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Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Lead Pipes

Lead and copper exposure have the potential to cause health problems ranging from brain damage to digestion and stomach problems.

The dangers of lead poisoning are well known, especially for children and pregnant women. Lead gets into water via plumbing: service lines, pipes, solder, and brass faucets, especially when they're new. Water supply pipes break almost 250,000 times a year. Such breaks can easily introduce bacteria into the pipes and ultimately into your drinking water.

Even lead-free copper pipes may be soldered with lead. Soft water (that is, with low mineral content) is more acidic than hard water and thus more likely to leach lead out of pipes. Lead was banned from plumbing pipes in 1986 (though the ban did not take effect in some states until 1988), but even the newest faucets may still contain some lead.

Copper pipes can also leach the mineral into your drinking water. Although not as serious as lead, excess copper can be a health problem. This may cause disturbances of mineral balance (zinc, iron, and manganese).

For more information on what the EPA has to say
about Lead and Copper visit:


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