Lead in Drinking Water – Quick Accurate Screening Test At Home

Lead in Your Drinking Water

Despite measures taken by the EPA, lead poisoning is still a serious concern.  Lead can be found in old water taps as well as interior and exterior piping, plus in consumer products, paints, and pigments, and even your home.  As water sits in these pipes, the water can interact with the piping or the coating on the piping.  During this reaction, the level of lead in the water may increase. You can not see lead in water, but there may be some warning signs of a problem.  These warning signs are blue-green or blue water when you fill the bathtub, coatings or precipitates that are green or bluish-green in color, water that has a metallic taste, and pin hole leaks in the piping.    Drinking this water can cause lead poisoning that results in a number of serious health concerns.  Those at the most risk are young children, pregnant women, and the elderly.  If your tap water has lead levels exceeding 15ppb, you should take action immediately to minimize your exposure.

TestAssured’s Lead in Drinking Water Test Kit is designed to test for lead in water. This test is compatible with municipal water and private water systems.  If you live in a home with older pipes or frequently drink from a water fountain where lead piping could be used, you should check the lead levels.   If you not sure, you may want to take a look at our Know Your H20 Phone App.

This fast acting Lead in Drinking Water Test Kit includes all the instructions and supplies you need to quickly test your drinking water for the presence of lead.  In only 10 minutes, the Lead in Drinking Water Test will let you know if there are harmful elements in your water. It also includes a free pesticide test strip so you can make sure there are no pesticide contaminants in your water.  This simple test kit can easily be used in your home, classroom, office and anywhere else where you would need to test water quality. Quickly and accurately test well water, city/municipal water, tap water, residential drinking water, groundwater, and spring water sources. The results are fast and easy to read by following along with the included color chart and instruction manual.

Our Suggestions

  1. Take a look at the DIY Lead in Water Test Kit.
  2. Check out and learn about your city water, using this zip code search site.
  3. Support and Share this page with others @KnowYourH20
  4. Learn about Flint Michigan do not let this happen to you – Be Proactive – Not Reactive.

Pennsylvania Lead Task Force – John Yudichak. Senate Resolution 33

Senate Approves Resolution Creating Task Force to Investigate Threat of Lead Exposure in Pennsylvania

Senator John T. Yudichak recently announced that Senate Resolution 33 — which creates a bipartisan task force to investigate the scope of Pennsylvania’s lead exposure problem — was approved unanimously by the full Senate. The resolution had been approved unanimously by the Environmental Resources and Energy Committee at the end of April.

Senator Yudichak introduced the resolution earlier this session because lead exposure can threaten the health and well-being of every Pennsylvanian—especially senior citizens and children. “The task force report will advance cooperative efforts to arm the General Assembly with better information and best practice recommendations to develop new lead abatement programs that more aggressively mitigate lead exposure in Pennsylvania,” said State Senator John Yudichak.

The resolution calls for the Senate to establish a task force on lead exposure comprised of the chairs of the Environmental Resources and Energy Committee and the Health and Human Services Committee and two members appointed by the Senate President pro tempore and the Minority Leader. An advisory committee of the Joint State Government Commission will conduct a comprehensive review of Pennsylvania law and public policy related to lead exposure and abatement practices and then submit a report to the task force and full Senate within 18-months. The report must assess the age of housing and infrastructure, lead exposure threats, and identify the prevalence of lead in structures where children spend significant time.

 

A few key points

  1. This is not just a drinking water issue.  Lead is present in many homes and sources include old lead paint, cookware, make-up, and other consumer products.
  2. If on city water, check piping in home for lead pipe and evidence of corrosion.  Remove the aeration devices and clean and flush the water lines to remove any films and coatings.
  3. If on city water – read the Consumer Confident Reports generated by water supplier and look for signs of corrosion.
  4. If on well water – get your water tested.
  5. Use are free phone App – Know Your H20 – Android / Google ;  Apple

Bacterial contamination in private water wells send thousands of people hurling to the ER

“It may not have been bad shrimp or dirty lettuce that kept you up all night. A recent study shows that in North Carolina, microbes in drinking water from private wells are responsible for estimated 29,200 emergency room visits for acute GI illnesses each year. That number accounts for nearly all visits of that type and cause.

This is a particularly serious problem in North Carolina, where more than a third of all residents — 3.3 million — rely on private wells for their drinking water. These wells, which can source their water from beneath the ground, a spring or a river, are largely unregulated.

(This is why contaminants from coal ash, such as arsenic, lead and chromium 6, which have even more harmful long-term health effects, are of such concern — and why widespread testing is necessary.)

An article in this month’s Environmental Health Perspectives — among its co-authors is Jacqueline MacDonald Gibson of UNC’s Gillings School of Global Public Health — concludes that people on private wells are more likely to get sick from their water than those on community systems, such as municipal utilities.

enviro-health-perspectives-drinking-water

From the Study

The presence of total coliforms in groundwater indicates that microorganisms from surface water have been able to reach the aquifer and a more rigorous monitoring should begin for other microorganisms (pathogenic) which might also reach the aquifer. When fecal indicators are detected, anything can happen, and will happen, with potential serious public health implications.”

 

To learn or read more – Go to  Article

More importantly to Act Now and Get Your Water Tested.

Monitoring your homes health and the hazards in your community.

 

How to Reduce Lead in Your Drinking Water

Lead has been a hot new topic, but not for the Keystone Clean Water Team.  We have been talking about and educating the public,  private well users, and city water users about lead and drinking water quality for over 30 years.  Here are some suggestions to reduce lead in your drinking water.

  1. Flush your pipes before using the water for drinking – most of the lead in the water is not coming from the water source, but from the piping in your home or the main water line.  Lead may be also coming some of the fixtures or some of the scale that as built up over time on the inside of the pipes.    The longer the water has been sitting in the piping – the higher the lead content – “SO flush it out”.    (How Long?  – about 2 minutes or until it becomes noticeably cold).    Hint- “Most of the time the source is your water pipes, NOT the main.”
  2. Use ONLY Cold Water for Consumption – this includes making soup, tea, coffee, etc.   Hot water likely contains even more lead.  Also – watch the cookware ! Glazed pottery and some glazing used tableware and cookware can contain lead and other metals, like aluminum.  (Watch imported and traditional Goods and replicas !)
  3. Get the Water Tested – Ask the Utility to Test, Contact a Testing Laboratory, or conduct an Informational Water Test from a reliable source, but get the facts and do a first flush and flushed test for copper, lead, and zinc.   If you think there is a problem and you have a private water system or well, you may want a more comprehensive test to determine the corrosion and/or scale forming potential of your water.
  4. If you have slime coating or odors – Get a bacterial test that includes total coliform, standard plate count, E. coli.,  and slime forming bacteria.

Hints You May Have A Lead Problem

  1. Your home has faucets or fitting made of brass that contains some lead.
  2. Your home has lead pipes.
  3. Your home has copper pipes with lead solder and the home is older than 1989, the water is soft, and the water is used intermittently.
  4. You have pin hole leak, blue-green stains, or blue water.
  5. Your home was built before 1930s.
  6. Piping installed prior to 1986 may have solder and flux that was high in lead – How High?  At one time as high as 50 % lead.   In 1986, the term lead-free applies to solders and flux that are 0.2 % lead and pipes and fittings must be 8 % or less lead.  This did not go into effect until about 1988.

More on Corrosion and More on Lead.   Indoor testing of paint and sources for lead.

Blood lead levels PA cities.

Please do not forget about environmental lead exposure and note foreign products may have more lead- old paint, chipping paint, glazed pottery, some cosmetics, lipstick,  some crayons, kids toys (especially imported),   imported foods in cans, work exposure to lead, lead batteries, imported candles, lead contaminated soils.   (Sources- NY State; FDA)

Please note – This is one reason to Buy – Made in America !

We have been asked for a recommendation on a faucet mounted or counter mounted treatment system – Based on a review – it appears the NSF Certified – Paragon P3200 would be a suitable Countertop Treatment Unit (replace filter cartridge annually)- Use Promo Code A27AC.

Lead Drinking Water Crisis in Flint Michigan KDF

Lead- Metals- Corrosive Water
Water Quality Association Addresses Drinking Water Crisis in Flint, Michigan

Offers facts and tips about treating for lead contamination

Lisle, Illinois -The Water Quality Association (WQA), an Illinois-based not-for-profit organization, is offering informational resources to help with the drinking water crisis in Flint, Michigan. Flint residents are expected to receive federal aid to help ensure their access to safe drinking water. On January 16, 2016, President Obama signed an Emergency Declaration for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to coordinate all disaster- relief efforts. The declaration states that, “This emergency assistance is to provide water, water filters, water filter cartridges, water test kits, and other necessary related items for a period of no more than 90 days.”

Lead (Pb) has been identified as the waterborne contaminant of primary concern for Flint’s residents. To minimize the presence of contaminants such as lead, which may enter the water after it has left a municipal treatment facility, WQA recommends water treatment equipment that has been certified by an ANSI (American National Standards Institute)-accredited certification body. Such accredited entities include WQA’s Gold Seal Product Certification Program, NSF International and Underwriters Laboratory. Flint residents are encouraged to visit www.wqa.org to search for the names of products certified by WQA for lead reduction. Click here to download a technical fact sheet about Lead (Pb).

It is important consumers follow the manufacturer’s instructions for maintenance. WQA also lists of water treatment professionals across the U.S. on its website at www.wqa.org.
Additional notes
1. Recommend that we concentrate on the following – get kids and adults blood tested.
2. Get first flush testing completed for lead and alternative water source for drinking.
3. Install point of use treatment in the interim.
4. Develop a plan to remove the lead service lines.
5. Develop a plan to install corrosion control.
6. Lawsuits should wait until the problem is addressed.

More on lead in drinking water- Corrosion 

Check out the Know Your H20? App

Water Treatment Systems – Must Likely need a neutralizing filter and a filter that has KDF 85 or KDF 55 media.

 

More – 2/4/2016

Water Quality Association Addresses Frequently Asked Questions about Lead in Water

Lisle, Illinois -The Water Quality Association (WQA), an Illinois-based not-for-profit organization, is offering informational resources to help differentiate fact from fiction regarding the drinking water crisis in Flint, Michigan. The Association has compiled answers to several of the most common questions, while addressing some widespread misconceptions Flint residents may have about lead (Pb) in drinking water.

What are potential health effects from lead?

Lead poisoning often displays no outward symptoms; however, irritability, weight loss, vomiting, constipation, and stomach pain are possible signs to look for. Young children and pregnant women are at the greatest risk, even from short-term exposure. Reduced cognitive development and neurobehavioral deficits are associated with blood levels less than 10 micrograms of lead per deciliter of blood in children.[1] Therefore, there is no safe level for lead to be present in the blood of children.[2] Individuals will adsorb more lead if they have poor nutrition than those with better diets.

Can a Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) meter be used to detect lead in drinking water?

No. There have been some misconceptions around TDS Meters. These meters cannot measure lead specifically; they detect the conductivity directly related to the concentration of combined total dissolved solids such as minerals, salts and metals. The typical sample of tap water in the U.S. contains approximately 350 parts per million (ppm) of TDS[3], which, as a whole does not on its own indicate a health concern and in many cases is used as a means to enhance taste of water.  Lead concentration is found 1000 times lower at the parts per billion (ppb) level, and is too small to be detected without sophisticated instrumentation. Moreover, because TDS meters don’t measure individual ions, lead cannot be detected on its own.

Where can I go to get my water tested?

Water testing should be done be a certified testing laboratory.[4] WQA strongly recommends water testing be conducted at each point of use in accordance with appropriate sampling procedures. The water should be checked after a period of disuse before a specific water treatment product is selected. Water conditions can change, so the water should be tested both before a treatment product has been installed and at regular intervals following installation. Studies have shown the reported levels of lead found in some Flint, MI water results are higher than conditions under which the manufacturer set the replacement recommendations for filters in published manuals. A list of certified labs in Michigan can be found here.

How do I maintain a filter once it is installed?

Always follow the manufacturer’s installation instructions and contact the manufacturer to confirm usage and capacity. To ensure the manufacturer can provide the most accurate recommendations, have test results for lead and iron on hand for review.

Where do I find a product certified for lead reduction?

American National Standards Institute (ANSI)-accredited entities offering product certification include: WQA’s Product Certification Program, NSF International, International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials, and Underwriters Laboratory. All of these certifiers have product listings. To find products certified by WQA for lead reduction, click here. Contact information for local professionals and manufacturers of certified products can also be found wqa.org.