Stop Saying Plumber!

On a recent visit to the Peak District Lead Mining Museum I learnt an enormous amount about the history of the Derbyshire lead mining history. For local studies this place is a gold mine of information although lead mine might be more appropriate. Combine it with a visit to the Great Masson and Rutland Caverns at the Heights of Abraham and you are in for a treat.

The Museum contains thousands of items and machines many of which are hands-on. It’s also very a thought-provoking exhibition and makes you realise the role lead played at one time and just how dangerous if was when processed.

Lead is a chemical element with symbol Pb is what we know it as on the Periodic Table from the Latin plumbum –  meaning “waterworks,” which refers back to the Roman Empire when the metal was widely used in the construction of water pipes.

It’s little surprise therefore we got to calling a plumber a plumber.

What is more of a surprise though is that we still call plumbers plumbers! Lead has not been used in plumbing for a very long time because of its toxicity and the serious issues it causes for our health.

Lead is still around and can be found on old toys painted with a lead paint. It can also be found on new toys painted with a lead paint too – not every country around the world has such strict health and safety rules.

Lead can also leach into the drinking water supply through older, corroded lead pipes, taps and solder. Many homes built before the 1980s have lead solder connecting to copper pipes.

Although many want to ban plastic this is nonsense because without plastic we wouldn’t have a plumbing system. It’s cheap, light, durable, waterproof and above all….safe!

We might need to re-think the word plumber but we definitely don’t need to ban plastic. Plastic has actually saved many lives.

Plumbers are engineers so let’s stick with that. Let’s stick with using plastic too.

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