Is your house older than 2014?
In 2011, the enactment of the Reduction of Lead in Drinking Water Act was signed into law and modified the SDWA definition of lead free. The 2011 law went into affect in 2014. Lead free is now defined as weighted average of not more than 0.25% in wetted surface material for pope, pipe and plumbing fixings, and fixtures.
Why do I care about lead? Lead is a toxic material known to be harmful to human health if ingested or inhaled. Blood lead levels as low as 5 micrograms per deciliter (μg/dL) are associated with adverse mental, physical and behavioral effects on children. No measureable blood lead level is without negative effects.
Children are especially susceptible to lead exposure because their bodies absorb metals at higher rates than the average adult. Children younger than six years old are most at risk due to their rapid rate of growth. Exposure to high levels of lead can cause damage to the brain, nervous system, red blood cells, and kidneys. Exposure to low levels of lead have the potential to cause lower IQ’s, hearing impairments, reduced attention span, hyperactivity, developmental delays, and poor classroom performance. Lead Warning data Source
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Arsenic is a naturally occurring substance that can be present in air, groundwater, soil, rocks, and metal ores. Arsenic has no taste or odor. While it is not common, it is possible for high levels to occur in groundwater just about anywhere in Minnesota. Arsenic data Source. To find out if your part of the state could be affected by arsenic, refer to the map below.
Why do I care about arsenic? Arsenic has been linked to problems with the skin, blood circulation, lungs, and the nervous, immune and endocrine systems. Elevated amounts of inorganic arsenic in drinking water have also been linked to higher rates of some cancers, including skin, bladder and lung cancer.
MDH strongly recommends that owners of private wells test their water for arsenic at least once. All newly constructed drinking water wells must now be tested for arsenic. Water samples should be tested by an MDH certified laboratory.
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