The World Health Organisation (WHO) states that lead is a cumulative toxicant that can result in adverse health effects.

Lead is considered particularly harmful to young children and it is estimated to have contributed to 540,000 deaths worldwide in 2016. In Australia over the last few years, there have been several high-profile cases of lead contamination being found in the drinking water.

A study by Macquarie University in 2016 found that of 212 first draw drinking water samples taken from homes in New South Wales, 8% exceeded the lead levels set in the Australian Drinking Water Guidelines (ADWG).

In Western Australia, the opening of the $1.2 billion Perth Children’s Hospital (PCH) was delayed for 2½ years until March 2018, with one of the reasons cited being elevated lead levels in the building’s water. The lead was alleged to have leached from plumbing fittings and valves inside the hospital.

Other high profile cases involving lead in water included the closure of several Perth schools and parks, and media reports surrounding Perth’s Optus Stadium in 2018. Plumbing products were seen as one of the potential sources of high lead levels in the water.

In 2018, Geelong Council in Victoria closed down the drinking fountains in several parks over concerns around high levels of lead being found in the water.

To provide ‘Water Solutions for a Healthier Environment’, Galvin Engineering focuses on the supply of specialised tapware, water management systems and fixtures for education, health, and public facilities. In response to the increasing anxiety in the community around elevated lead levels in drinking water, the company has designed and manufactured an innovative range of premium quality taps in new lead-free and low lead materials, available in the GalvinClear Lead Safe product range.

This white paper examines the potential health benefits of using Lead Safe materials for the community and adopting special production methods in the design and manufacture of drinking bubblers and other tapware, predominantly for use in schools, hospitals, and public areas.

For a comprehensive look at the effects of lead in our drinking water and how we are actively working towards reducing this risk, read our Galvin Specialised White Paper.