top cx logo
cx logo
Explorearrow down
search icon
arrow down

French tap water still ‘has too much lead’, says study

There are still too-high levels of lead in French tap water, and reducing it should continue to be an urgent public health priority, according to a new report today.

Levels of lead in tap water were found to be too high still, according to a new study by the French Food Safety Agency (L'Agence de sécurité de l'alimentation (Anses)).

The risk was found to be especially high in older buildings, and in areas with older distribution systems, the Agency said, as reported by consumer site Radins today.

It said it could not be sure how many houses were affected, but that a significant number - especially older properties - were likely to have tap water with a too-high concentration of the metal.

It advised that anyone with older water pipes should replace them as soon as possible, and in the meantime treat their water before drinking it. It recommends using treatments including phosphoric acid or orthophosphates, to counteract the lead.

If possible, orthophosphates should be added before the water actually arrives in the tap, because it can also form a protective layer inside water pipes, which prevent the lead from seeping from the pipes into the water, according to Anses.

The Agency sought to warn people that this protective effect is variable, however, and is not enough on its own to provide lasting protection against excess lead.

It recommended other measures - such as neutralisation, remineralisation or decarbonisation - as well as suggesting that homeowners and workplaces should replace any old pipes as quickly as possible.

These measures should be “accompanied by studies to better determine the impact on the microbiological quality of the water and the environment”, even though “no negative effect has been highlighted by any of the water distributors we spoke to”.

Stay informed:
Sign up to our free weekly e-newsletter
Subscribe to access all our online articles and receive our printed monthly newspaper The Connexion at your home. News analysis, features and practical help for English-speakers in France

Resident or second-home owner in France?
Benefit from our daily digest of headlines and how-to's to help you make the most of life in France
By joining the newsletter, you agree to our Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy
See more popular articles
The Connexion Help Guides
featured helpguide
Healthcare in France*
Featured Help Guide
- Understand the French healthcare system, how you access it and how you are reimbursed - Useful if you are new to the French healthcare system or want a more in-depth understanding - Reader question and answer section Aimed at non-French nationals living here, the guide gives an overview of what you are (and are not) covered for. There is also information for second-home owners and regular visitors.
Get news, views and information from France
You have 2 free subscriber articles left
Subscribe now to read unlimited articles and exclusive content
Already a subscriber? Log in now