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Ask the Experts

Is Hot Tap Water Safe to Drink?

by Berkeley Wellness  

Q: Is it okay to use hot tap water for cooking and drinking? It saves time.

A: No, unless you’re certain your plumbing does not contain lead, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. Hot water is far more likely to leach lead from the pipes. Lead solder in plumbing pipes was banned in the U.S. in 1986, but older plumbing may still contain lead-soldered joints. Brass plumbing parts may also contain lead. The longer water stands in the pipe, the more lead is likely to dissolve.

It’s especially important not to use hot tap water to mix baby food or formula, since lead is especially dangerous for infants and children. Let the cold water run for a minute to flush out standing water if the faucet hasn’t been run for a while. If you need warm or hot water, the microwave is a quick solution.