Lead Piping and the problems it can cause?

The name “Plumber” originates from the latin word, Plumberium, which means “worker of lead”. Lead has been used for a long time because of his resistance to corrosion. If your property was built before 1970 and have never had any pipe work replaced, you may have lead pipes throughout your property. These could be pipes used for your heating system or plumbing within the property; they are a dull grey colour.

Living in a hard water area could help protect you as lime scale can build up lining on the pipes inside. Soft water areas are at a high risk, your water company should take regular samples of water to the property, testing them for lead. The water company can replace lead pipes that are their responsibility at your request. However lead pipes on your land (if lead pipes are on your property) they are your responsibility.

How can you protect yourself when working with a plumber/heating engineer?

  • Have information and training on working safely with lead
  • Know what to so if an emergency was to occur
  • Leave your immediate work space clean and tidy where possible
  • Dispose of any lead at the end of every working day
  • Protective clothing or footwear would not be taken home to be washed or cleaned
  • Places free of contamination are ideal for eating and drinking
  • Make sure to wash your hands, face and scrub your nails before eating
  • Before returning to your own home wash/shower and change clothes

Who’s Most at Risk?

If working with lead, this would make you more at risk along with children and pregnant women. Plumbers, heating engineers and people working with the constructions industry would be most likely to be exposed to it, take care do not inhale any lead particles. If you aren’t sure if youre drinking water, it can be easily tested. Children and pregnant women are at more risk with possible lead based paints as well as water pipes supplying drinking water.

My Thoughts on lead piping:

I find it is really quite scary to think that we could possibly have lead piping throughout our house, potentially supplying us with are drinking water. Although there is simple tests that can be carried out to put our minds to rest, it is very scary to think we may not come across lead pipes until we were to have a plumbing issue. Lead pipes within the household might not be something we automatically think about. My aim for this blog is to create awareness. This isn’t something people would think of without someone bringing it to your attention. Working for a Plumbing and heating company has showed me lots of things to be warily of. I am parent too and no matter what I tell my children I don’t know everything. So I hope this had helped and at least make you aware of potential dangers.