Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Lead Pipes are good for you expert claims

I went into an Aberystwyth Plumbers merchants this afternoon to get some bits to replace a boiler filter. As we are in the quite period for the trade, only one of the lads was serving which is fair enough. I waited while the chap (hard to tell age for reasons I am about to explain, but looked about 60) being served tried to find a solution to a lead pipe which had cracked as a result of the recent frost and thaw. As I understand it the joint had split and he wanted to cut the lead back an inch and put a new fitting. The branch manager who drew the short straw to work today suggested that maybe the lead pipe was better replaced on account of its well known health problems and commented that there is not much call for lead fittings these days as the vast majority of customers replace it with blue plastic rather than slowly poison themselves or there customers.

The customer then started off with "thats rubbish, I have always drunk water from lead pipes, never did me any harm. 1/2 the pipes in Aberystwyth are lead. Its all modern rubbish it needs replacing". While the manager went off shaking his head to check if he had an other lead fitting, the customer said to me by way of justification "When I was a child I used to play in an Asbestos shed. Don't want to spend time replacing a lead pipe that goes under a wall". I made a comment that lead fillings went out of fashion some time ago.

Personally, I would take the branch managers advice and replace the pipe with nice blue plastic, but I guess if you have had lead pipes for long enough then you won't be able to remember what you went into the plumbers merchants for in the 1st place.

Did make me think what a challenge working in public health must be.

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