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QUESTION: How could I check if lead solder was used in my water piping and/or how could I test the levels of Lead in the water? 15/06/09   Victoria, Australia

I just read an article which highlights the negative effects of Lead on children and I am really concerned because I have a nine month old baby and I live in a house that was built in the early 70's.

Are you able to advise the following:

1) How could I test the levels on lead in the house? who could I contact? 2) The article outlines that lead solder was used extensively in residential water piping prior to 1988, how could I check what water piping was used in this house and/or how could I test the levels of Lead in the water?

Your prompt reply would be greatly appreciated.




I just sent you an email 5 minutes ago... I did not read all the information that you have on your web page, I just did and I have the answer to question 1. Could you please still provide an answer for question 2?


ANSWER: Jun 16 2009

Dear Madam,

the best way to check the exact amount of lead that your 9 month old baby might be getting from your early 1970s house is to ask the doctor to test the baby's blood lead level. The most likely sources and pathways of lead exposure, assuming that the baby is crawling, are house dust and soil. If the baby is just about to start crawling, then toys chewed by the baby and drinking water would probably be the most likely sources. So, depending on the baby's blood lead result and whether crawling or not, you would then know whether it would be important to test potential sources of lead, including the drinking water. I will send you our Info Pack which helps you to interpret the blood lead result and decide whether further environmental testing is warranted. If it is, the best way to test water, toy paint, soil and dust wipes is by purchasing one of our  DIY-sampling kits, through which you post the samples to a lab for lead analysis.

All the best

Yours Sincerely

Elizabeth O'Brien

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