Expecting A Baby? Test Your Home's Water Supply To Prevent Lead Poisoning & Blue Baby Syndrome

Posted on: 10 August 2019


If you are expecting a baby, you're probably scrambling to get your home ready. While you do have time to baby-proof electrical outlets and install baby gates, there is one thing that should not wait until your baby is mobile: making sure your home's plumbing is safe. The reason for this is because there are medical conditions in newborns and children that can be caused by unsafe water in the home. Here's what you need to know about two of them. 

Lead Poisoning 

WebMD says that lead in drinking water causes as much as 20% of lead poisoning cases in the United States. Plumbing in older homes can contain lead but so can newer homes. The article goes on to state that very new homes may have a greater risk for lead in plumbing due to lead solder being used by some plumbers to join copper pipes. In fact, the Environmental Protection Agency wants you to assume that buildings built within the last five years have water contaminated with lead because a layer of mineral deposits has not yet formed on the lead solder. Ask your plumber to test your home's water supply for lead. 

Solution: When the test results come back, contact your local EPA office to ask for their recommendations based on the level of lead in your home's water. If they recommend replacing the piping system, they can give you information on grants that will help cover some of the costs. However, often the lead levels can be reduced with a water filtration system specifically designed to reduce lead.

Blue Baby Syndrome

Blue baby syndrome is a condition which causes babies to turn blue due to a decrease in hemoglobin. Hemoglobin is a protein that carries oxygen throughout the body. The lack of oxygen in the blood from the decrease in hemoglobin causes a baby's skin to turn blue. One of the leading causes of this is nitrate-contaminated water, which is common in well water of farming communities. Hire a plumber or well contractor to test your home's water supply, especially if you have well water and live in a farming community. 

Solution: If you do have water with high nitrite content, hire some plumbing services to install an ion exchange or reverse osmosis water filtration system. If your finances allow it, go with a whole house water filtration system to be on the safe side. If not, a small point-of-service filtration system underneath the kitchen sink will work.