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Should We Be Worried About Lead Contamination?

Lead is a toxic metal that is persistent in the environment. Yet it cannot be seen, tasted or smelled in water. This can be a cause of worry. It may lead to poisoning when consumed in excess or when small quantities accumulate in the body over time. It is important to note that boiling your water, which does serve to eliminate common bacteria, does not remove lead or sediments. Only specific methods of filtration would address these issues.

Home and public water systems can be contaminated when lead enters our drinking water. Most commonly, this is from the corrosion of pipes, tanks, plumbing fixtures and welding solders that contain lead. Water of high acidity and low mineral content increases the severity of this reaction. How much lead enters the water is related to:

  • acidity or alkalinity of the water
  • types and amounts of minerals in the water
  • water temperature
  • the amount of wear in the pipes
  • the duration of water contained
  • the presence of protective scales or coatings in water storage

Most adults and babies do not present symptoms after exposure unless a blood lead test is taken. Pregnant women, children under six years old and infants relying on milk formulas face even greater risk even at low exposure levels.

You can ascertain and keep lead intake to a minimum through these steps. As recommended by Raffles Medical Group Singapore, we can:

  • locate and remove the sources of lead
  • clean our faucets regularly
  • install water-filtering device containing carbon particles effective in removing lead
  • run water from the tap before collecting it for use, to avoid consuming water that has sat in plumbing for over six hours
  • eat a healthy diet as regular, healthy and nutritious meals can lower lead absorption in the body

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