Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Epoxy Pipe Lining Can Prevent Lead Contamination

By Dr. Dave Dunn

Lead used to be a primary material for water pipes in major U.S. cities, until the early 1900?s. It was so heavily favored because of its durability and malleability. Galvanized steel and copper eventually replaced lead, and copper pipe became the most popular material used in home water service and distribution in post 1950 construction.

Lead contamination was the top source of lead-related health issues before the hazards of ingesting it were known. The cause was pipe corrosion and erosion, and it raised stillbirth and infant mortality rates. Other plumbing or pipe problems are much easier to spot, but if you?re not testing for lead in your water, you?ll never know it?s there. You can find general information about lead contamination and how to test for it on the EPA?s website.

If your water is lead contaminated, it's most likely because of one or more of the following: lead service line pipe(s) connecting your house to the municipal water main, lead-based solder (used to join copper pipes), and brass or chrome-plated brass faucets. In 1986, Congress banned the use of lead solder containing greater than 0.2% lead, and restricted the lead content of faucets, pipes and other plumbing materials to 8.0%.? This so-called ?lead-free? brass can still legally contain up to 8% lead and plumbing systems installed prior to 1986 can contain high levels of lead from both plumbing components and lead solder.

In older buildings and homes, the service line from the municipal water main to the house may be a lead pipe -- something you should definitely confirm. Unless your piping has been upgraded in the past 40 years, it is probably galvanized pipe (iron with a zinc coating) which does not require lead solder to join the pipe. You may already know if your faucets are brass or chrome-plated, but if not, you might want to consult with a licensed plumber or take them with you to a local hardware store. CuraFlo??s website offers a brief history of lead materials in water pipes.

If you have lead contamination from your pipes, epoxy lining can be your solution. Once installed it is a barrier to lead leaching into your drinking water. The epoxy lining prevents the metal of the pipe and the water flowing through from coming into direct contact. This prevents the chemical reaction that causes pipe corrosion. Epoxy pipe lining eliminates and prevents lead and other metals (from your pipes) leaching into the water, as well as a host of other poor water quality issues such as: water that?s red, brown, blue or yellow, zinc or iron leeching in galvanized pipes causing a metallic taste, and bacteria that causes bad tasting water or water that smells.

Epoxy lining of pipes is not a new technology, just a relatively unkown one. But it?s not unproven ?both the U.S. Navy and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers have tested and approved the use of epoxy pipe lining to prevent lead and other contaminants from leaching into drinking water. Links to their reports are available at http://curaflo.com/CuraFlo/ResourceCenter.

government?s highest stadard for safe drinking water: ANSI/NSF Standard 61. ANSI/NSF Standard 61 certification means CuraPoxy is certified for safe use in drinking water pipes carrying water up to 180? Fahrenheit or 82.2? Celsius. The proprietary epoxy and epoxy pipe lining process CuraFlo uses will protect you from lead and other metals in your pipes that may be leaching into your water now or might in the future, by creating a safe barrier between them and your water.

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