From FMs4Ms Newsletter Volume 1 Issue 1 December 2009
I read the article Don’t be a drip by Melissa Morozzo in The Florentine, and though it very informative about being green. There is a big problem. The water might be safe from the Anconella plant for drinking; it might not be safe in the tap at your home. I for one know I have lead pipes. It is a very old house like most houses in Florence. She stresses not using filtered water because of lose of minerals. Drinking lead causes many adverse health effects, especially for infants and young children along with adults. But filling a baby bottle with water containing lead is very dangerous. (*note I did write a letter to the Editor in 2009 about this point, unfortunately this letter is not online anymore on The Florentine website)
In babies and children, exposure to lead in drinking water above the action level can result in delays in physical and mental development, along with slight deficits in attention span and learning abilities. In adults, it can cause increases in blood pressure. Adults who drink this water over many years could develop kidney problems or high blood pressure.” Taken from www.epa.gov
I as coordinator for the Firenze Moms 4 Moms Network, I had to speak up on this. There are many steps to take to clear out the pipes before use. I have copied and pasted the recommendations from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency website.
How can I reduce lead in drinking water at home?
Flush your pipes before drinking, and only use cold water for consumption. The more time water has been sitting in your home’s pipes, the more lead it may contain. Anytime the water in a particular faucet has not been used for six hours or longer, “flush” your cold-water pipes by running the water until it becomes as cold as it will get. This could take as little as five to thirty seconds if there has been recent heavy water use such as showering or toilet flushing. Otherwise, it could take two minutes or longer. Your water utility will inform you if longer flushing times are needed to respond to local conditions.
Use only water from the cold-water tap for drinking, cooking, and especially for making baby formula. Hot water is likely to contain higher levels of lead. The two actions recommended above are very important to the health of your family. They will probably be effective in reducing lead levels because most of the lead in household water usually comes from the plumbing in your house, not from the local water supply