Though it’s not usually found in source water, lead can can get in to your tap water through your plumbing. Boston homes built before 1986 are more likely to have lead pipes and fixtures; and even legally “lead-free” plumbing may contain up to 8 percent lead. Plus, it can add up: A study published in The Journal of Environmental Health in 2002 found that 14 percent to 20 percent of total lead exposure comes from tap water.
There are a few things you can do to avoid downing a dose of lead with your next glass of water. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency advises to only use cold tap water for drinking and cooking, especially when mixing baby formula or cooking for children. Hot water is more corrosive and draws out not only lead, but also other chemicals that may be present in your home’s pipes. In the morning, before you begin using water, run the water for a minute or so until it’s as cold as it will go.
The Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection regularly tests a sampling of homes for the presence of lead and other contaminants. (View the results of water testing here.)
You can also consult us about having a water filtration system installed in your home.