It may come as a surprise, but lead in tap water could impact millions of homes in the U.S., including yours. Lead is particularly unsafe for children, and all sources of lead should filtered in your home, such as by using a GE, Kenmore, or Samsung refrigerator water filter like a DA29-00020B filter for drinking water. It’s important to identify whether your water contains lead, and if so, what steps you can take to purify and filter your water.
How Does Lead Get Into Tap Water?
The main avenue for lead coming from your faucet is old pipes. Pipes and other plumbing materials made before rules about lead were put into place may contain lead. As water corrodes the pipe, lead can enter into the water. This happens most often with water that has higher acidity or a lower mineral count. Though steps have been taken to reduce or eliminate lead used in pipes, it may still be used for soldering plumbing materials made from other safer metals. If city water, for example, is not treated with an anti-corrosive agent, it can affect the entire city, as has happened in Flint, MI.
The Health Effects of Lead Exposure
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), under the Lead and Copper Rule, requires drinking water to be monitored for dangerous levels of lead, and requires utilities and states to take action if dangerous levels are found. Lead is persistent, accumulating in the body and building up over time. According to the EPA, infants and young children are particularly vulnerable, as lead can lead to behavioral, learning, and growth problems. There are additional risks when lead is ingested by women who are pregnant, as it can impact fetal development. Among adults it can lead to cardiovascular issues and serious complications that could be fatal.
How Do You Know if Lead Is in Your Water?
First, ask your water provider if lead pipes are used to service your home. If so, many public water system providers will test your drinking water on request. Lead can’t be seen, tasted, or smelled, meaning it’s essential to ask your water provider for assistance.
What to Do If Lead Is in Your Water
If you do have lead in your drinking water, consider using a filter or a series of filters for the entire system. This could take the form of a Whirlpool or Maytag refrigerator water filter such as the UKF8001 filter, an LG or Samsung fridge filter, an under-the-sink filter, or a point-of-entry full house filter. While it’s possible to run the tap to flush the system, this is not foolproof. Hot water taps are unlikely to be safe without a filter.
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