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Lead Poisoning: Contaminated Drinking Water

Topic Overview

If you suspect that your drinking water is contaminated with lead, ask experts from your local or state health department to test the water in your home.

  • Don't cook with, drink, or make baby formula with water from the hot water tap. Hot water pulls more lead out of pipes than cold water does.
  • Let cold water run for a few minutes before using it for drinking or cooking.
  • Don't boil the water. As the water boils away, you'll have a smaller amount of water with the same amount of lead in it. So the water has a stronger "dose," or concentration, of lead.
  • You can buy and use a water filter certified to remove lead.
  • Consider using bottled water.
  • Don't prepare, serve, or store food or drinks in ceramic pottery or crystal glasses unless you are sure they are lead-free.

References

Other Works Consulted

  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2010). Water. Available online: http://www.cdc.gov/nceh/lead/tips/water.htm.
  • U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (2009). Water on tap: What you need to know. Available online: http://water.epa.gov/drink/guide.

Credits

ByHealthwise Staff
Primary Medical ReviewerJohn Pope, MD - Pediatrics
Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine
Specialist Medical ReviewerR. Steven Tharratt, MD, MPVM, FACP, FCCP - Pulmonology, Critical Care Medicine, Medical Toxicology

Current as ofMay 4, 2017


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