If you thought the problem with lead-tainted water was confined to Flint, Michigan, think again. The United States could be on the brink of that scenario playing out in many towns and cities across the country unless lead water pipes are replaced – pronto.
Diamonds may be forever, but lead pipes certainly are not. In fact, lead pipes typically only last for about 75 years before they need to be replaced. Many of the water pipes in the United States are about that old, and those aged-out pipes collectively measure about 1.2 million miles across about 3,000 different towns and cities. Needless to say, replacing such a massive number of pipes would require extensive numbers of hours, level of effort, and planning. And the kicker: It would cost about $1 trillion. But obviously, something has to be done, because the health risk is simply too high.
The health risks that lead water pipes introduce
Exposure to lead, which can happen when pipes in the home contain lead that leaches into the water, can cause some serious health problems. For children who grow up with such an exposure, there is a heightened risk for developing physical disabilities, cognitive problems, mood issues, abdominal pain, and many other symptoms. Adults who have been exposed to lead also experience disruptive symptoms, including irritability, nausea, high blood pressure (hypertension), and headaches.
It is possible to detox from at least some of the lead, but it is far better to not be exposed to lead in the first place. Natural detox can include vitamin C, cilantro, milk thistle, garlic, and chlorella. Saunas and rebounding are also excellent for any type of detoxing. Preferably work with your natural health practitioner when attempting to detox and heal from lead exposure.
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Responding to the lead pipe risk
President Trump said in his inauguration speech on January 20, 2017 that the United States’ “infrastructure has fallen into disrepair and decay.” Indeed. Places throughout the country have experienced reduced spending on infrastructure, as well as less testing to identify early indications that lead poisoning is occurring. The new president promised that “We will build new roads and highways and bridges and airports and tunnels and railways all across our wonderful nation.”
He did not mention water pipes made of lead and whether they would be replaced, but given that he talked so emphatically and specifically about other aspects of infrastructure needing attention, let’s hope he will also work to address the issue of lead water pipes.
Meanwhile, what can you do if you are concerned about the water pipes in your home? Contact your local water department to find out how old your pipes are and whether lead pipes are an issue in your area. If they are getting to the point of aging out, ask what is being done to replace them. No matter how old or new your water pipes are, it is always a wise idea to test your home’s water, not just for lead but also for all sorts of other toxic substances like aluminum, arsenic, and other heavy metals.
You can also purchase a high-quality water filtration system for your home, and remember to install a filter on each shower and bathtub in your home. Address any other exposures to lead, such as through paint, older homes, toys, and cosmetics. Avoid products like this that contain lead.
There are ways to cope with the issue of aging lead pipes while the United States works out a plan for dealing with it on a broader level. Follow these guidelines to keep yourself and your family safe and healthy.