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LEAD-FREE PLUMBING SEEN AS FEASIBLE OPTION FOR REDUCING LEAD CONTAMINATION IN DRINKING WATER

 LEAD-FREE PLUMBING SEEN AS FEASIBLE OPTION
 FOR REDUCING LEAD CONTAMINATION IN DRINKING WATER
 ELKHART, Ind., Oct. 16 /PRNewswire/ -- As concern grows over dangerously high lead levels in the drinking water in many communities, one remediation option is being overlooked.
 "While legislators continue to tighten the guidelines on plumbing products, homeowners do not have to wait for safe systems," said Jim Bamber of NIBCO INC., a plumbing component manufacturer. Lead-free faucets and other components should be added to the list of how to avoid lead in household drinking water, he says.
 There are plumbing systems currently available made from a formula that replaces potentially harmful lead. They may be a safer and less expensive solution than other remediation measures, according to Bamber.
 In a study conducted last fall by the Environmental Quality Institute at the University of North Carolina-Asheville, even under extreme hot, acid conditions, HydraPure lead-free components leached much less lead than metallic ones, according to the findings. The lead- free brass leached approximately 100 times lower levels of lead than the leaded brass tested.
 Unlike some contaminants found in drinking water, lead seldom occurs in natural water supplies. However, tests conducted by the Environmental Protection Agency revealed that dozens, if not hundreds, of communities have lead levels that exceed new federal standards.
 Components that eliminate lead leaching can make a difference in long-term lead exposure, according to Bamber. Homeowners are typically advised to run their tap water for 30 seconds before drawing water. "While that's good advice, it's a learned behavior and one that is not easy to instill in children," said Bamber. Running the tap for that amount of time wastes about 1.5 gallons of water.
 Individual householders are not yet required by EPA to control the lead levels in their drinking water, even if levels are found to be too high. But according to plumbing industry officials that may be a step in the future.
 Ingestion of lead is recognized as the most common environmental hazard to children in the United States. It can cause serious neurological problems, including reduced intelligence and learning disabilities.
 -0- 10/16/92
 /CONTACT: Maggie Smith of the Juhl Agency, 219-271-5621 Ext. 230, for NIBCO, INC./ CO: NIBCO, INC. ST: Indiana IN: SU:


BM -- CLFNS1 -- 0758 10/16/92 07:33 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Oct 16, 1992
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