Updated Guidelines for Lead and Manganese in Our Water.
Updated: Jun 5, 2019
Lead in drinking water
The presence of lead in our drinking water is most likely to be found in older neighbourhoods and homes. This is as a result of corrosion from distribution and plumbing components since lead was used extensively in the past.
Lead is also commonly found in the environment and its presence is due to natural and human activities.
The corrosion in the older pipes is caused by water quality (e.g. pH and alkalinity), age of the pipes and the time that water remains stagnant in them.
The significant reduction of lead in most consumer products like gasoline and paints means that the primary source of lead exposure is in our food and drinking water.
Health effects of lead in drinking water
Even though research on animals has found that inorganic lead compounds are carcinogenic there are also other serious concerns about lead in our drinking water.
Increased blood lead levels (BLLs) in humans have led to concerns and studies have indicated that they are responsible for reduced cognition, increased blood pressure and renal dysfunction in adults.
In children, the adverse effects include neurodevelopment and behavioural with a reduction in IQ scores.
Manganese in drinking water
Manganese is usually present in the water from natural sources like rock or soil weathering but can also be as a result of human activities.
Manganese is used in the steel industry, in the manufacture of fireworks, dry-cell batteries, fertilizer, paints, and even cosmetics. Manganese is not found in elemental form but exists in states of oxidation.
In its permanganate form, it is used in the treatment of drinking water as an oxidizing agent. Even though manganese is present in many consumer products, food, and drinking water, it is more readily absorbed from drinking water.
Manganese levels in freshwater in Canada are usually below 0.1 mg/L and it’s more prevalent in groundwater than surface water.
The highest levels are found in acidic groundwater or in water with industrial discharges.
Health effects of manganese in drinking water
Manganese is an essential element for humans and in Canada; it is unlikely for anyone to have a deficiency as we obtain an adequate amount from food.
So far, studies have not managed to link the manganese in our water with cancer, but it has been linked to neurological effects in children. Water with high levels of manganese usually has a reddish color.
Updated guidelines set by Health Canada
On March 8, 2019, Health Canada set the new guidelines. These indicate that for lead the new maximum accepted concentration was dropped from 0.01 mg/L, set in 1992, to 0.005 mg/L.
The maximum accepted concentration for manganese will be 0.12 mg/L.
Municipalities in Canada will have 5 years to implement their lead and manganese management programs according to the directives from Health Canada.
Monitoring for lead requires sampling from building taps since the lead concentrations are affected by the plumbing, while manganese requires monitoring from the distribution system.
These new guidelines are not in response to deteriorating water in Canada but as a result of new studies.
Lucid Water Co. ensures that you and your family have access to the purest, greatest tasting drinking water.
Find out how by visiting our website: https://www.lucidwaterco.com/ or give us a call .