Leaking pipes can cause serious damage to the plumbing fixtures in your home, however, since it often costs a lot of money, you may be loathe to call a plumber. Professional plumbers and medical professionals alike will urge you to assess your options, because apart from the further damage it can cause, leaks can cause serious health issues.
It is not the actual leaks that cause ill health, but rather the fact that the moisture-rich environment creates the ideal habitat for mildew, asbestos and mold to thrive, causing a variety of respiratory problems that can put you and your family in harm's way. Studies have shown that indoor air pollution levels can be up to five times higher than outdoor pollution levels at the best of times. How much more so when you are dealing with a slow leak.
Harmful substances that grow in your home can cause a milieu of respiratory issues, including:
- skin, nose and throat irritation
- red and itchy eyes
- allergy symptoms, such as sneezing and coughing
- sinus congestion
- upper and lower respiratory infection
- difficulty breathing
These symptoms can be especially dangerous in infants, the elderly, and in people with respiratory conditions. Therefore, it is crucial to repair leaks right away and to take the necessary steps to remove mold immediately.
Other Health Issues Caused By Plumbing
Copper: In recent years, scientists have warned against copper pipes in home plumbing systems. Ideally, copper pipes should be replaced with a material that does not leach chemicals into the potable water supply. The problem with copper pipes is that small amounts of the element build up in the human body, which can lead to diabetes, heart disease and Alzheimer's, because the body is unable to process copper.
Lead: While laws have been in place for more than twenty years to reduce the amount of lead in water, some homes still have metal plumbing fixtures and pipes. Some of the lead can enter the potable water supply, posing health risks. Lead can cause impaired physical and mental development as well as hearing problems in infants, toddlers and pregnant women.
Chrome: Galvanized pipes and exposure to cadmium from older chrome-plated pipes, natural deposits of leaching pipe fittings can lead to kidney damage.
Drink Water, But Protect Your Health!
You can request an annual water quality report from the water company, or you can conduct your own test to determine whether your water is safe to use. The type of contaminant will determine which remedies you should apply. Some of the options include filtration, distillation or reverse osmosis systems. Additionally, you can implement your own safety procedures, namely:
- installing aerators on your faucets
- using cold water to cook or drink, because water can leach more easily
- running the water for a while before drinking it
- run the cold water for a while until it is colder after you have been on vacation for a while.
The best way to prevent contamination of your water, is to consider replacing your old plumbing system with new, healthier options. Speak to Anta Plumbing about the options that best suit your needs.