Lead is odorless and tasteless. The only way to know for sure if your water contains lead is to have your water tested. Most water providers test regularly as a part of monitoring, but the testing would only represent a snaphot of the entire public water system, not the private service lines or fixtures within your home.
For more information in the US on testing your water, call EPA’s Safe Drinking Water Hotline at 800-426-4791.
If you live in the UK, you can ask your water company to test the water at your kitchen tap for lead. The Drinking Water Inspectorate advises that the water company will give you a report of this testing in your local area (water supply zone) free on request.
In Australia, you can contact www.lead.org.au or call the Global Lead Advice and Support Service at +61 2 9716 0132 or within Australia at 1800 626 086.
You can also purchase DIY testing kit through various online retailers, such as www.sensafe.com
If your tap water contains lead at levels exceeding 10 μg/l (ppb), you should take action to minimize your exposure to the lead in the water.
DO NOT BOIL YOUR WATER! Hot water is more likely to contain higher levels of lead.
FLUSH YOUR PIPES BEFORE DRINKING. Any faucet that has not been used in more than 6 hours should be flushed. Turn the cold-water tap on for 5-30 seconds, until the water becomes as cold as it will get. The longer that water has been sitting in your pipes, the more lead it may contain.
USE ONLY COLD WATER FOR CONSUMPTION. Use only water from the cold-water tap for
drinking, cooking, and especially for making baby formula. The CDC has published tips for reducing lead levels in tap water.
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