Dec 28, 2000

Lead Found in Scotland Water Pipes

The Edinburgh City Council in Scotland has issued a warning about the risks of lead in drinking water after high levels were found in water supplies in new homes.
The council took water samples from a number of properties and found dangerously high levels of lead. Earlier this year, BBC Scotland's Frontline program also investigated the problem and found the same result in a number of new developments in the west of Scotland.
Councillor Brian Fallon said: "We want to get the message across that whatever type of house you live in, old or new, there is the potential that lead solder has been used in your water system."
The use of lead pipes was banned years ago and the use of lead solder to join copper, drinking water pipes was made illegal in 1989.
Dr Pauline Upton, a consultant in public health, said adults were unlikely to be affected by lead poisoning unless levels were very high. But children and babies are particularly vulnerable to the effects of lead poisoning, she said.
Mike Drewry, director of Edinburgh Council's environmental and consumer service department, said: "Modern homes have copper pipes, but the joins may be sealed with lead solder. Lead can dissolves from pipes or lead solder joints into water making the lead levels higher than the current limit of 50 micrograms/liter."
He added: "This is more likely to happen when water has been standing still in the water storage system, therefore, running the tap for one minute before use will flush out any water that may contain lead."
(Source: BBC News)