Lead, one of the heaviest elements of the periodic table is a poisonous metal. The health disorders caused by lead contaminated water are plenty, and most are severe. It can damage nervous connections mainly in young children and can even cause blood and brain disorders. Lead affects almost all the organs and systems of the body. This potent neurotoxin gathers in soft tissues and bone of the human body over a span of time.
Exposure to lead contaminated water
Generally, lead is rarely present in water. However, the corroded and old pipes through which your drinking water pass to reach the faucet can make water contaminated with lead. Service connections, pipes, solder and brass fixtures are the parts of the water delivery system that mainly contribute to lead contamination. In addition, it has been estimated that lead in drinking water contributes to between 10% -20% of the total lead exposure to children.
Effects of lead contamination
Lead contamination in water can affect your body in more than one way. Too much of lead causes anemia. Other than affecting the male reproductive system, lead if present in high levels can cause acute weakness in the body, severe encephalopathy with vomiting, convulsions and high blood pressure. Lead contamination in water can also cause severe damage to brain, kidneys, nervous system, and red blood cells. The other common disorders of lead poisoning are sleeplessness, constipation, decreased appetite, abnormal cramps, marked decrease in the IQ and behavioral problems.
To remove lead from drinking water
Since lead contamination and poisoning can cause severe damage to your body, it is necessary as well as important that you take adequate measures to remove lead content from drinking water. The following are some useful tips you can follow for purifying the drinking water.
The first most important tip is identifying the source. You will have to check both your well and your pump for finding the potential lead contaminants. And in case you find your well is the source of the lead contaminants, you can contact a licensed well water contractor for proper removal of lead content.
Second in line comes boiling of the water. It is wrong to think that boiling of water will remove lead from it. This is because a part of the water evaporates when you are boiling it and the concentration of lead actually increases, thereby making it more dangerous for drinking.
A simple way of getting rid of lead particles in water is by flushing the water system before you drink it. However, this tip is recommended if you do not find any other means of water purification. If one of your faucets is kept unused for a longer period then first let the water run for some time.
Investing in a purification system is by far the best and most effective means for removing lead contaminants from water. Reverse osmosis filters, distillation and carbon filters are some filters, which you can use for water purification. You can contact an organization for health and safety of public through standards development, product certification, education, and risk management However, if you think there has been lead exposure then you can follow some medications and procedures, which might decrease the lead content in your blood stream. This includes self-induced vomiting. But you should contact Poison Control before you try medication yourself, because you might unknowingly end up doing more harm than good.