Lead was once commonplace in the environment, being used extensively in materials such as petrol and paint, and in the manufacture of water supply pipes. With the rise in awareness of the risks from lead in the second half of the 20th century, the use of lead has diminished.
However, it can still be found in domestic water supply pipes in older properties across the UK, and it does, therefore, pose a risk to health. The solution is to have replacement mains water, but first you need to know whether you have lead pipework in your home.
Do You Have Lead Pipes?
If your property was built or modernised before 1970 there is a chance that you will have lead pipework. You can check for a lead supply pipe by looking at where it comes into your property. They are usually beneath or behind your kitchen sink.
Lead pipes feel softer than other metal and have a dull finish. If you gently scratch it, reveals a silvery under-layer.
What are the Dangers?
Within the wider UK water supply network, lead is not present, but it can still be found in some smaller water pipes. If you live in an area with soft water, you are at a greater risk of lead being present than if you live in a hard water area – here the scale forming on the inside of pipes helps protect against lead dissolving into the water passing through.
Particles of lead can build up in older pipework, and then appear in tap water. The health risks come from a build-up of lead in the body following prolonged exposure. The longer you leave it, the more risk you are exposed to.
Infants and young children are at risk because lead poisoning can affect mental development and cause behavioural problems. Consequently, pregnant women are also more at risk from lead contaminated drinking water.
How Can You Protect Yourself?
To be sure about protecting yourself and your family from lead contamination, you should ensure you have replacement mains water. This involves replacing your old lead supply pipe with plastic pipework.
Pipeline Services provides a specialist service in all aspects of replacement pipe work. Using trenchless technology, we can replace your lead pipes quickly and efficiently, while minimising disruption to you.
If you want to be sure of your household’s health, contact Pipeline Services today.