Improving Water Quality in Australian Schools and Hospitals


The World Health Organisation (WHO) states that lead is a cumulative toxicant that can result in adverse health effects.

In severe cases, anaemia, seizures, coma, or death may occur. Lead is considered particularly harmful to young children and it is estimated to have contributed to 540,000 deaths worldwide in 2016. There is no known level of lead exposure that is considered safe. 1 This has resulted in lead being restricted or banned from use in some products

being found in drinking water, have heightened concern amongst the health community and the public surrounding the effect on drinking water from leaded plumbing materials. This is leading to calls for regulations, standards, hydraulic designs, and products to be changed to ensure lead ingestion is reduced or eliminated. At Galvin Engineering, our purpose is to provide Water Solutions for a Healthier Environment. Our focus is on the supply of specialised tapware, water management systems and fixtures for education, health, and public facilities. With increasing anxiety in the community around elevated lead levels in drinking water, we have responded by designing and manufacturing an innovative range of premium quality taps in new lead free and low lead materials - the GalvinClear ® Lead Safe™ product range. This paper looks at the potential health benefits for the community of using Lead Safe™ materials and adopting special production methods in the design and manufacture of drinking bubblers and other tapware, predominantly for use in schools, hospitals, and public areas.

that could enable the direct ingestion or absorption of

lead. Two examples of this has been the banning of lead in petrol and the very strict controls on lead in paint.

Metal contamination of drinking water and its

potential health effects has impacted human populations for centuries. 2, 3 It has even been argued that Ancient Rome’s use of lead in water supply infrastructure caused lead poisoning that contributed to the fall of the Roman Empire. 2, 4, 5, 6, 7 Whilst there is no clear evidence of the effects on human health from the consumption of metals in drinking water, several high profile incidences in Australia of elevated levels of lead

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