Why Aussies are being warned to run their taps for 30 seconds

Australian households have been issued a health warning over concerns of lead poisoning from plumbing systems.

The warning from the Environmental Health Standing Committee acknowledges lead is used in a range of home plumbing products including brass fittings and copper pipes which can dissolve into drinking water.

Australia currently allows 18 times more lead in brass fittings than the US and Canada.

Residents are being told to run their taps for at least 30 seconds first thing in the morning before using any water.

Health authorities are worried about the levels of lead in tap water. Source: Getty, file.

Hot water taps are advised to be avoided altogether when it comes to drinking and cooking water.

Bottle fed babies are reportedly at the highest risk due to the amount of water they intake with baby formula.

While the Environmental Health Standing Committee released the information in July, it wasn’t highly publicised until now.

Research from Macquarie University’s Dr Paul Harvey in 2016 found lead in more than half of water samples from hundreds of household taps, The Daily Telegraph reported.

One in 12 had levels above the maximum allowable level of 0.01 ­micrograms per 100ml, which was set in 1990.

The World Health Organisation has since said any traces of lead in water is unsafe.

In the wake of the warning, Australia’s allowable level will reportedly drop, with Dr Harvey predicting the new level will match international standards.

“We are catching up with the rest of the world,” he told The Daily Telegraph.

Concerns aren’t held for just water, with drinking containers also identified as harbouring high levels of bacteria.