31 Aug

Lead Found in Drinking Water of Hong Kong Housing Estates and Schools

water tapHong Kong is currently in the midst of a lead-in-water scandal, as the drinking water supply of 10 housing estates have been tested and found to have lead levels above what the World Health Organization recommends according to China Daily Asia. More recently, a primary school was also found to have excessive lead in their water. More than 15,000 households have been effected by this scandal, according to the Straits Times. The Center for Health Protection (an arm of the Hong Kong Department of Health) has advised people in affected estates to use filtered water that has gone through NSF 53 certified systems as a precautionary measure.

To reduce the amount of lead in your home drinking water, Aqua Solutions recommends the 3M Aqua-Pure Easy Complete System, which is NSF 53 certified. For existing Everpure systems, both the Everpure H-104 and the H-300 Filtration Cartridges are also meet NSF 53 standards and offer lead reduction.

According to Health Canada, “Research has shown that exposure to even small amounts of lead can be harmful to human health, especially for young children, infants and pregnant women. […] People who are exposed to lead for an extended period of time are at a risk of developing certain adverse health effects. Symptoms of adverse effects to the nervous system, the primary target organ for lead, include forgetfulness, tiredness, headache, changes in mood and behaviour, lower IQ, decreased hand dexterity and weakness of arms, legs, wrists, fingers or ankles. […] Low-level effects could include increased risk of developing: kidney damage and disease; increases in blood pressure; anemia; reduced sperm count and fertility; and future risk of osteoporosis in exposed children.”

The National Sanitation Foundation has also put out a press release advising Hong Kong consumers about lead in drinking water, and explains their certification process, including that for NSF 53 standards. Read it here: Global Public Health Organization Offers Hong Kong Consumers Advice on Lead in Drinking Water

To read more about this ongoing crisis:

South China Morning Post: Hong Kong tainted water scare 2015
http://www.scmp.com/topics/hong-kong-tainted-water-scare-2015

China Daily Asia: Contaminated water source a lead-pipe cinch
http://www.chinadailyasia.com/focus/2015-08/20/content_15306248.html

The Straits Times: Hong Kong on alert as more homes find excessive lead in water
http://www.straitstimes.com/asia/east-asia/hong-kong-on-alert-as-more-homes-find-excessive-lead-in-water

The Globe and Mail: Hong Kong’s lesson for China
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/globe-debate/hong-kongs-lesson-for-china/article26078505/

Health Canada: Minimizing Exposure to Lead from Drinking Water Distribution Systems http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/ewh-semt/pubs/water-eau/lead-plomb-eng.php