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Lead Contamination in Water: How It Affects your Health

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Lead contamination is very rampant these days because only a few people know about it and not everyone is informed and educated about it. Thus, it is essential to keep everyone in sync and help educate people about what is going on in the environment.

Taking part in the movement of cleaning and helping mother earth is very simple, but wrong notions and ignorance can prevent people from doing their part. Sometimes, people are just unaware of the different harmful substances that can endanger their health.

For example, lead contamination can also result from human activities. People are the ones helping contaminate the waters with lead, and they are not aware of what they are doing or the results and the effects of what they are doing.

What is Lead?

Lead contamination in water is hazardous to the human body. It is a toxic metal that has nasty effects on the organs of the human body, including almost all of the bodily systems such as the nervous system. Since lead is such a toxic metal, any contact with it can bring harm to human beings. It is very dangerous when mixed with the food and water that is consumed by people. Also, it is harmful when inhaled through the nose and mouth or if it comes in contact with the skin.

You might be wondering how lead contaminated water sources? There is a lot of equipment and materials, as well as chemical substances that have lead content. Some examples include gasoline, paint, and pipes since some of them are made of lead, which can pollute and contaminate the water. Before the year 1978, paint was discovered to have higher lead content, and not all people are aware of this. It is being used almost every day in building homes or other projects, and exposure led to adverse reactions.

There are so many studies that talk about the effects of lead and how it can harm human beings. This material is even suspected to be one of the causes of why the Roman Empire failed and fell centuries ago. Knowing that lead is very harmful to adults, it is even more hazardous to children since they have more vulnerable immune systems, and their bodies cannot endure harsh and toxic chemicals such as lead. 

Children who are under the age of six (6) are the most vulnerable to the adverse effects of lead contamination. It is even scarier because lead can also sometimes be found in the toys and other things that we let our children use, such as lunch boxes, telephones cords, and others.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, it has been found that there is lead in water, and this is commonly the reason why people, including children, ingest lead. Although there is an allowable amount of lead in water, which is 15 micrograms in a liter, people should not be lenient. Some other toxicologists or experts say that the maximum amount of lead in water should only be ten micrograms in a liter. And this should be the limit that must be observed and followed to ensure the safety of everyone.

When you have lead in your body through ingestion or other means of contact, the body absorbs it, and it attaches to the red blood cells of the body, and it attacks the organs of the body that have softer tissues such as the liver and the lungs.

Lead tends to get absorbed by the bones, and it spreads through the bloodstream. The effects are even more adverse if the person breaks a bone or when a woman gets pregnant, which causes the bones to stretch and give way for the baby who is growing. Lead is very harmful, especially for pregnant ladies, because it could harm both the mother and the baby. It that has been ingested by the mother can poison the child and herself.

For people to avoid any lead exposure, you must know the different ways from different sources, and we are here to inform you all about it.

Different Sources of Lead

As previously mentioned, lead can be found in a number of different raw materials, equipment, and chemical substances. Here are a few other examples that might contain low to high levels of lead.

  • Lead can be from burning materials such as recycling, smelting, and getting off lead paint.
  • Lead can also be traced from using leaded aviation fuel
  • Lead can be found in leaded gasoline that some people use
  • Leaded pipes can also be the source of lead contamination
  • Food containers can also be a source of lead
  • There are also traces of lead in different cosmetics that have not undergone intensive testing and approved by professionals
  • Even medicines have some lead content, especially in untested products, and those used in more traditional practices
  • Flakes or specks of dust from any paint that has a lead content

All of these sources can cause lead contamination, especially in water. Any of these sources are very harmful and dangerous to human beings, especially children because they can absorb chemicals and minerals at a faster rate as compared to adults. Lead from any of these sources will then travel into the organs of the body.

It includes organs such as the liver, lungs, brain, and kidney. Therefore, children are at high-risk for any health effects of lead to the body since they are weaker as compared to adults.

Effects of Short and Long-Term Exposure

A lot of illnesses can result from short or long-term lead exposure. Depending on the duration of exposure and the amount of lead a person is exposed to, the effects and severity may vary. The most common symptoms of short term lead exposure are:

  • Pain in the hands or feet.
  • Memory Loss
  • Fatigue
  • Abdominal Pain
  • Weak
  • Headaches
  • Loss of appetite
  • Constipation

But, there are also different adverse effects of lead contamination in water to the human body:


It is the most common adverse effect of lead contamination on the human body. It is because lead can contaminate the blood and cause hematologic effects. It can cause the formation of hemoglobin to reduce, which causes anemia.


For people who have higher exposure to lead, they could experience kidney or renal failure, which is very dangerous and could potentially lead to death. Aminoaciduria is the most common kind of kidney disease that has been diagnosed by patients who have higher exposure to lead.


The reproductive system of a person fails when he or she has a higher exposure to lead. Women can suffer from unwanted miscarriage or stillbirth. For men, it could affect their chances of reproducing. It is typical even to people who have lesser exposure to lead.

Hence, we should all be mindful of our actions, and we should make sure that we are doing our part in making sure that there is lesser lead content in the water that we use and need every single day.

To ensure that the water you drink is free from any lead contamination, invest in a whole house water filter today! It’s a great investment whose benefits are available in a long-term setting. See more here

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