Heavy metals have a place in our world but that place is not our drinking water. Sometimes these metals can leach into our water. Here is some information on how to prevent and treat water that may be contaminated by heavy metals.
Concerns of Heavy Metals
Heavy metals are commonly found all over the planet and include tin, silver, gold, copper. They are used in many industries including agriculture and manufacturing. Not all heavy metals are dangerous to people but the ones that are can cause harm to children and developing fetuses.
Five metals that are cause for concern are arsenic, cadmium, copper, lead, and mercury. Arsenic affects skin, digestion, and brain function when found in high concentrations in the body. Cadmium overexposure can cause cancer, musculoskeletal problems, and kidney issues. Copper contamination has led to gastrointestinal problems as well as liver and kidney damage. Lead has been researched for years and is known to be harmful to people.
Metals such as iron and manganese can leave your water smelling foul and cause unnecessary corrosion in plumbing. Shortening your plumbings lifecycle can cause more chemicals to leach into your water.
Testing for Heavy Metals
Different metals enter drinking water through different pathways. Arsenic occurs in certain regions from mining and pesticide production. Cadmium can be introduced to drinking water through impurities in zinc. This can come from water heaters, water coolers, solder fittings, taps, and galvanized pipes. Lead and copper can be found in insufficiently treated water or through fittings used from such materials.
The EPA requires public suppliers to present a Consumer Confidence Report. In this report, there will be documentation of water quality testing which includes contaminants and their concentration levels. This information is from the supplier and home water testing is always a good idea to determine your water quality is within a healthy range.
Preventing Harm from Heavy Metals
There are multiple ways to check for heavy metals in your water if that is a concern. Discuss further your Consumer Confidence Report with the contact listed on the document. Have an expert plumber assess your water and consider a house-wide filter. If drinking water is your concern, consider a water cooler.
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