problems - Linked to issues with attention, hyperactivity, and antisocial behavior.
Kidney damage - Lead causes toxicity in the kidneys.
High blood pressure - Lead increases cardiovascular disease risk.
Hearing loss - Chronic exposure is linked to sensorineural hearing loss.
Fertility issues - Higher lead levels reduce fertility in both men and women.
Children under 6 are especially vulnerable because their growing bodies absorb more lead. But lead poses risks for adults as well. Reducing your exposure through testing and remediation is critical.
How to Test for Lead in Your Home
Here are a few ways to check for lead hazards in your Tampa home:
A lead water test is the best way to determine if lead is leaching into your drinking water from pipes, solder, or fixtures. Look for a certified lab that follows EPA testing methods to get accurate results. Be sure to test both filtered and unfiltered water from taps that are regularly used for drinking and cooking.
The EPA limit for lead in water is 15 parts per billion (ppb). If levels are above this, steps should be taken to reduce lead exposure.
AquaLux Water Softener can remove heavy metals like lead through ion exchange. Pair with an AquaBlue Whole House Filter System for optimal lead reduction.
A blood test is the only way to determine if lead is building up in your body. Children should be tested annually up to age 6. Adults who are concerned about exposure can also be tested.
Hire a licensed home inspector to check for lead paint risks and identify any pipes, solder, or fixtures that may contain lead. They can also pinpoint areas where paint is chipping or pipes are corroding, which increases lead leaching.
Removing Lead Hazards from Your Home
If testing reveals dangerous lead levels in your home's water, pipes, or paint, take action to reduce your family's exposure:
Replace Lead Pipes
Replacing lead service lines and any interior lead pipes with copper or plastic is the most effective way to stop lead from leaching into water. This usually requires hiring a licensed plumber.
Remove Lead Solder
A plumber can replace lead solder joints in pipes with safer alternatives like silver solder. This prevents corrosion and leaching over time.
Swap out brass faucets, valves, and other fixtures containing lead with new lead-free versions. New laws ban lead in most plumbing fixtures.
AquaGuard UV SYSTEM for Bacteria Removal can help destroy bacteria that contribute to lead pipe corrosion.
Filter at Point of Use
For an affordable short-term solution, install point-of-use filters on taps used for drinking and cooking. Reverse osmosis systems like AquaRevive Reverse Osmosis System are very effective at removing lead.
Remove or Seal Lead Paint
Take steps to stabilize areas where lead paint is deteriorating. Safely remove chips and flakes then repaint with a new lead-free coat. For less damaged areas, seal with an encapsulation product.
Flush Pipes Before Use
Let water run for 1-2 minutes first thing in the morning or after long periods of non-use to flush out any lead in the plumbing. Use cold water only for cooking, drinking, and making baby formula.
Aerators on faucets can trap lead particles. Regularly remove and clean out aerator screens.
Remediating lead in your home provides lasting protection for your family's health. For assistance identifying and resolving lead risks, contact the lead experts at Aqua-Wise Water Treatment Solutions. Our water quality specialists can test your water, pinpoint lead hazards, and design the ideal filtration or purification system for your needs.
Schedule Your FREE Water Test Today: 727-236-7161 - https://www.aqua-wise.com/book-online-free-water-test
Schedule Your FREE Water Test Today: 727-236-7161 - make this link: [https://www.aqua-wise.com/book-online-free-water-test]