Helpful information about lead and drinking water

Recent attention has focused on lead contaminated drinking water in the Tacoma area. While lead in drinking water is one way people are exposed to lead, there are other ways too. The most widespread source of lead exposure is lead based paint. Other sources include contaminated soil and air. To decrease exposure to lead take the following steps:

  •   Run your water for at least 2 minutes before drinking or cooking with it if you have not used your water for six hours or longer
  •   Remove shoes and wipe soil off shoes before entering your house
  •   When gardening , wear gloves and use a dust mask when
  • Wash hands and clean dirt from under fingernails before touching face/mouth.
  •   With pets, wipe their paws, brush and bathe regularly, & keep pets off beds and furniture
  •   Wash and peel food from your garden
  •   Use safe work methods when doing home repairs that disturb paint.For more information contact the Tacoma Pierce County Health Department ( lead), Tacoma Water ( , the Environmental Protection Agency or the Washington State Department of Health

Adapted from
Cyndi Wolfer, RN, MSN, Parish Nurse
June Tartan  article