How to Reduce Lead in Drinking Water
You probably know how dangerous lead is, especially for children. Even low levels can have long term effects on a child’s development. The most important thing you can do is lessen your exposure or avoid lead exposure altogether.
Drinking water is one of the most common ways children are exposed to lead. Pipes, fixtures, and faucets can leach lead into drinking water. This is particularly true for homes, schools, and businesses built before 1986.
These four simple steps can help reduce lead exposure from drinking water:
- Run the faucet for at least 30 seconds before the first use.
- Use water from the cold tap for cooking and making drinks and baby formula.
- Flush hot water heaters according to the manufacturer’s instructions once a year.
- Don’t let children drink from the garden hose or outside faucet.
Public schools and public or private child care facilities can participate in the SipSafe program, which provides free water screening and educational materials to qualifying institutions. Find out more about what the program offers and how to participate.
For more information about lead in drinking water and other steps you can take to reduce your exposure, visit the EPA website.
Lead is also found in other places inside and around homes and businesses. Extension’s Creating Healthy Indoor Childcare Environments program helps child care providers understand what risks, including lead exposure, exist in and around their facilities and how to address them.
The Creating Healthy Indoor Childcare Environments program is part of Extension’s Healthy Homes Initiative that offers education on how to keep indoor environments healthy. The 12-topic curriculum can be offered to any interested group singularly or as a series. Contact your local Extension office to request training.
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