Do Water Softener Remove Lead?
Lead is the most dangerous contaminants that can get into your water supply.
Think I’m exaggerating?
According to EPA, there is no known safe level of lead in the blood. Children are especially more venerable to lead poisoning.
In this post, I’m going to explain whether water softeners can filter lead from water, and the best ways of avoiding lead poisoning.
Let’s jump right in.
Do water Softeners remove lead? Water softeners are not good for removing lead from water. Lead contaminations mostly come from pipes and fixtures found in the plumbing system of a house. Since water softeners are installed at the beginning of the plumbing system, they don’t offer protection against lead contamination. To make matters worse, soft water is more corrosive. Therefore, increasing the risk of lead contamination.
So let’s take a closer look.
How do you remove lead?
You can get rid of lead from your tap water by using different filtration methods depending on what is your budget. Remedial action should be taken if tests show a higher than 15µg/L results.
- The simplest method of dealing with lead is by flushing plumbing pipes and fixtures by letting the water run through for two or three minutes. However, this method is only recommended if test results show less than 15µg/L level.
- Another simple method of dealing with lead is by reducing the corrosiveness of water by reducing the acidity of water by using acid neutralizing filters or by adding calcium.
- The best point of use water filtration systems for filtering lead is Reverse osmosis (RO).
- Activated Alumina filters are also very effective for removing lead from water.
- Distillation systems are also good at removing lead, but they are more expensive and slow.
- Although not as effective, activated carbon filters are also able to remove lead.
- Removing leaded materials and replacing them with nonleaded materials such as PVC and PEX pipes is the most effective method of dealing with lead within the home plumbing. You should use equipment with the seal of the National Sanitation Foundation (NSF).
What are the effects of drinking lead?
Lead exposure has very serious health risks especially some of the health effects are:
- Effects of lead exposure include Irritation, Fatigue, and Weight loss, Vomiting, Constipation, Hearing loss, Anemia, Hypertension and Renal impairment.
- High degree of exposure can trigger a coma by attacking the brain and central nervous system.
- Exposure can affect brain development in kids which results in low IQ.
How to reduce the chances of Lead Exposure
Does boiling water remove lead?
Boiling water is not an effective method of removing lead. Lead has a high boiling point than water; therefore, the concentration of lead in water actually goes up when water is boiled. You should avoid cooking with water that contains lead because it results in food that is contaminated with lead. You will be exposing your family to lead poisoning that can trigger problems such as vomiting, headaches, and constipation.
How does lead get into the water?
Lead is not naturally found in water. It comes into contact with water because of the piping system for delivering water into homes. The most common culprits of that result in lead getting into water are lead solder used to join pipes and valves. When the lead comes into contact with water, it normally dissolves into water. Lead is hard to detect because it is odorless, colorless and tasteless.
If you are using well water, you ensure the submersible pumps are not contaminating your water with lead. Old wells can also get contaminated with lead because of the well casing that is used for sealing the well walls.
How to get lead out of the body naturally?
The best way of dealing with lead is to avoid it getting into the body in the first place. You can use some of these tips to reduce the chances of lead getting into your body or that of kids.
- Wash your hands with uncontaminated water before eating.
- use NSF certified plumbing components
- Test your water for lead levels
- Avoid buying your kids toys that are made with lead components.
Eating certain types of foods can reduce the amount of lead absorption. According to Dietary Guidelines of Americans, vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and milk reduce the absorption of lead.
In addition to these foods, a calcium-rich diet also protects the body from absorbing lead. Calcium-rich foods include dairy products. Iron-rich foods are also good at preventing the absorption of lead. Iron-rich food includes red meat dried fruit and beans.
Because consumption of vitamin c rich foods help the body absorb iron better, you are encouraged to ensure you consume then in high amount. Food rich in vitamin c include oranges, lemons, strawberries, and melons.
How do you know you have lead in water?
You should test your water for leads levels especially if you leave in an old house. In addition, you should flush water pipes before using the water for drinking or cooking.
Lead contamination poses a significant threat to the health and well being of many families today. What makes this metal especially risky is that it is colorless, odorless and tasteless; it can remain undetected for a long time. This is unlike other water contaminants such as iron.
Absorption of a high amount of lead can result in lead poisoning. Symptoms of lead poisoning include weight loss, vomiting, constipation, hypertension and brain damages.
Lead does not naturally occur in water but gets into water through plumbing systems that contain lead.
Although many makers of water softener claim they products can remove lead, water softeners are not very effective in removing lead. The best units for removing lead are Distillation systems, reverse osmosis systems and activated alumina filters. You can reduce the amount of lead that your body absorbs by eating food that is rich in calcium, iron and vitamin c.
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