Is it safe to run my humidifier with lead contaminated water?
EPA has not concluded that using tap water in ultrasonic or impeller humidifiers poses a serious health risk. However, researchers have documented that these humidifiers are very efficient at dispersing minerals (pollutants) in tap water into the air. Specific to tap water with high levels of lead, exposure to the "cool mist" from ultrasonic or impeller humidifiers may carry similar exposure risks as ingestion of the tap water with lead due to the inhalation of the "cool mist" and absorption from the lungs. It is recommended that alternative sources of water (e.g. distilled or bottled water) be used for these types of humidifiers when the tap water has high levels of lead. Two types of humidifiers generally disperse less, if any, pollutants into the air. These types of humidifiers are evaporative and steam vaporizers. Additional EPA information on the use and care of home humidifiers is available at www.epa.gov/iaq/pubs/humidif.html.
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