Topic Overview

If you suspect that your drinking water is contaminated with lead:

  • 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 5 minutes in the morning or anytime the plumbing system has not been used for a number of hours before using it for drinking or cooking.footnote 1
  • 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.
  • Don't prepare, serve, or store food or drinks in ceramic pottery or crystal glasses unless you are sure they are lead-free.

You can also have any pipes, fittings, or faucets in your home replaced with newer materials.

Lead in drinking water is not easily absorbed by the skin and cannot be breathed in. It is safe to bathe, wash dishes, and clean with water if you have lead in your water.footnote 1

References

Citations

  1. Health Canada (2007). Minimizing exposure to lead from drinking water distribution systems. Available online: http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/ewh-semt/pubs/water-eau/lead-plomb-eng.php.

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

Adaptation Date: 6/16/2017

Adapted By: HealthLink BC

Adaptation Reviewed By: HealthLink BC

Adaptation Date: 6/16/2017

Adapted By: HealthLink BC

Adaptation Reviewed By: HealthLink BC