Facts About Lead in Water
Tips for making sure your drinking water is safe
New Yorkers are being told to run their taps for 30 seconds before drinking water, cooking with it or using it to make baby formula after tests showed elevated lead levels in some older buildings.
Here is some practical advice from consumer reporter Liz Crenshaw on how to make sure your drinking water is safe at your home:
- At-risk homes should be especially cautious of lead in drinking water. These households include members with young children or pregnant women.
- Boiling your water will NOT reduce lead if you have lead in the water supply. However, some filters will. These include some carafe filters, faucet-mounted filters, under-the-sink filters and whole system filters. Read the fine print on your filter to make sure lead is listed as something that will be filtered out.
- If you don't use a filter, flush your pipes before using water for drinking or cooking. The Centers for Disease Control says if the water has been sitting in the pipes for more than six hours run the COLD water for 1-2 minutes before using it.
- If the lead in your home is coming from the pipes at the street, run the cold water at a high volume tap like your shower for 5 minutes if its been standing for more than six hours. Then, run the cold water at your kitchen on cold for another 1-2 minutes.
- Never cook with or drink water from the HOT water tap. Hot water can contain much higher levels of lead.
- Know that it IS safe to shower if your water has lead in it. The CDC says human skin does not absorb lead in water.
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