The Lead Epidemic
There are a few ways you may find out if your water contains lead. The first option would be to look at your pipes. The easiest access would be under your kitchen sink. If this is a metal pipe, scratch the pipe with a knife. If the scratch is silver, it is possible it is made of lead. From here, grab a magnet and see if the magnet sticks to the pipe. If it does not stick to the pipe, it is lead.
These pipes may be anything from your faucet, to your actual pipes, fittings, or solder joints. Despite whatever pipe it is, lead is not okay for your home! We recommend that you replace your lead pipes using a safer alternative, such as copper or plastic or polyvinyl chloride (PVC).
Another way to find out if your water contains lead would be to contact your home’s water supplier and ask for a lead test. These should be free of charge. You may also ask for a copy of the Consumer Confidence Report. Often times, water suppliers have these online. You can find them here.
If you would like to test for lead yourself, you are able to do so, but it is not recommended. These tests may not have correct accuracy. Because this is such a serious issue, we recommend you to utilize your water supplier and get professional help.
However, if you do wish to use an at-home kit, buy one from a home store. Test your tap by using water that has been sitting overnight, meaning wait until water has not been turned on or used for several hours, and then turn on the faucet to use the water that has been aggregating. This water is best for testing because it has been in the pipes longer.
Reasoning for this is because the longer water sits inside a pipe, the higher chance it has to corrode. This happens if the water is highly acidic or has low minerals.
You may send this to a lab for analysis, or you may simply trust the kit you bought. Many times, the test will turn a designated color if there is lead in your water.
Homes built before 1978 often contain lead-based paint. There are several ways you can test for lead.
The first is the most accurate and recommended test: the lead-based paint inspection. This is when an inspector comes in and checks out all painted (and wall-papered) areas of your home, inside and out. From here, it’s taken to a lab and tested.
A risk assessment test only takes samples of chipping paint, paint that looks as if a child has been biting or licking, and dust and soil from your home. This assessment does not test all of your home, like the lead-based paint inspection. Only certain areas are tested, meaning there is still room for error.
A hazard screen is even less extensive than the risk assessment test. Samples of paint are taken from chipping areas and a dust sample is taken as well. No soil is tested unless there is reason to believe there may be lead contamination.
Again, at home lead tests are not strongly recommended. However, they work just the same as a water lead test (meaning the strip will change a designated color depending on lead levels).
Soil may be collected from your home because lead-based paint chips may have have fallen into the soil and contaminated it. Soil may also be contaminated through smelting, leaded gasoline, or other industrial causes.
Dust from your home is tested because it collects on certain areas that may have lead-based paint. This is just another way to test for lead.
Check out this link to find an inspector around you.
Lead is everywhere. It’s a scary thought, but it’s unfortunately true.
Often times, toys contain lead-based paint. Be mindful when purchasing toys for children and stay on top of news regarding lead in toys. Make sure children are not biting, licking, or putting toys in the mouth. If the toy contains lead, this is not beneficial for children.
There have been several recalls over the past decade in regard to lead-based toys. In 2007, popular toy company Fisher-Price recalled nearly 1 million toys. Again, be mindful of such toys and make sure to find out what these toys are made of.
There are several other ways lead can come into your home and affect you and your loved ones. Once again, working with lead-based paint is a risk. This includes renovation, battery recycling, refurnishing furniture, and automobile work.
Hobbies such as hunting, fishing, staining glass, painting and making pottery, and collecting or painting stock cars may be dangerous as well.
If you do not have the money to get rid of your lead plumbing system, you may take these alternative precautions instead.
These precautions include using cold water for cooking and drinking. Know that you cannot boil lead out of water. Conversely, it is okay to shower in contaminated water, as long as you do not swallow the water. Thankfully, skin cannot absorb lead. However, we do recommend that you run cold water for at least five minutes before showering.
To reduce the risk of being affected by lead-based paint, we recommend that shoes are taken off once entering a home to reduce the risk of being affected by contaminated soil. Keep your home clean and free of dust, vacuum often (and do not beat rugs!), mop floors weekly, and rid any paint chips around your home.
If you or a loved one works with lead-based paint, pack an extra bag of clothes to change into after work and before coming home.
Make sure to wash hands often, as many surfaces in your home may contain lead-based paint. Children need to have proper nutrition high in vitamin C, calcium, and iron.
Cilantro and garlic are also helpful in reducing lead from the body. These foods are high in sulfur, and sulfur oxidizes lead. Other high-sulfur foods are brussell sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, chives, onions, eggs, poultry, and nuts.
Cilantro can be added your cooking, but you may also add it into your water. Cilantro has the amazing ability to reach heavy metals that have been absorbed into the bone. This herb also aids in liver health, anemia, and nausea.
Please take all precautions provided and do your best to keep your home a safe and livable area! If you have any further questions, please contact Dr. Trowbridge and 1-800-FIX-PAIN (1-800-349-7246).
The easiest way to check your pipes is under a sink.
There are various types of pipe, however, lead is a no-go.
If you own an older home, be aware if your home has lead paint.
Getting an inspector to look at your home is your safest and best bet.
Toys often contain lead-based paint, especially those imported from outside the U.S.
Leaving shoes at the door helps track less soil, which may contain lead.
It’s hard to believe that the Flint water crisis started over two years ago. The media has taken hold of this predicament, informing the people of the United States that Flint, Michigan is actually quite a small problem in perspective to other states.
Some say it all began when Erin Brockovich ousted water suppliers of Flint, Michigan on her Facebook page. And soon, attention was brought to the city’s water issue and the people of Flint claimed Brockovich a hero. Brockovich’s Facebook page is still full of articles and call-outs to companies who have failed to fix their community’s water systems.
So, how did this happen? Most water companies are either failing to tell homeowners or placing the notice on the bottom of monthly water bills. Let’s be honest here—how many of you completely read through your water bill? Half of us look at the price and make a payment, while many of us simply pay online.
Wouldn’t you think that water companies would find it extremely important to notify homeowners that lead was poisoning their water? Shouldn’t owners be called or alerted with a door notice, or something that won’t be passed by? Perhaps if this idea were in motion, such outrageous “mistakes” like the following wouldn’t have happened.
Flint, Michigan was the first well-known affected lead area.
Out of 2,000 water systems in the U.S., 180 failed to notify their consumers of the high lead levels. How does a water company just forget to tell someone about the poison they’re indeed consuming? The worst part is that so many of these were school systems or daycares.
But the water companies want to share a different side of the story, straying blame away from their mistake. Lead actually does not come directly from the water plant. In fact, the majority of homes built before 1980 actually have some lead within the plumbing system. It’s stated that over 7 million homes in the US have lead plumbing lines or solder joints that cause lead to leak through.
Corrosive water also causes lead to leak through. Water treatment plants add anti-corrosion chemicals to help the situation, but by then, it’s already too late. Lead has already leaked through, and anti-corrosion chemicals cannot dissipate the lead entirely. Lead levels are only reduced. In many cases, treatment plants are unable to feed anti-corrosion chemicals to all water lines because it is too expensive.
About 70 of the water systems that failed to notify their consumers served at least 10,000 people. That’s each water system serving at least 10,000 people! That’s 700,000 people at the very least. But facts show you that many more have been affected.
An engineer checks the quality of water at a treatment plant.
To put into perspective, in New Bedford, Massachusetts, 315,000 individuals were served; Passaic Valley in New Jersey: 315,000; Bangor Water District, Maine: 28,000.
The saddest part is that some of these water companies have known for years that certain lines contain lead. A Navajo Reservation church wasn’t aware of lead-contaminated faucet until 3 years later after the discovery.
Erin Brockovich has received numerous letters from individuals across the U.S., claiming water issues in their community. After receiving all of these letters about contaminated water lines, Brockovich started pin-pointing these locations out on a map, leaving a devastating picture. There are over 10,000 communities out there with contaminated water supplies… and think—these contaminated water supplies are only the ones Erin Brockovich has heard of directly.
There are more affect communities than just the one’s we’ve heard about.
Water towers store and often supply water to towns across the U.S.
The scary part is that it could be your community.
We urge you to test your water supply. If you live in a home built before the 1980s, it’s extremely important to check your area of residence for lead-based paint or plumbing systems. There’s a great risk involved with lead, and if you don’t take action, these effects can worsen beyond infection. These risks may impact your entire way of life, limiting your daily activities.
Call the National Lead Information Center at 1-800-424-LEAD (1-800-424-5323) for any questions.
If you or a loved one has become affected by lead, please call Dr. John Trowbridge’s office for a free consultation. Dr. Trowbridge is an expert in chelation therapy, a non-surgical treatment that dramatically reduces your body’s harmful toxins and chemicals—including LEAD!
Please take all precautions provided and do your best to keep your home a safe and livable area! If you have any further questions, please contact Dr. Trowbridge and dial1-800-FIX-PAIN (1-800-349-7246).
Check your water supply and if your home has lead-based pipes.