How to reduce lead in your drinking water
(NC) Lead is a highly toxic metal that is found naturally in the earth's crust. It is used to produce many consumer products like pipes, car parts, electronics and batteries.
Lead poisoning can cause many harmful health effects. It may affect the brain, nervous system, blood pressure and kidneys in adults. But the risks are greatest for fetuses, infants and children because their growing bodies are still developing and absorb lead more easily.
Here are two simple actions you can take to reduce levels of lead in your drinking water:
1. Use point-of-use water filters
Point-of-use, or POU, drinking water filters are used to remove chemicals, including lead, from water where it is being used. POU filters can be:
- attached directly to faucets;
- inserted into water pitchers and bottles;
- inserted into refrigerators for water dispensers and ice makers.
Make sure the POU filter is certified to remove lead. You should look for certification marks and statements about meeting NSF/ANSI Standard 42 for particulate reduction (Class I) and NSF/ANSI Standard 53 for lead reduction.
2. Regularly clean your faucet aerator
A faucet aerator is a mesh screen attached to the tip of a faucet, or tap. It saves water and catches debris and lead particles that may have gotten into the water. After unscrewing the aerator, remove the pieces of debris by turning the aerator over and rinsing it with water. For grime and stubborn pieces that remain, remove them by soaking the aerator in white vinegar for five minutes. Brush the aerator gently with an old toothbrush or cloth and rinse under water before screwing it back on.
Find more information on keeping a healthy home at canada.ca/healthy-home.
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