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The City of Portland, Oregon

Nick Fish (In Memoriam)

City of Portland Commissioner

phone: 503-823-3589


1221 S.W. 4th, Room 240, Portland, OR 97204

Minimize your lead exposure!

February 26, 2014

Older plumbing features and using lead solder in pipes can lead to higher levels of lead in our tap water.    

There are significant health risks by consuming too much lead.  It can damage organs, deteriorate bones, and have negative effects on fetuses.  It can also lower children’s IQs. 

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency estimates that 10-20 percent of a person’s lead exposure may come from drinking tap water.

The Portland Water Bureau (PWB) recommends the following steps to reduce your exposure to lead:

  1. Let the water run in your faucet for at least 30 seconds.  Water that sits in the faucet can collect lead from pipes.
  2. Use fresh, cold water to cook and prepare food – don’t cook with hot water from the tap. 
  3. Boiling water does not reduce lead level.
  4. Consider using a filter that reduces lead.
  5. Have your child’s blood lead level tested.
  6. Test your water for lead.  Call the LeadLine at (503) 988-4000 for a free testing kit. 
  7. Regularly clean your faucet aerator to reduce lead. Lead from soil or household plumbing can get trapped in the aerator. 
  8. Consider purchasing low-lead fixtures. 

To get more information about having your water tested for lead or reducing your exposure, contact LeadLine at (503) 988-4000 or visit their website