Drinking Water Ordinance: Lead and the new limits

Since 2013, the German Drinking Water Ordinance has set new limit values ​​for lead. This should better prevent serious health hazards. What changes in the limits have been made, where they are currently located, and what are the dangers to health from lead can be read here.

Change of limit values

In the Drinking Water Ordinance, the limit values ​​for lead were significantly lowered with effect from 1 December 2013. The previously applicable limit of 25 μg / l was lowered to 10 μg / l with the Ministry of Health's ordinance.

Effects of the changes

The limit values ​​must always be adhered to if no lead lines are left in the household. In the case of existing lead pipes in a domestic installation, the applicable limit values ​​are exceeded, at least temporarily, in most cases.

However, as the installation inside the house is the responsibility of the owner, removal of the lead pipes and replacement is the responsibility of the homeowner.

Lead pipes in the house

If in doubt, a drinking water analysis can already provide information about whether there are still old lead pipes within the house installation.

For buildings built before 1973, such pipes may still be present. After 1973, they were generally no longer used.

Visible are exposed lead lines that they are not soldered at right angles, but are usually laid in curved shapes. These lines should be replaced.

Health hazards due to lead

Lead can accumulate in the body. It is stored in the bone after ingestion and can be mobilized under special metabolic conditions to enter the bloodstream.

Lead is considered particularly dangerous for pregnant women and children. Smaller children do not have a well-trained blood-brain barrier. The lead therefore enters the brain in large quantities and can cause severe developmental disorders and retardation there.

Creeping lead poisoning can also be considered very dangerous. It is also called Saturnism. Above all, the nervous system is damaged, but it also causes damage to the kidneys and disorders in the formation of blood. Lead is also potentially teratogenic (teratogenic) and leads to reproductive disorders.

Tips & Tricks

Toddlers and infants are very sensitive to heavy metals in the water. There are therefore their own, much stricter limits, but they are not always fallen below.

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