Image: ©Nationale Beeldbank

Lead intake via tap water

In general, tap water in the Netherlands is of a high quality and safe to drink. However, a limited selection of the population still faces high exposure to lead via the tap water and is therefore subject to health risks. In particular this concerns residents of old houses with indoor lead pipes. Risk groups are formula-fed infants, young children and unborn children (via the mother). High exposure to lead may result in a lower IQ. The Health Council of the Netherlands recommends in the first place to eliminate the remaining lead pipes in old houses. Until the lead pipes are replaced, the council advises to use bottled water for risk groups. High concentrations of lead in tap water can also occur in new houses during the first months. The council recommends residents of these houses to flush the tap before use.