Today’s Irish Times letters
Just thought you might be interested in this. I didn’t know the Irish Times edited the letters to the editor to such a degree. Above is the published version. Below is the original…
As a scientist I feel that I must comment on the recent statements from Irish Water on the potential presence of Lead in drinking water. The assertion that hundreds of thousands of homes have drinking water with potentially toxic levels of Lead is entirely bogus.
As Lead is very easy to detect and analyse for by many quite straightforward analytical techniques,the only certain way to know what the levels of Lead are in any particular water supply is to chemically analyse them all.
This has not been done and my feeling is that it will not and cannot be done in any practical way by Irish Water.In the UK permitted levels of Lead in drinking water should not exceed 0.01 ppm which is a miniscule but highly detectable amount. Also,Irish Water have not highlighted the different chemistry that goes on inside Lead pipes in hard water and soft water areas.
Generally in hard water areas a virtually insoluble coating of various Lead Carbonates coat the inside of the pipes making the water contained less susceptible to contamination with Lead. In soft water areas and areas with lower pH water the lead is much more soluble and the contamination with Lead should be greater in some areas in the UK the water company actively raises the pH of the water for this reason.
Here in Lismore we are blessed with two water sources,one to the North gives soft water and the other to the South gives hard water.I would like to suggest to Irish Water that they engage in more science and less hysteria.
Dr.Bernard Leddy PhD,C.Chem,CSci,MRCS,MPSI.