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Environ Monit Assess. 2016 Mar;188(3):177. doi: 10.1007/s10661-016-5182-x. Epub 2016 Feb 20.

Inherent variability in lead and copper collected during standardized sampling.

Author information

1
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA, 24061, USA. smasters@vt.edu.
2
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA, 24061, USA.
3
CDM-Smith, 125 South Wacker Drive, Chicago, IL, 60606, USA.

Abstract

Variability in the concentration of lead and copper sampled at consumers' taps poses challenges to assessing consumer health threats and the effectiveness of corrosion control. To examine the minimum variability that is practically achievable, standardized rigs with three lead and copper containing plumbing materials (leaded brass, copper tube with lead solder, and a lead copper connection) were deployed at five utilities and sampled with regimented protocols. Variability represented by relative standard deviation (RSD) in lead release was high in all cases. The brass had the lowest variability in lead release (RSD = 31 %) followed by copper-solder (RSD = 49%) and lead-copper (RSD = 80%). This high inherent variability is due to semi-random detachment of particulate lead to water, and represents a modern reality of water lead problems that should be explicitly acknowledged and considered in all aspects of exposure, public education, and monitoring.

KEYWORDS:

Copper; Lead; Premise plumbing; Variability

PMID:
26896965
DOI:
10.1007/s10661-016-5182-x
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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