What are heavy metals in water

Heavy metals in drinking water - lead, nickel and copper

Heavy metals in drinking water are a health hazard. But how do the toxic heavy metals get into the water, what are the health effects of these substances and what can consumers do to determine whether there are dangerous substances such as lead, nickel or copper in excessively high concentrations in tap water?

We clarify your most important questions about heavy metals in drinking water and why a water test for heavy metals is recommended by experts.

How do heavy metals get into the water?

Lead, copper, nickel and other heavy metals are dangerous for the human organism. The toxic substances enter the body unnoticed through absorption through drinking water. The reason for this are usually outdated pipes within the own house installation for drinking water.

Main problem house installation? Who guarantees that heavy metal pollution does not already take place in the waterworks?

The probability that drinking water that is already contaminated will be delivered to households is negligible. Because the Drinking Water Ordinance and the control measures specified therein, limit values ​​for heavy metals and bacterial contamination, guidelines and laws oblige the water suppliers to meticulously control the drinking water. This ensures that without exception unpolluted water of the highest drinking water quality is delivered to German households.

But be careful: In spite of these legally prescribed close-knit controls, many consumers draw drinking water from the tap, which is contaminated with heavy metals. The most common reason: a poorly maintained or outdated house installation.

Tip: Copper, zinc or even iron in water are not uncommon, just like lead, nickel or copper, due to problems in your own house installation. In addition to regular maintenance, experts therefore recommend examining the drinking water with a water test. You can find out more about this directly in the IVARIO shop or here in the magazine.

Are Heavy Metals Harmful? What effects do the substances have on health?

Too high concentrations of iron, cadmium or zinc in the water are not uncommon. However, along with copper and nickel, lead pollution in drinking water is one of the most common hazards in tap water.

Heavy metals in drinking water - lead: liquid poison, especially for children!

The limit value for lead specified in the Drinking Water Ordinance has been significantly tightened in recent years. The currently permissible limit value according to the Drinking Water Ordinance is therefore included 0.01 mg / l.

These limit values ​​show that lead is not to be trifled with in drinking water. On the contrary, the ingestion of lead makes us sick. Because once lead is absorbed in our body, it remains there and can no longer be excreted by our organism. This can have particularly serious consequences for infants and young children, as too much lead also affects the child's development.

You can find out more about lead in drinking water here.

Copper poisoning - life-threatening complaints from excess copper

The Drinking Water Ordinance set a clear limit value of 3 mg / l for copper until 2001. This was based on the current regulation in adaptation to the EC directive 2 mg / ltr reduced.

The excessive consumption of copper leads to an excess of copper, which manifests itself in the form of copper poisoning and can even be life-threatening. This applies both to adults, but especially to infants and children.

Read more about the effects of copper in water here.

Nickel in drinking water: possible consequences are lung cancer and tumors

The limit value for nickel has been updated 0.02 mg / ltr reduced.

This measure is intended to prevent the further spread of the already frequently occurring nickel allergy. This is triggered by excessive nickel pollution in the drinking water. In Germany, the number of people allergic to nickel has recently increased steadily. This development is to be counteracted by the minimized limit value. Because excessive consumption of nickel can also cause tumors and lung cancer.

Lead pipes in the house? Old water pipes endanger the water quality and thus your health!

Water pipes made of lead are often still found, especially in old buildings. Since it is not possible for the legally prescribed drinking water quality to be complied with when the drinking water flows through lead pipes, the use of this material in domestic installations has long since become obsolete. Nevertheless, there is often a need for renovation (read more about this here, for example) and especially in older houses it is worth taking a look at the water pipes. If lead lines are installed in the house, they are relatively easy to recognize even for the layperson.

We have summarized more on the subject of "How can I recognize lead lines" in a special article here in the magazine.

How can consumers determine whether there are heavy metals in drinking water?

Heavy metals in drinking water can also be determined in private households by the consumer using a professional water analysis. To make sure that none of the dangerous heavy metals mentioned are in your drinking water, there is the possibility of one Heavy metal drinking water test perform. You can easily carry out this test yourself without any further specialist knowledge.

When and how often should a drinking water test be carried out?

Experts advise regular one Drinking water analysisin order to be able to rule out possible health threats. In addition to heavy metals, bacteria and germs are also a great danger that can lurk in drinking water. You can find out more about the burden of bacteria and pathogens, for example, in our additional articles here in the magazine.

To be on the safe side, it is advisable to check the water regularly for heavy metals, but also for bacterial contamination.

Can heavy metals be filtered out of the water?

Depending on the type of pollution, a water filter can at least be a solution if excessively high concentrations of heavy metals have been detected. However, among other things, the quality of the selected water filter plays a role. When filtering the water makes sense and what needs to be considered, we have summarized for you in the following articles, for example:

"Are drinking water filters useful?"

"The fear of germs and toxins - is filtering the water a solution?"

One solution we tested is that IVARIO water filter which can effectively filter heavy metals such as lead, nickel and copper from the water with the help of a 100% biological activated carbon cartridge.

You have already gained experience with heavy metals in water, do you still have questions on the subject or would you like to find out more about the danger posed by a specific heavy metal in water?

Then we look forward to your comment!