Drinking tap water: Should we avoid it?

Drinking tap water: Should we avoid it?


We have been told to not drink from the tap time and time again. If you are ignoring what everybody has ever told you about tap water, you shouldn’t. Hot water dissolves contaminants quicker than cold water. Homes and apartment buildings contain many lead pipes. This lead has the capability to seep into water and potentially cause brain and nervous system damage. These dangers are especially more risky for children.

Lead may not be frequently found in source water, but it can pollute clean water though corroded plumbing. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) says that older homes are at a higher risk to have lead pipes and fixtures. You may think new plumbing is indefinitely better, but even “lead-free” advertised plumbing can still contain up to 8 percent lead. In 2002, The Journal of Environmental Health discovered that tap water represented 14 to 20 percent of the total lead exposure.

The risk may be small, but it is something homeowners should be aware of. To minimize the risk, the EPA says that using cold tap water for preparing food for infants, cooking, and drinking should be the norm at home. Also important to keep in mind is that boiling water doesn’t always remove lead but can actually increase its concentration. The bottom line is, don’t use hot water from the tap for drinking or cooking.