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Warning: Hot Tap Water Contains Higher Levels of Lead

Posted Aug 05 2008 1:20pm
tap water Never use hot water directly from the tap for cooking, drinking, or making infant formula (boiling water concentrates the lead).

Hot water is likely to contain higher levels of lead, says the EPA, because it dissolves the toxic metal in plumbing more quickly than cold water does.

If you haven't turned on the faucet for 6 hours or more, let it run cold for a couple of minutes before using, the agency advises - and use only water filters bearing a seal from NSF International, a company that certifies products' lead-removing abilities.

Health Threats from Lead

Lead accumulates in the body over time and can cause serious damage to the blood, brain, heart, kidneys, nervous system, and reproductive system.

Because the nervous and circulatory systems in young children are not fully developed, lead and other toxic substances can easily enter the brain. Long-term exposure to even low levels of lead can cause irreversible learning difficulties, mental retardation, and delayed neurological and physical development.

Infants and children up to six years old are most susceptible to these toxic effects. Pregnant women who have been exposed to lead can pass the effects to their unborn child.
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