Accumulation on and extraction of lead from point-of-use filters for evaluating lead exposure from drinking water†
The precise quantification of Pb exposure from tap water can help water utilities and public health organizations assess and mitigate elevated Pb concentrations. Several sampling protocols have been developed for this purpose; however, each existing protocol has limitations associated with sampling time, sample sizes, and ease of application. This study confirmed the ability of point-of-use faucet filters to accumulate Pb and then developed an extraction method that can enable quantification of Pb exposure from tap water. Nearly all Pb from both real and synthetic tap water was accumulated on POU filters, and four different methods for extracting the accumulated Pb were evaluated. Approximately 100% Pb recovery was achieved with a single pass flow-through method using a nitric acid solution. This Pb exposure quantification method could potentially be applied to real drinking water systems to provide an effective indication of Pb exposure from tap water.