Testing Service For Identifying Lead In Household Drinking Water

From Higher Intellect Documents
Jump to navigation Jump to search

                      1736 Franklin Street
                            7th Floor
                        Oakland, CA 94612

               Lead Testing Program:  (510) 208-4557

      Introducing A Low-cost, Non-profit Testing Service For
      Identifying Lead In Household Drinking Water

The Environmental Law Foundation (ELF) was launched on Earth Day
1991 to protect and benefit Californians at risk from toxic
exposures.  We work to investigate and document toxic risks in
the home and community, to inform people who are at risk, and to
enforce compliance with environmental protection laws.


Hazards of Lead

Lead exposure is one of the greatest health risks facing children
in the United States today.  In a report to Congress, the Agency
for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry estimated that 3 to 4
million children under 6 years of age have toxic levels of lead
in their blood.

Lead exposure has been correlated with behavioral and learning
disabilities, as well as birth defects.  Recent concern regarding
lead is driven by new studies linking low-level lead exposure to
delayed physical and mental development, learning disabilities,
and other cognitive damage in children.  This damage is
measurable and irreversible.

Lead in Tapwater

Everyone is at risk.  Although lead poisoning is commonly
considered to affect predominantly economically disadvantaged
children who live in housing with peeling lead paint, all sectors
of society are affected by the proliferation of lead in our

While it is true that lead paint and soil contamination are the
major sources of childhood lead poisoning, lead in drinking water
is estimated to account for nearly a quarter of a million
poisoning cases nationwide each year.  And according to the EPA,
50-80% of the lead in drinking water comes from household
plumbing.  Lead pipe, lead solder and especially faucet fixtures
all contribute to the problem of lead in household drinking

Houses of all ages and plumbing fixtures of all kinds -- from the
least costly to the most expensive -- can leach lead into your
drinking water.

ELF -- Protecting Consumers From the Hazards of Lead

ELF, in conjunction with the Natural Resources Defense Council
and the California Attorney General, has filed a lawsuit against
a number of American faucet manufacturers to make them "get the
lead out" of their products.  To facilitate public education
about the effects of lead, particularly in children, and to
provide an avenue for personal action against possible lead
exposure, ELF has developed a low-cost, non-profit testing
program called "Get the Lead Out!"  People who hear about the
lawsuit and are concerned about the dangers of lead in drinking
water can order a drinking water test kit from ELF for about half
the price charged by most commercial laboratories.

The kit comes with easy-to-follow instructions for taking samples
directly from kitchen or other faucets.  The samples (two per kit
-- one for "first draw" water and one for "purged line" water)
are sent for analysis to the Environmental Quality Institute
(EQI) laboratory at the University of North Carolina.  EQI is
recognized as the top lab in the nation for drinking water
analysis.  The lab returns a personalized report with the test
results and additional information about steps you can take to
minimize potential lead exposure through the drinking water in
your home or workplace.

ELF has received nearly 1,500 requests for test kits and other
information in the past six weeks.  As word spreads about the
dangers of lead in drinking water, we are receiving calls from as
far away as New York, Connecticut and Washington, D.C.

What YOU Can Do

Have the drinking water in your home tested.  To order your kit,
simply send a check or money order made out to "Lead Testing
Program" to the Environmental Law Foundation, 1736 Franklin
Street, 7th Floor, Oakland, CA, 94612.  For additional taped
information or to leave a message, please call 510/208-4557.

Each test kit comes with two sample bottles.  You will need one
kit for each faucet you want tested.  We recommend you test any
faucet you use for drawing cooking or drinking water, such as
your kitchen and/or bathroom faucets.  Each kit costs $15.  A
handling fee of $1.50 is added for each total order (one kit
costs $16.50, two kits cost $31.50, etc.).  

Protecting Your Own Environment Helps Others

Your participation in this testing program will have a twofold
effect.  First, you will be informed as to the level of lead in
your home drinking water and you'll receive personalized
information on how to reduce your exposure.  In addition, the
testing service provides a necessary data stream both for the
University of North Carolina and for ELF's ongoing studies of
lead contamination in California and elsewhere.

Thank you for your interest in the Environmental Law Foundation's
"Get the Lead Out!" tapwater testing program.  


                      1736 Franklin Street
                            7th Floor
                        Oakland, CA 94612

               Lead Testing Program:  (510) 208-4557