Health risks could come from anywhere. For instance, did you know that your kitchen faucet can make you sick? And it is not just temporary everyday infections these handy kitchen installations can cause either. Exposure to lead through faucets is putting people at risk of cardiovascular issues, bone marrow damage, cognitive impairment and other serious life-changing ailments.
The worst part is that lead levels previously cleared by regulatory bodies as safe are now been implicated in the occurrence of these illnesses. Also, the fact that up to 20% of the lead people consume comes from the water they get from their own faucets is not especially consoling. So, how safe are you from these dangers?
Possibly, and there are a number of reasons for this.
1. Manufacturing Standards are Way Over Safe Levels
The first big challenge is that a faucet that will bear a bold “lead free” tag can have up to 4% lead content. Add to that the small amount of lead the law thinks can flow from the faucet itself into the water and you realize how big of a lead health problem your faucet is exposing you to.
This later issue is especially pronounced on faucets that have been manufactured over a decade and a half ago. And those much older than them generally contain two times that lead content. So, you can imagine the amount of lead that gets into the water flowing through such faucets.
This news is especially disconcerting considering that recent studies have reached a definitive conclusion that no amount of lead is safe for the human body, however little it is. Therefore, if your faucet gives you and your family water contaminated with this toxic element, you health is at risk.
2. You are Fond of Using Hot Water Directly from the Faucet
We have established that even your “lead free” faucet might have some lead in it. And even if it does not, part of your plumbing probably does.
Unfortunately, you might be making the situation worse by getting hot water directly from the faucet. It turns out that hot water makes the lead in your faucet leak into the water at an accelerated rate.
Is There Anything You Can Do About It?
Luckily, there is a thing or two you can do about the lead content coming through your tap. For instance, before you drink water from your faucet, you should let the cold water run for several minutes. The intervention should get rid of the water that has been collecting the lead so that you are left with uncontaminated water.
Is a Lead Free Faucet a Possibility?
Yes, they are. Unfortunately, even faucet models tauted as the best kitchen faucets often have very high lead levels based on the assumption that a little lead can do no harm. Additionally, while a faucet free from any lead is doable, manufacturers are not particularly amenable to the idea. There has even been resistance and laxity in enforcing the currently outdated laws about lead safety levels in faucets.
Therefore, it will take quite a bit of effort on the part of activists and law enforcers before faucet makers finally start making lead free products to keep current and future generations from lead poisoning.
Forget what government bodies and other organizations say about safe lead levels – there is no such thing. The human body is not equipped to deal with any amount of lead. Unlike other toxins in the body, lead never leaves the body once consumed. And in whatever amounts, it can cause serious illnesses to you and your family, especially the young ones. Therefore, for all intents and purposes, as long as your faucet contains some lead, it can make your family sick.
Therefore, standards imposed on faucet and plumbing system manufacturers need to be uncompromising. Basically, no amount of lead should be found in faucets. “Lead free” should not mean low lead levels but rather zero lead content. Hopefully, with some effort from various stakeholders, your faucet might be completely free of poisonous lead in future.