If you look in the composition of the majority of items in our use, you’ll notice the abundance of a specific metal known as Lead.
It is a chemical element that occurs naturally in the soil. Compared to other metals, it is soft and malleable with a low melting point. Furthermore, it is a highly corrosion-resistant metal.
Its production rates sparked after the 15th century and reached its peak in the 20th one. We used it to make pipes, batteries, bullets, paints, radiation shields, gasoline, and the list goes on.
In 2014 alone, the annual production of lead was about ten million tons!
However, this element was found to be a double-edged sword, and therefore, after the 19th century, the authorities labeled it a toxic substance and banned its further use.
Unfortunately, we were a bit too late for the restriction of this metal. The pipelines, batteries, and paints already contain tons of lead, and reconstructing everything will take decades.
Since we do not usually deal with paints and batteries when it comes to water, our main concern is the presence of lead in pipelines, which are the only source of its transportation.
So without wasting more time, let’s first learn about the lead, its toxic effects, and then the steps to remove it from our drinking water for good!
Sources of Lead in Water
Lead is present in all parts of the environment- the air, the water, and especially the ground.
One of the major sources of our drinking water, the groundwater, acquires lead from numerous sources as it passes through different mountains, canals, and other routes. It is further polluted when it reaches our homes through pipelines.
Similarly, it contaminates the household water when it comes in contact with solders, pipes, paints, and cosmetics made of lead.
Toxic Effects of Lead on the Human Body
In 2004, lead’s exposure led to 143,000 deaths and 9 million sick patients.
Most of these deaths and diseases were due to cardiovascular problems in adults and disabilities in children.
According to the CDC, lead has the following effects on humans.
Effects of Lead on Children
The blood circulation towards our brain contains a filter known as the “Blood-Brain” barrier, which protects the brain from many toxins.
This barrier is not well developed in children.
As a result, the lead can penetrate the brain and cause all sorts of mental disabilities and behavioral diseases.
Effects of Lead on Adults
Lead is an immune-o-suppressive element. People exposed to it are more prone to getting sick by bacteria that are otherwise not strong enough to cause diseases.
Although lead cannot penetrate the blood-brain barrier in adults, it still can cause nerve damages in other parts of the body.
The damage to the nerves results in peripheral neuropathy (pain due to nerve damage) and motor nerve dysfunctions (certain parts of the body stop working).
We all know that the kidney purifies our blood by removing waste substances via the urine.
However, lead is toxic to the kidney and gradually keeps deteriorating its structure.
Over time, this results in kidney failure, gout, and hypertension.
Reproductive and Pregnancy Effects
Lead causes infertility both in males and females.
During pregnancy, it is not only bad for the mother, but it also affects the mental development of the baby. The mother may also develop hypertension, which, if severe, might result in spontaneous abortion of the child.
According to several studies conducted by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), lead is a cancer-causing element.
This finding is further backed up by various studies, concluding that lead can cause kidney, brain, and lung cancers.
Okay, enough with the scary part!
Now, as we have an idea over the toxic effects of this chemical, we will discuss how to eliminate it from our drinking water.
Steps to Eliminate Lead from Your Drinking Water
Step 1. Detection
To fight our enemy, we first have to know its strength.
To achieve this, you need to collect a sample of your water from different taps of your house and deliver it to the water testing labs.
Alternately, you can buy one of the EPA approved water testing kits to detect lead in your drinking water.
Step 2. Install a Filter
Forget about boiling water when it comes to lead, because according to the CDC, heating or boiling your water will not remove lead!
Installing a filter, on the other hand, is the most efficient way to get rid of this substance.
However, how can we decide which filter is the best for us?
The answer is simple, the one which saves you money while effectively removing lead from your house water.
If your water testing kit or the testing laboratory detected lead contamination in a few out of all faucets in the house, then install a faucet filter on each of them.
If lead is present in all the samples, buy a filter that protects both your drinking and cooking water on a bigger scale. These filters may include a Reverse Osmosis Filter, an under-sink filter, or any other filter that has a built-in carbon filter or RO system.
However, we strongly recommend you to buy a whole house water filter. It is an entry-point filter and purifies the water for all of your needs, including drinking, cooking, washing, and bathing.
The good thing about these filters is that they eliminate numerous other contaminants alongside the lead. These may include arsenic, chlorine, bacteria, viruses, etc.
Step 3. Maintain the Filter
Yes, for the lead to stay away from you forever, you must keep your filters healthy. Give your filters timely maintenance as described in their manual, and you will never have to worry about any contaminant, let alone lead!
All in all, despite being a marvelous element of history, lead proved itself to be a noxious and harmful one when it comes to health.
Thankfully, we can avoid this element simply by testing our house-water and installing a water filter.
With a one time investment, these water filters give you years-long protection and save you and your loved ones from a lot of diseases and costly medical bills. A few dollars today will save you thousands tomorrow!