Lead can infiltrate a home through various channels, but when it affects the water, the health of the community is at risk. The presence of lead in water immediately draws attention, and for good reason: lead is toxic. Making sure your home has lead free pipes and fixtures is essential to decreasing your exposure to lead.
Why is lead used in pipes and plumbing fixtures?
The use of lead in plumbing dates back to Ancient Rome, where Romans fashioned the world’s first plumbing system out of of lead. Lead is a desirable element for constructing pipes because it is malleable enough to mold into the desired shape but strong enough to prevent “pinhole” water leaks. Lead is also present in the solder that connects copper pipes.
Infrastructures from the 60s, 70s and the 80s, including pipe and plumbing system components, are the main contributors of trace amounts of lead in the water supply today.
Most homes built prior to the 1980 still have lead solder connecting copper pipes. Unless they have upgraded the home piping to a lead free infrastructure, there is a good chance that the fixtures and pipes contain trace amounts of lead. Read more