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Taipei to provide free tests amid lead pipe scare

Taipei to provide free tests amid lead pipe scare

Taipei, Oct. 28 (CNA) The Taipei City government will provide free blood tests for people who may have been exposed to lead from water pipes that were installed decades ago outside their residential buildings, the city's Department of Health said Wednesday. Taipei City Hospital will provide tests for lead poisoning for members of affected households starting on Nov. 7, and people can register to take the test by phone or online, the department said. Local media recently reported that about 36,000 households in seven cities and counties around Taiwan are still fed water through small-diameter lead pipes, triggering concerns that members of those households may be at risk of lead poisoning from daily consumption of the water. Of the 36,000 households, around 30,000 are served by the Taipei Water Department (????????), while 6,651 households are served by Taiwan Water Corp. (???????). The Taipei Water Department serves water to all of Taipei City, to the districts of Zhonghe, Yonghe, Xindian, and Sanchong in New Taipei, and to part of Xizhi District in New Taipei. The municipal government and the Taipei Water Department announced on Wednesday, meanwhile, that customers still getting water through lead pipes will not be charged for five cubic meters of water a month, beginning with water used in October and lasting until the lead pipes serving their buildings are replaced. Taipei Water Department Commissioner Chen Jiin-shyang (???) said the fee exemption will translate to savings per household of between NT$25 (US$0.77) and NT$38 per month, based on a unit price of NT$5 to NT$7.6 per cubic meter. Chen suggested that households exposed to water from lead water pipes run their water for three minutes every morning if they have not used it for the previous six hours to ease misgivings about possible lead poisoning. (By Ku Chuan, You Kao-hsiang and Lilian Wu)


Updated : 2021-09-21 13:24 GMT+08:00