Three hundred Belfast houses are to be examined for lead contamination of their ingesting water.
This comes after Queen’s University, Belfast, researchers carried out a small examine on 35 households within the metropolis and located that 15% of water samples exceeded the UK restrict for lead.
In an announcement, NI Water stated lead pipe “is predominantly present in properties built before 1970”.
It urged folks in older houses to verify for the presence of lead pipework.
Exposure to guide may be harmful to human well being and may notably have an effect on younger kids, affecting mind growth and kidneys.
The mission’s lead researcher Dr Tristan Sturm described the preliminary findings as “quite shocking”.
The UK reference restrict for lead in water is 10 µgPb/L however some researchers argue that this ought to be decrease.
The Queen’s University group discovered that out of the 35 houses, 5 check outcomes have been increased than 50 µgPb/L with one reaching 95.2 µgPb/L.
The examine discovered some lead in all the homes examined – the researchers state that there isn’t a secure threshold of publicity to guide.
Dr Sturm agreed the pattern dimension was small which was why additional testing was essential.
“Without proper testing of drinking water, our cities are complicity producing the next generation of children who might under-perform, be prone to violence, or suffer debilitating bodily harm relative to their unexposed peers,” he stated.
Dr Sturm defined that the becoming of lead water pipes was widespread in Belfast houses constructed earlier than 1970 and the group has acquired funding to check houses constructed sooner than this.
“Our initial study – a small random sample – showed that many of the homes we tested had levels higher than the UK reference limit.
“This reference restrict is definitely a false financial system of security – we might argue that it ought to be a lot decrease,” he added.
Predominantly in older properties
In its statement, NI Water recommended that customers “think about alternative of the lead pipework of their property [as] these service pipes are the accountability of the home-owner to exchange”.
It said NI Water tests its supply to homes across Northern Ireland “365 days per 12 months, together with weekends and financial institution holidays, to make sure that ingesting water provided to our clients is of the very best high quality”.
It added: “There is almost no lead in ingesting water when it leaves our water therapy works or in our water mains.
“Any lead in drinking water usually comes from lead service pipes in the home, with a small percentage of NI Water lead communication pipes still in use across Northern Ireland.”
A £1m per 12 months programme was in place to take away these communication pipes, it stated.
Northern Ireland was absent from a serious UK report on lead contamination in water because of a scarcity of information however it’s estimated that 25% of houses in Northern Ireland have some water pipes manufactured from lead.
Residents participating within the mission will probably be requested to fill a one-litre bottle of water which will probably be picked up from their home and despatched for testing.