These easy steps can help you avoid possible exposure to lead from household plumbing:
1. Run your water to flush out lead. Before using water for drinking or cooking, run the water for 30 seconds to 2 minutes or until it becomes colder from each tap when it has not been used for several hours. This flushes water which may contain lead from the pipes.
2. Use cold, fresh water for cooking and preparing baby formula. Do not cook with or drink water from the hot water tap; lead dissolves more easily into hot water. Do not use water from the hot water tap to make baby formula.
3. Do not boil water to remove lead. Boiling water will not reduce lead.
4. Consider using a filter. Check whether it reduces lead - not all filters do. Be sure to maintain and replace a filter device in accordance with the manufacturer's instructions to protect water quality. Contact NSF International at 800-NSF-8010 or www.nsf.org for information on performance standards for water filters.
5. Test your water for lead. Call the LeadLine at 503-988-4000 to find out how to get a FREE lead-in-water test.
6. Test your child for lead. Ask your physician or call the LeadLine to find out how to have your child tested for lead. A blood lead level test is the only way to know if your child is being exposed to lead.
7. Consider buying low-lead fixtures. New brass faucets, fittings, and valves, may contribute to lead in your drinking water. Federal law currently allows end-use brass fixtures, such as faucets, to contain up to 8% lead. These fixtures are labeled as "lead free." When buying new fixtures, consumers should seek out those with the lowest lead content. Visit www.nsf.org to learn more about lead content in plumbing fixtures.