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BENTON HARBOR — After the state recommended Benton Harbor residents drink bottled water last week, health officials want to dispel misinformation about lead contamination.

Boiling water does not remove lead from tap water, according to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services.

In fact, because water evaporates while boiling, this can increase the concentration of lead in the water.

Hot tap water is still not suitable for drinking or cooking either, as lead dissolves more easily into hot water than cold water.

Lynn Sutfin, the public information officer for MDHHS, said the agency has been passing out flyers with bottled water at distribution sites that details what residents can use it for.

MDHHS recommends to use bottled water for:

  • Drinking
  • Cooking
  • Brushing teeth
  • Rinsing foods
  • Making baby formula
  • Tap water can be used for:
  • Showering or bathing (avoid swallowing water)
  • Washing hands
  • Washing dishes
  • Laundry
  • Cleaning

Lead exposure is especially dangerous for children and can result in behavioral and learning issues and slowed growth.

Residents can learn more by going to www.michigan.gov/mileadsafe/.

Contact: jknot@TheHP.com, 932-0360, Twitter: @knotjuliana