Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Lead Free Brass: Why It Matters

Due to legal changes and corporate responsibility, many companies have moved over to using lead free brass for their pipes, fittings, and other products for use in the household. This is a step that many observers see as long overdue. Unfortunately, it's only relatively recently that experts have understood the negative impacts leaded content can have on people and the environment. This toxic metal was an important component of paint and gasoline for a long time. Nearly anything built before 1978 is resplendent with paint filled with the metal. Today, we know a bit more. Here is why many companies are making changes.


Children and adults can both be subject to the harmful effects of toxic metal. This is one of the primary reasons behind a large-scale shift towards safer products, such as lead free brass. Children are in danger from household products because it is often their first instinct to put an object in their mouth. It should also be noted that their bodies have a tendency to absorb harmful chemicals much faster than adult bodies and they experience increased sensitivity to the effects. That's not the say the coast is clear for adults, who might be exposed to dust from repair work, contaminated water, and other means of consumption.

Reducing Risk

If you're concerned about your own exposure or that of your family, there are things you can do to reduce the risk you face on a daily basis. One change you can make is purchasing only lead free brass when it comes to those types of fittings, pipes, and even decorative materials. Experts also advise using only cold water when it comes to drinking or preparing food. Make sure you take the time to clean your faucet screens from time to time. Endeavor to keep your home clean of dust and make sure any paint you use around the home is certified as having no leaded content.


If you aren't convinced that precautions like lead free brass are worth all of the trouble, you should make yourself aware of the problems that can come along with high level exposure. Don't kid yourself about the kind of exposure it takes to qualify as "high level", either, because it isn't always a lot. Children have been known to suffer from brain and nervous system damage, learning disabilities, hearing problems, and more. Adults have been known to have issues with their hearing and vision, reproductive difficulties, joint and muscle pain, and many other symptoms of toxic exposure.

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