But the scary truth is – there are 18 cities in Pennsylvania with higher lead level exposure than Flint.
Here in PA the majority of lead poisoning risk comes from older homes with deteriorating lead based paint. Public drinking water systems typically are not sources of lead poisoning, but especially older homes may still have lead contaminated water.
There were some interesting insights in a recent PennLive article.
If present, elevated levels of lead can cause serious health problems, especially for pregnant women and young children. Lead in drinking water is primarily from materials and components associated with service lines and older home plumbing systems.
None of the region’s water mains are made of lead, but some service lines are. While the authorities do replace lead lines, the homeowner is responsible for the service line from the curb to the home.
Water agencies also add a corrosion control inhibitor that reacts with the water pipe’s wall to prevent heavy metals like lead from leeching off the piping and out of the spigot. Also most of our regional water is ‘hard’, which reduces the possibility of lead leaching from pipes. The hard water builds up a film on the pipe, creating a physical barrier. This is a doubled edged sword because hard water is the cause of many other plumbing issues for which many people use a water softener.
While the CDC has established the reference level at 5 [micrograms], they’re not saying that 5 is safe. Even at 5 there is evidence that nerves are affected and there can be impact on IQ, development, and behavior. The fact is that there is no safe level of lead.
Lead poisoning often goes undetected because the symptoms are subtle. Initial symptoms may include fatigue, lack of motivation, poor coordination, and problems with speech and language. Young children have the highest risk yet people rarely take their child to the doctor for these systems as they are easily overlooked.
Long term lead poisoning can mean a lifetime of limitations. For this reason, especially if you have small children or are pregnant, you should consider having your water tested at least once every three years.
Our water is something that most of us take for granted. We turn on the faucet and there it is. As long as our water doesn’t smell or taste funny we tend not to give it a second thought. Yet do you truly know what’s in your water?
BHCP can provide solutions to all of your water problems and help you keep your family and home safe. Give us a call today.