Lead In Water: Grave Impact On Your Health

Lead in drinking water is something everyone, especially parents with children, should care about. 

If you follow Toronto news, you have probably seen the map  showing lead contamination of drinking water in The Toronto Star. Some places are better than others, but on average 20% of households failed the test for lead in water. 

We are not afraid to drink tap water here, but did you know that cumulative effect of lead poisoning is grave, especially for little children? 

Early Symptoms Of Lead Poisoning

Symptoms of lead exposure in the early stages don't look unique, so you may attribute them to other causes. According to the US Environmental Protection Agency, early symptoms of lead exposure may include:

  • Reduced attention span 
  • Persistent fatigue
  • Irritability
  • Stomach discomfort and/or constipation
  • Loss of appetite
  • Insomnia

These days, who doesn't have a few of these symptoms? People may think that they suffer from stress, and they do, but this could be so called environmental stress caused by lead exposure.

Lead Poisoning And Adult Health

You cannot see, smell or taste lead in tap water. And small amounts within norms probably won't hurt you, but this also depends on your individual reaction. 

EPA warns of the following dangers to the health of adults:

  • Poor muscle coordination
  • High Blood Pressure
  • Nerve damage to the sense organs and nerves controlling the body
  • Hearing and vision impairment
  • Reproductive problems (e.g., decreased sperm count)
  • Retarded fetal development even at relatively low exposure levels.

Lead: Impact On Children's Health

In children, lead poisoning can cause:

  • Damage to the brain and nervous system
  • Behavioral problems
  • Anemia
  • Liver and kidney damage
  • Hearing loss
  • Hyperactivity
  • Developmental delays
  • In extreme cases, death

Do You Have Lead In Tap Water?

Before 1950s, houses in Toronto area were built using lead pipes. If your house is older than that, City of Toronto strongly encourages you to replace those pipes to reduce lead exposure. 

What if the pipes were already replaced? What if your house is not in danger? 

To find out whether you have lead in water in your home, you need to test for it. You can install a certified filter and even get some help from the City until you know for sure. 

Call a certified plumber if you do need replace those pipes. Not only we can do trenchless pipe replacement and keep your front lawn and driveway untouched, we also know city programs that can be used to lower financial burden on you.  


1. http://www.epa.gov/superfund/lead/health.htm

2. http://www.cdc.gov/nceh/lead/tips/water.htm

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