This week, Oct. 20 – 26, is Lead Poisoning Prevention Week. This year’s theme is “Lead-Free Kids for a Healthy Future”, highlighting the importance of parents and caretakers reducing a child’s exposure to lead to prevent serious health effects.
In a press release distributed by the United States Environmental Protection Agency, one of several organizations spearheading this week’s efforts, it states that “the partners will work to raise awareness about lead paint poisoning worldwide and the need to eliminate lead in paint.”
While paint is one way of becoming exposed to lead, lead in water is also a common concern. If you’re concerned about whether or not there’s lead in your water, we recommend getting it tested as soon as possible. You can also follow the steps below to flush your pipes out each morning and to lessen your risk. We have more information on this topic on our lead info page.
How to flush your tap water:
Flushing the tap is particularly important when the faucet has gone unused for more than a few hours. It takes time for lead to dissolve into water, so the first water drawn from the tap in the morning or after a long period of non-use can contain higher levels of lead. Flushing clears standing water from your plumbing and home service line to ensure you are getting drinking water from the main, where lead is rarely present. Let the water run from the tap until it is noticeably colder (this may take up to two minutes or more) before using it for cooking or drinking.
• Remember, you must flush EACH drinking water faucet after long periods of non-use for this strategy to be effective.
• CONSERVATION TIP: use flushed water for non-potable purposes such as watering plants or washing dishes. You can also store water from a tap that has been flushed in the refrigerator for later use.