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Lead is a naturally occurring element in the earth's crust and groundwater, although it is rarely found in groundwater in the UK. Lead is a toxin and exposure to lead in drinking water is predominantly due to the presence of lead containing plumbing materials e.g. alloys, fittings, pipes, tank linings, solders etc., or a lead service pipe. Although the use of lead in plumbing practices has been prohibited across Europe since the late 1970s, it remains a potential public health concern for older properties.

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