The dangers of drinking lead
Updated: Aug 7, 2019
It is pretty commonly known that lead can be toxic to humans. While many homeowners know to check their pipes for traces of lead, people don't always consider to also check their faucets. Having a lead-free faucet can be critical to the health and safety of you and your family.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), it is estimated that there are up to 400,000 deaths in the United States per year caused by lead exposure. About 30% of lead poisoning is found to come from water sources.
Lead poisoning can cause numerous health issues including central nervous system disorders, hearing loss, cardiovascular disease, kidney failure, seizures, coma, and even death. The risk of effecting children can be up to 10 times higher than that of adults.
Thus, it is critical to ensure that your faucets and piping systems are lead-free.
In the past decade or so, several of the top-ranked faucet companies have focused on putting together lead-free production systems to provide safer products to consumers. Brass and copper fixtures are quickly climbing the ranks of becoming the best available options out there. Brass is an alloy that consists mainly of copper with some added zinc. Copper is one of the most expensive metal materials available, so having a brass option can have a great effect on your wallet while still maintaining the same benefits. Copper does not degrade with water and therefore is safe for use with drinking water.
Click here to read more about the different types of materials and finish options that are typically found in faucets and why they are important.
You won't be able to see the inside construction of your faucet, so make sure to look for the right labels while doing your research. It can be quite confusing at times, though, since manufacturers will often use different symbols or word usage to market their products. The EPA has issued an official 11 page document to help consumers identify lead-free certification marks for drinking water systems and plumbing products.
It is recommended to update your kitchen faucet every 15 years or so. If you aren't sure if your current system is lead-free or not, don't panic, you have some options. You can reach out to your local water supplier and see if they can stop by your home to perform a test (this is free). Or if you'd rather check yourself, you can purchase a lead testing kit from almost any home improvement store.
If you're in the market, make sure to take note of these identifying features to help you find the safest option for you and your family.
Are you and your family well-protected? Are you familiar with these lead-free identification marks? When was the last time you replaced or checked your faucet?