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Lead Poisoning: Contaminated Drinking Water

Topic Overview

If you suspect that your drinking water is contaminated with lead, ask experts from your local or state health department to test the water in your home.

  • Don't cook with, drink, or make baby formula with water from the hot water tap. Hot water pulls more lead out of pipes than cold water does.
  • Let cold water run for a few minutes before using it for drinking or cooking.
  • Don't boil the water. As the water boils away, you'll have a smaller amount of water with the same amount of lead in it. So the water has a stronger "dose," or concentration, of lead.
  • You can buy and use a water filter certified to remove lead.
  • Consider using bottled water.

References

Other Works Consulted

  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2010). Water. Available online: http://www.cdc.gov/nceh/lead/tips/water.htm.
  • U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (2009). Water on tap: What you need to know. Available online: http://water.epa.gov/drink/guide.

Credits

By Healthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer John Pope, MD - Pediatrics
Specialist Medical Reviewer R. Steven Tharratt, MD, MPVM, FACP, FCCP - Pulmonology, Critical Care Medicine, Medical Toxicology
Last Revised June 5, 2012

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