Myth vs. Fact

Test your knowledge about lead poisoning.

Myth

The federal Lead and Copper Rule uses an action level for water authorities at 15 parts per billion (ppb) for lead in drinking water and EPA recommends an action level at 20 ppb for lead in drinking water in schools, so anything below these levels must be safe.
 
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Fact

No amount of lead is safe, but the optimal level for water testing results is 1 ppb or below. In 2016, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) stated: “The AAP calls for new federal standards defining and testing for lead hazards in house dust, water and soil. It also urges legal requirements that lead be removed from contaminated housing and child care facilities and to ensure water fountains in schools do not exceed water lead concentrations of more than 1 part per billion.”

Myth

Boiling water can reduce the effects of lead.
 
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Fact

Boiling water will NOT reduce the amount of lead present. While boiling water will reduce the presence of other threats (bacteria, viruses, etc.), lead will not be “boiled off.”

If your faucets have not been used for long periods of time, for example while you are at work or away from home, flushing with COLD WATER for 2-3 minutes will help to minimize the amount of lead.

Myth

Lead exposure is only a problem in low-income communities.
 
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Fact

Lead affects people of all ages, all socioeconomic statuses, and all races or ethnicities.

Myth

All water filters remove lead.
 
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Fact

All water filters are not designed to remove lead. Look for National Sanitation Foundation (NSF) certification on the packaging.

Myth

Eating a healthy, well-balanced diet will prevent lead poisoning and remove any lead from the body.
 
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Fact

A literature review in June 2017 indicated that children with iron deficiency are more likely to experience elevated levels of lead. However, taking iron supplements or eating more iron-rich foods does not guarantee children will be protected from lead exposure.

Myth

My home was built after 1978, so I don’t have to worry about lead.
 
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Fact

Even though the home was built after 1978, lead in the water and soil may still be present.

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