Should I be worried about lead contamination from the plumbing in a brand new home?
More likely than not, water in buildings less than five years old have high levels of lead contamination even though lead plumbing use ended in the early 1900's. Lead solder use is still widespread and experts regard solder as the major cause of contamination of household water in U.S. homes today. Lead levels often decrease in new homes over time as mineral deposits form a coating on the inside of the pipes. This coating acts as insulation preventing direct contact between the water and solder, thus decreasing the amount of lead that leaches into the water (Actions You Can Take to Reduce Lead in Drinking Water, EPA810-F-93-001, June 1993). Additional information about actions you can take to reduce lead in drinking water is available at http://water.epa.gov/drink/info/lead/index.cfm.
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