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QUESTION: My tankwater runs over lead flashing on the roof of my rental home? 29/06/09   South Australia, Australia

I would like to test my tank water.  Just yesterday I went up on the roof of my rental home and discovered 6 lead flashing on my roof.  My roof feeds directly into the two storage tanks.  These tanks are our only source of water.

So, I am a little alarmed as I have a 4, 8 & 10 year old not to mention any health effects on my wife & I.  I am taking steps to get all the flashings replaced as soon as I can.

We have been living here for a year.  Should I go and get all our blood tested for lead?

I am interested in the basic lead level testing kit to check the water in the tanks.



ANSWER: Jun 29 2009

Dear Flavian,

yes, I would advise that you ask the doctor to test all the family's blood lead levels. Firstly, if all your blood lead levels are below 2 micrograms per decilitre, then you would not need to test the water as it must be below the Australian standard for lead in drinking water. Secondly, if any of your blood lead levels are above 2 micrograms per decilitre, then you can demonstrate to the landlord or real estate agent that harm has been done and you can legitimately ask them to pay for the test kit to test the tankwater for lead. If it exceeds the drinking water standard for lead, you can then ask them to pay a roofing contractor to replace the lead flashing on the roof with non-lead flashing. Unless you are trained and experienced as a roofing contractor, I would not recommend that you do the flashing replacement work yourself. I will send in a separate email our Info Pack to help you and your doctor interpret the blood lead results, and our draft Info Pack on nutrition. As to how to purchase a DIY-sampling lead assessment kit: in addition to your email address already supplied, we would need your postal address, phone number and credit card details. Please stay in touch - I'd be very interested to hear the blood lead results when you have them.

All the best

Yours Sincerely

Elizabeth O'Brien

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