NYC Residents: Run Your Tap Water For 30 Seconds

Uncategorized Mar 21, 2017

 Water Faucet

There's A Water Warning In NYC

The Commissioner of the New York City Department of Environmental Protection, Cas Holloway, and, the City’s health commissioner, Dr. Thomas Farley held a joint press conference about the slight increase in lead in the city’s water.  They urged all New Yorkers to run cold water for 30 seconds -- whether you live in a house or an apartment -- before using it for drinking or cooking.

“The levels that were detected, which were very slightly above the action level that the EPA defines, don’t pose any clear public health risk,” said NYC DEP Commissioner Cas Holloway.

No Amount Of Lead Is Safe For Children

Although the city said that the increased levels of lead in the city water was so small that it won’t hurt you, no amount of lead has been determined safe for children.

Guzman talked with Dr. John Rosen of Montefiore Hospital, an expert in lead poisoning among children.  He said that while there’s not enough lead in water to be a problem …

“When it comes to lead, it’s always better to be safe than sorry because according to the U.S. CDC, according to the U.S. EPA, there really is no level of lead that’s safe in children,” Dr. Rosen said.

The potential for lead in the water increases in buildings and homes built before 1987, because lead solder was used to seal pipe joints.  And for buildings put up before 1961, there’s an even greater concern — because the pipelines that brought water to those homes were made entirely of lead.

Other Tips To Reduce Lead Exposure

From the website of the NYS Department of Health, the amount of lead can be easily lowered in most cases.  To reduce the amount of lead in water:

  • Run the tap until water is cold to the touch before using it for drinking or cooking. This is especially important after the water has been standing in the pipes overnight or over many hours. (The flushed water can be saved for watering house plants, washing dishes or general household cleaning.)
  • Use only cold tap water for cooking, drinking or making a baby's formula. Hot water is more likely to leach lead from pipes and solder.
  • Check household plumbing for leadbased pipes or solder. A plumber can help.
  • Use only lead-free materials in all plumbing repairs or new faucets and pipes. The use of lead solder in plumbing was banned in New York State in 1986. Ask the plumber to show you the label from any solder packaging being used. It should state that the solder is lead-free.

Click on CBS New York to read more

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