Test for lead in your home’s drinking water supply. Results in 10 minutes.
Lead is toxic when ingested and causes a wide variety of systemic and developmental problems in adults and children yet this metal can leach from old pipes and fixtures, making its way into drinking water. This all too common contaminant has been linked to learning disabilities, kidney damage and muscle disorders.
This test will give a positive result if lead is measured above 15ppb (parts per billion) (the equivalent of one drop in a large swimming pool).
When using the lead test kit, please use water that has been sitting in the pipe for a while (ie the first water in the morning).
The test results are modelled on the guidelines given by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) of the USA.
Please note that Watersafe® is a screening test and can not be used to certify water as safe or unsafe for drinking. Watersafe® provides approximate results ONLY when used in strict accordance with instructions. safewater.ie expressly disclaims any liability resulting from the use of this product, failure to follow instructions, or reliance of test results. This is not a measuring instrument.
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High levels of lead in drinking water can be caused by a range of sources:
Usually lead enters drinking water because of the corrosion, a reaction between the water and the lead pipe or solder. A low pH and a low mineral content in water are common causes for corrosion. Water is considered to be hard if it has a high mineral content such as salts containing calcium and magnesium.
In Ireland, lead pipes are most common in homes built before the 1970’s, they were often used to join a property to the public water supply. Even when the use of lead pipes was stopped, sometimes, lead based solder was used to join copper pipes in order to save money. It has been suggested, that even brass faucets and fitting which are apparently ‘lead-free’ may leach lead.
Lead levels can decrease as a building ages, because mineral deposits can form a coating on the inside of the pipes if the water is not corrosive, this usually takes about 5 years. Overall, lead levels may be highest in older houses because of the use of lead pipes, but can also occur in newer properties because of a lack of mineral deposits within pipes.
Lead can be found in air, food, soil and water. Once lead has entered the human body it is accumulated there; and only very slowly removed. High levels of lead can cause serious damage to the brain, kidney, nervous system and red blood cells. The greatest risk, even at short-term exposure, exists for:
Lead is a toxic metal known to be harmful if inhaled or ingested. A potential lead exposure can come from different sources, including soil and dust, food (from contaminated containers or air), ambient air and water (mostly caused by the aforementioned corrosion of plumbing). The degree of harm depends on the level of exposure from all sources.
You should test your water for lead, especially when you see lead pipes or signs of corrosion. Lead pipes are of dull grey colour, which are soft enough so that they can easily be scratched with a key. Signs of corrosion are rusty coloured water, frequent leaks, stained dishes or laundry. If your home was built before 1970 the risk that it may have lead pipes is higher.
When testing water for lead, make sure to use water that has been sitting in the pipe for a while (like the first water flow in the morning) as lead dissolves slowly in water.
1) Lead in drinking water:
2) Lead in other sources:
Only opinions based upon personal experience or information detailed in academic journals or other publications is cited. This has been done exclusively for anyone who is interested in this subject but is not intended to replace proper analysis. WE DO NOT OFFER MEDICAL ADVICE or prescribe any treatments. This refers to any form of conversation between safewater.ie and our customers, readers or website visitors. We cannot accept responsibility and liability of any kind which may result from the application of this information. We always recommend to consult an expert to discuss any test results or get a full recommendation on the specific subject and specific to your situation by an expert.
There are strict standards for the quality of drinking water within Europe mainly laid down in the EU Drinking Water Directive (98/83/EC). These are based on advice from the World Health Organisation (WHO).