Danger of Lead Poisoning from Galvanized Steel Pipes

Homes constructed many years ago were kept to different regulations  in comparison to residences and buildings built today. Houses built during the 1960s and prior were regularly outfitted with galvanized sewer/water pipe systems. These steel pipes were coated in a layer of zinc to broaden their powerful life span. While this appeared to be a smart thought at that point, developers and health experts today presently realize that galvanized piping can cause various issues for homes and homeowners equally. 

However this old fashioned and hazardous pipes material has been found in homes that weren't built until the 1980s. 

Galvanized piping comprises steel with an additional coating of zinc, which makes the material defenseless against corrosion. When plumbing pipes corrode, the unavoidable outcome is rust. The presence of rust in your pipes lines will prompt the development of lead stores in your waterlines. Keep in mind, this is the water you and your children drink or shower in every single day. The health impacts of lead harming are critical, so it is significant to know how lead may have polluted your water supply and how you can deal with fixing it. 

Galvanized Steel Pipe Lifespan

Much under the best conditions, galvanized pipes corrode over the long run. The common life expectancy of galvanized steel is somewhere in the range of 25 to 40 years. Nonetheless, in regions where there is hard water, your pipes can bomb all the more rapidly. What is tricky about galvanized pipes is that while they show up fine outwardly, they could be corroding within. The deposits along the inside of the pipe develop after some time, confining the water flow and decreasing the water pressure in your home. This development can likewise affect water pressure in different parts of the line and cause leaks. 

Corrosion additionally can happen at the joints, which can bring about a leak. Sadly, when those leaks occur behind your walls or under your floors, you may not find them until after your home has effectively sustained wide damage. 

There are a few issues related with galvanized lines: low water pressure, unequal water distribution, water discoloration and leaks.

Low Water Pressure

The corrosion and deposits which form inside the pipes over the long time shorten the accessible space inside the pipe, which ultimately lowers down the water pressure in your home. 

Unequal Water Distribution

Since corrosion regularly gathers unevenly, various areas of your home may have various issues with low water pressure. If you're not the first owner, what may have happened is that a portion of the galvanized pipes may have been replaced by the past owner while others were left set up. 

Water Discoloration

If you notice brown stains in your sink or bathtub, you may have iron in your water, which could be brought about by galvanized pipes. 

Leaks

As galvanized piped eventually fails, the joints leaks, which can bring severe harm to your home. Leaks which happen behind walls or under floors, whenever left unseen, can cause serious harm. 

Do Galvanized Pipes Contain Lead?

A typical inquiry that homeowners have about galvanized steel pipes is whether these pipes contain lead. The appropriate response is that zinc coating regularly does contains lead. As indicated by a study distributed in Environmental Engineering Science, some water tests taken from homes with galvanized steel pipes contained lead at levels more prominent than the activity level set by the United States Environmental Protection Agency. The study tracked down that fractional replacement of lead pipes, or galvanized steel, with copper piping, installed upstream can intensify lead discharge. 

In view of the cost and discomfort of having your home's pipe replaced, you might be enticed to incompletely change out your piped. But due to the increase in lead contamination, just as different issues this kind of plumbing can cause, a total replacement is suggested. Worse case scenario: your water supply gets contaminated if action’s not taken.

What are the health effects of lead in drinking water?

The consistent consumption of water that contains lead brings about lead poisoning. The lead level in plumbing, as per standards set by the EPA, is zero. That implies there is no lower limit for water containing lead and setting the standard that no amount of exposure to lead is safe for the human body.

Pregnant women and children are at at higher risk from lead poisoning. Drinking contaminated water may cause poisoning to a pregnant mother and her unborn child. Children who have been exposed to toxic levels of lead are probably going to develop cognitive deficiency and learning difficulties. 

There is additionally a danger of cardiovascular infections from lead development in galvanized pipes. In the event that you or a relative breaks a bone or endures some different sorts of horrible injury, the danger of lead poisoning is highly increased. The wellbeing concerns encompassing galvanized piping are surely known; but, researchers are making new revelations about the effects on children with each new study.

Children are Highly Susceptible 

The most susceptible to developing physical and behavioral deficiencies are fetuses, infants, and children. All are caused by lead poisoning. Contrasted with adults, the effects of lead exposure develop within children at a much lower exposure rate. Health impacts include: 
  • Harm to the nervous system
  • Development of learning disabilities
  • Loss of hearing
  • Impaired production/function of blood cells (Anemia)
  • Delayed growth
  • Behavior issues and hyperactivity

Parents that suspect their child has lead poisoning should seek medical attention.

Symptoms of Lead Poisoning

  • Lead poisoning can show from numerous ways, and as the substance develops inside the body, there are common symptoms that regularly happen. Signs that demonstrate poisoning include: 
  • Headaches
  • Stomach pain
  • Joint and muscle pain
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Memory loss
  • Irritability and fatigue
  • High blood pressure
  • Loss of appetite

How would I identify lead in my water? 

There are two main strategies that will assist you with detecting lead in your drinking water. You'll not exclusively have the option to determine the specific amount of lead present, however you'll likewise be capable to determine the probability that your water supply is contaminated: 

  • Test your drinking water. The best way to precisely detect lead in your water is to test it. While there are kits accessible that allow you to finish the test yourself, it's prescribed to send the sample to a reliable third-party laboratory like the ones certified by the state, water filtration like the Berkey Water Filter System, or your nearby water supplier. They will actually want to give comprehensive details concerning the degrees of lead and other harmful substances in your water. 
  • Determine the kind of pipes in your home. Although this won't determine the amount of lead in your drinking water, a few types of piping add to fundamentally more elevated levels of the chemical component than others – like lead and galvanized steel. Find a pipe inside your home and scratch the outside with a coin. Assuming the material is a dull gray that is additionally delicate, the pipes are made of lead. Assuming the color uncovered by the scratch is a silver gray, then pipes are galvanized steel. You can likewise determine the material of the pipe by using a magnet as it will just stick to galvanized pipes.

How to prevent lead poisoning? 

Once your drinking water that has tested positive for lead, there are a couple of ways you can make to restrict your exposure and prevent lead poisoning: 

  • Cook with and drink just cold water from the tap as lead dissolve all the more effectively in steaming hot water 
  • Drink bottled water or buy a water filter intended to lessen lead levels 
  • Flush out water that may contain lead by running the tap for 30 seconds to 2 minutes before use 
  • Clean the faucet aerator like every few months to eliminate lead particles 

The main step, in any case, to preventing lead poisoning is to replace all plumbing fixtures that contain lead. Once you have confirmed that your pipes are made of lead or galvanized steel, then you have a more serious danger of developing lead poisoning. 


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