Sources of Lead

Drinking water is just one of the many sources of lead in today’s world. Lead is not present in the source drinking water here in Concord, but can be introduced into your drinking water if placed in contact with service lines or plumbing that contain lead.

Main Sources of Lead*

  • Lead-Based Paint – Lead-based paint is a hazard if it is peeling, chipping, chalking, or cracking. Even lead-based paint that appears to be undisturbed can be a problem if it is on surfaces that children chew or that get a lot of wear and tear. The older your home is, the more likely it is to contain lead-based paint.
  • Lead Contaminated Dust – Lead contaminated dust forms when lead paint is dryscraped or sanded. Dust can also become contaminated when painted surfaces bump or rub together. Lead chips and dust can gather on surfaces and objects that people touch or that children put into their mouths.
  • Lead Contaminated Soil – Lead contaminated soil occurs when exterior lead-based paint from houses, buildings, or other structures flakes or peels and gets into the soil. Soil near roadways may also be contaminated from past use of leaded gasoline in cars. Avoid these areas when planting vegetable garden.

Sources of Lead in Drinking Water**

  • While Exposure to lead from drinking water is less common than other pathways, there is still a risk your individual water service line, pipes, fixtures, and/or solder contain lead. Lead can enter drinking water when pipes and plumbing fixtures that contain lead corrode.
  • There are three main sources of lead in drinking water:
  • Lead pipes – Lead service lines, the pipe that connects the water main under the street to a building’s plumbing. Lead pipes were also used in inside plumbing but it is unusual. Congress banned use of lead pipes in 1986.
  • Leaded solder – Solder is used to connect copper pipe and fittings. Congress banned the use of leaded solder in 1986.
  • Leaded alloys – Brass is frequently used in faucets and other plumbing components. In 1986 Congress limited the amount of lead in brass to 8% (close to the level of lead typical of products at the time) and later in 2014 reduced the limit to a much lower level (0.25%).

  Other Sources of Lead*

  • Lead-based painted toys and household furniture
  • Imported lead-glazed pottery and leaded crystal
  • Lead smelters
  • Hobbies
  • Folk remedies like azarcon and pay-loo-ah
  • Cosmetics like kohl and kajal