Recent laboratory results of drinking water samples collected from different flats of various public housing estates (Kai Ching Estate, Kwai Luen Estate (Phase 2), Wing Cheong Estate, Lower Ngau Tau Kok Estate, Shek Kip Mei Estate (Phase 2), Tung Wui Estate, Hung Hom Estate (Phase 2), Yan On Estate, Choi Fook Estate, Un Chau Estate (Phase 2, 4) and Ching Ho Estate (Phase 1)) revealed an elevated level of lead. The public raised concern about safety of drinking water in the affected buildings.
What is Lead?
Lead is a naturally occurring heavy metal which usually presents in very small amounts in the environment. Lead and its compounds may be found in products such as batteries, paints, ceramics, solder and additive to petrol.
The Health Effect of Lead
Long term exposure to lead, which when accumulated in large amounts in the body, may result in anaemia, increased blood pressure, brain and kidney damage. The WHO Guidelines for Drinking-water Quality has set a provisional guideline value of not more than 10 micrograms per litre for lead.
For further details, please refer to the Health factsheet: Incident of Lead in Drinking Water.
Health Advice for the use of Drinking Water in the affected buildings
Before the problem of lead content in drinking water is settled, residents of affected buildings are recommended to take precautionary measures which include flushing faucets individually before using water for drinking or cooking. Infants, young children, pregnant women and lactating women should use alternative sources of drinking water.