Romans used lead in conduits and drain pipes and some were also covered with lead. Lead was also used for piping and for making baths. Now, lead is a serious matter and you might be wondering if lead is bad for you when plumbing is concerned. We know lead in paint is a serious matter, but what about plumbing?
Lead was used in many other common products as well until scientific advancements in the 20th century demonstrated the element’s toxicity. The plumbing industry voluntarily took significant steps to reduce lead exposure. That being said, in homes that are older than 30 years, lead was commonplace when plumbing was concerned as the pipes, made of copper, were soldered with lead.
That being said, finding any amount of lead is not the problem. Trace amounts of various minerals and chemicals are abound in both nature and in our homes. The problem comes when we consider thresholds. Is the amount of lead being ingest below, at or above the threshold? That’s the question you want to consider. The reality is, however, that as local neighborhood plumbers we know our neighbors and we know the most likely answer to the question “What kind of pipes do you have and when were they installed?” The answer is usually, “I don’t know” or “I’m not sure.”
And it’s understandable – with all the information we process every day – knowing the ins and outs of our plumbing situations, especially in an apartment or rental situation, is not exactly to be expected and totally reasonably. Our responsibility as your local neighborhood plumbers is to ask and, if needed, to find out for ourselves. If you are in doubt and want to make sure, give us a call! We’re nearby and ready to help and offer various inspections and solutions if needed.