Lead in 50 year-old plumbing solder?

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To say "There have not been scientific test..." about anything related to mercury and autisim is about the biggest understatement I have seen this week. The supposed connection betweeen mercury and autism has been studied extensively, both in the US and around the world.
It is telling when someone tosses out one of these anecdotal tidbits as if it means something, when there has been a debate that going on for years, decades of research, and millions of dollars sunk into both small and large studies. Oh, but your little anecdote hasn't been studied you say, so I guess that just wipes the whole slate clean and we can just forget all the studies and start the discussion fresh again.
-Kevin
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Well... I was just listening the other day to a discussion about the major increases in autism that supposedly everybody is seeing worldwide and is prompting such studies.
Some facts:
- The rise in autism in the US appears to be roughly balanced by a _decrease_ in attention deficit disorders.
- The rest of the world is in fact _not_ seeing a big jump in autism rates, for the most part they're relying on US numbers, because few countries have that level of monitoring. Those that do, aren't seeing anywhere near as big a jump, if at all.
- It's to a school (or school system's) financial advantage to have a child declared autistic rather than ADD/ADHD because of US state/federal school funding programmes.
While autism has a very exacting definition, it appears that many of these children are being declared autistic by people who do not have the credentials/experience to evaluate it properly.
Thus there is now doubt about the whole statistical basis of the phenomena, and it's rippling all over the place.
The comment was that if a child was declared autistic by school sponsored evaluation that they should get a second opinion from a professional who specializes in autism.
While misdiagnosing a child with autism instead of an attention deficit disorder benefits the school financially, it means that it's not in the best interests of the child, because they get the wrong treatment.
--
Chris Lewis, Una confibula non set est
It\'s not just anyone who gets a Starship Cruiser class named after them.
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On Fri, 14 Apr 2006 15:14:38 GMT, "Ralph Mowery"

Hah. I've removed the lead from my car.
The biggest problem with lead in the water from lead pipes. I must admit I don't know what has been said about solder with lead, but it's a lot less than lead pipes.
I guess we had lead paint when I grew up, but the house was new enough that nothing was chipping. I gather some babies chew on the window sills, even when the paint isn't chipping, but if I tried, I think my mother woudl have stopped me whether anything was known about lead or not. I guess I can't remember back that far.

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I am almost eighty; and, we grew up with lead paint on our cribs, Had asbestos covering strapped on all the steam pipes in the basement, played with mercury on pennies in chemistry class and somehow survived all these perils.
Don't "sweat" out the pipes ( pun intended !).

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Statements like yours would only be helpful if we figure out how many posts there are saying:
I would be almost eighty if I weren't dead; we grew up with lead paint on our cribs, Had asbestos covering strapped on all the steam pipes in the basement, played with mercury on pennies in chemistry class and didn't survive all these perils.
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upand_at snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

Yes.

Don't bother see below.

Absolutely not. Doing so is likely to cause more problems than it fixes. The lead in the pipes is likely adding only extremely little. Disturbing it and maybe exposing fresh lead would allow more lead into your water.
If you are worried, have your water tested. Remember to let the water run some before catching it. Likely the faucets have lead parts in them and they will likely be greater sources of lead than the pipes.

--
Joseph Meehan

Dia duit
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On Fri, 14 Apr 2006 18:01:01 +0000, Joseph Meehan wrote:

Yes, and if it's not acidic, sleep well. If it's acidic bitch to your water supplier. If it's your well, fix it.
--
Keith

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On 14 Apr 2006 06:32:41 -0700, upand_at snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

The problem with lead in water pipe joints is due to water sitting in the pipes. That concentrates the lead in the water. In older homes, it is always prudent to run the tap for about 30 seconds in the moring before taking any water for making coffee or other consumption.
Don't bother testing. Your pipes were joined with lead/tin solder. Since you have a small ranch and accessible pipes, along with the feeling you can do this type of work, here's my recommendation: Replace most of the plumbing, but while you are at it, start at the house side of the meter and go up to 3/4 inch pipe for at least the main run across the house. This will make a big difference in many things. Your hose in the back yard will now water the garden in half the time it used to take, and when someone is taking a shower, you can flush the toilet as many times as you like without giving them a sudden cold surprise. That larger diameter for the main trunk means no sudden loss of pressure when multiple faucets are opened at the same time.
I did this exact job in a small ranch house I own and it took me about 4 or 5 hours and maybe a couple hundred dollars. I did not replace all of the branches. Just the ones that went to fixtures that might be used for drawing drinking water. No need to worry about a miniscule amount of potential lead in the shower or laundry lines. Piece of cake.
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Yes. In 1953 50% lead, 50% tin was the typical solder. I wouldn't panic though. The concern is how much, if any lead is in the water you draw from your system today and in the future.
Testing the water is the only way to know this and it's not difficult to do. Most good hardware stores, and many internet sites have test kits that can be sent off to a lab for quantification. My preference would be to find a lab that can do AA (atomic absorption spectroscopy).
There are several things to consider though. Over time insoluble salts of lead will in all likelihood form over the lead containing solder that serve to passivate the solder and render it inaccessible. Certainly in 53 years this has occurred.
Unless you have acid water, (low pH, or pH values much less than 7) it is unlikely that much lead is going to dissolve and be in your water.
Remember the chemist's mantra, 'the dose is the poison', or more correctly:
"All things are poison and nothing is without poison. Solely the dose determines that a thing is without poison." --Paracelsus
In our politically correct world many are running from things that are in fact not that dangerous. The problem is that those running don't understand what the real danger is and what they are running from.
Boden
Lead, in water will form a upand_at snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

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upand_at snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

1 Yes 2 Yes 3 No. There is no reason to, especially after 50 years. BTW, there never was a reason, just don't use water through the hot water system to cook.
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I still use real 50/50 solder on sweat copper. That lead free stuff sucks.
--
Steve Barker



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