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Should Lead Pipes Have You Worried?

The city of Flint has brought attention to an important issue: water quality and the presence of lead pipes. Heavy metal lead pipes are buried in city systems all across the United States. Water authorities add certain chemicals to prevent corrosion of these pipes and presence of the resulting lead in the water that flows through them. The city of Flint missed this important water treatment step.

Why is the presence of lead so dangerous?

Drinking water contaminated with lead can cause increased blood lead levels which can lead to lifelong health and mental problems. This risk is mainly high for children because of their size in relation to the lead consumed.

What can I do to ensure we don’t have lead in our water? 

Get educated! Lead is found throughout the home, not just in water. Georgia Healthy Homes and Lead Poisoning Prevention Program (GHHLPPP) has a website you can visit here which provides data, information, and resources for Georgia homeowners.

Get tested! GHHLPPP offers home investigations to find lead sources when a child in that home has a confirmed elevated blood lead level (>10 ug/dL). GHHLPPP offers testing guidelines and a questionnaire to determine if your child is at-risk and should be tested. You can also call the Safe Drinking Water Hotline at 800-426-4791 for more information or visit www.epa.gov/safewater/labs to find a testing center.

Get cold! GHHLPP suggests “run[ning] water from the tap for 1-2 minutes before drinking or cooking with it[, and using] only cold water from the faucet for cooking, drinking, or making baby formula.”

For more information

The Flint water crisis: Atlanta Journal Constitution

Safe water from the Environmental Protection Agency: Home Water Testing Brochure

Visit your local health authority to find out more about the water in your area.

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