+
Indoor
Outdoor
+
Outdoor
Indoor
This is a newly redesigned Water-Research.net page
Page Archive

Get Informed | Lithium

What is Lithium?

Lithium is a soft, silvery-white alkali metal which can be found in some foods and in drinking water. Lithium is considered a rare earth element and can be found throughout the world. Lithium can be found in continental brine water, geothermal waters, and oil-gas field brines. In addition, granitic and igneous rocks may have elevated levels of lithium. Brine waters contain up to 0.050 to 2000 ppm, seawater up to 0.170 ppm, and freshwater typically less than 0.001 to 0.003 ppm lithium. 

Lithium is used in batteries, ceramics, air-conditioning, grease, electric cars, renewable energy systems, and in pharmaceutical products. As lithium carbonate or lithium citrate, it has been used to treat bipolar disorder, eating disorders, and some blood disorders. 

Daily lithium consumption from food has been estimated at 2 milligrams per day with the primary source being grains and vegetables. The body processes lithium through the kidneys and removes it through our excrement. Lithium is administered therapeutically as the carbonate salt (lithium carbonate) in daily oral doses of 900–1800 mg/day for the treatment of manic and endogenous depression.

How Does Lithium Become a problem?

A high concentration of lithium in drinking water was first discovered in the Andes Mountains. The primary health effect is that lithium can interfere with the thyroid.

"No toxic effects occur at blood serum lithium level below 1.5 milliequivalent/l (mEq/L). Mild toxicity can occur at levels from 1.5 to 2.5 mEq/L. Levels in excess of 3.5 mEq/L are potentially fatal. The therapeutic use of lithium carbonate may produce unusual toxic responses such as: neuromuscular changes (tremor, muscle hyperirritability, and ataxia), central nervous system changes (blackout spells, epileptic seizures, slurred speech, coma, psychosomatic retardation, and increased thirst), cardiovascular changes (cardiac arrhythmia, hypertension, and circulatory collapse), gastrointestinal changes (anorexia, nausea, and vomiting), and renal damage (albuminuria and glycosuria). These changes appear to be more frequent when the blood serum levels increase above 1.5 milliequivalent/ liter (mEq/L). (Source)

What are the Health Risks for Lithium?

Lithium can cause nausea, diarrhea, dizziness, muscle weakness, fatigue, and a dazed feeling. Elevated levels of lithium have been associated with skin disorders, heart disease, thyroid issues, and kidney disease.

Did You Know?
Some are proposing to add lithium to drinking water?
(Is this 1984 or Brave New World?)

What are the Standards for Lithium?

For drinking water, there is no current EPA or Pennsylvania maximum contaminant level set for lithium. Using an EPA provisional chronic oral reference dose of 20 ug/kg/day, an estimated limit of 0.70 mg/L in drinking water was calculated. Pennsylvania has a clean-up standard for an aquifer of 0.083 mg/L. This reference dose was derived from a review of the available data related to the lowest observable effect level of 20 mg/kg/day that was observed in long-term studies and treatment of humans using lithium (Source: Virginia Department of Health, 1997 and 2014). In addition, the Pennsylvania Statewide Health Standards related to environmental clean-up sets a limit based on the use and Total Dissolves Solids concentration of the water (Appendix A- Table 2; units in ug/L).

Get Tested | Lithium

Like many contaminants in drinking water, this element is potentially hazardous at levels or concentrations that do not impart a noticeable taste, odor, or appearance to the water. Your best course of action is to get your water tested and to compile as much information as possible about your water supply source, well construction, surrounding land-use, and local geology.

Level 1 | Observational Self-Testing

Level 1 Testing is done with simple observations that an individual can make with their own senses such as sight, smell, and taste. These observations can be readily apparent or can be observed as they change over time. In addition, accessible related information about the home can also be used to narrow down the cause of your water issues.

Notes on Level 1 Testing for Lithium

At this point, we are not aware of a self-diagnose screening test for lithium in your water. If you are in an area of oil and gas development or your drinking water is exposed to brine or saline water, near a landfill, or in a geologic region with granitic or other igneous rocks you should consider testing your water for lithium (link to image).

Observations for Lithium

Elevated lithium may be associated with geologic deposits, connate or brine water, landfill leachate, oil and gas development, and mining activity. Water that may be high in lithium may have elevated levels of Chloride and Alkalinity, and high pH.

Level 1 | Self-Test Web App
To do a quick and easy self diagnosis of your water, click the button below.
Launch

Level 2 | Do-It-Yourself Testing

Level 2 Testing is Do-It-Yourself testing that can be done in your own home using a Testing Kit. After you’ve done Level 1 Testing, Level 2 Testing can confirm if your observations are correct. If your test results reveal the presence of a contaminant that is cause for concern, you can either proceed to determine the best treatment (see below) or continue to Level 3 Testing.

Level 2 | Low Cost Screening Tools and Meters

We are not aware of a low-cost screening test for lithium in your drinking water, but you can have the lithium level in your hair and/or blood checked. "A safe blood level of lithium is 0.6 and 1.2 milliequivalents per liter (mEq/L). Lithium toxicity can happen when this level reaches 1.5 mEq/L or higher"(Source).  On the home-screening level we recommend a basic home-screening test and then a check of the level of lithium in your hair.

Recommended Level 2 Tests
National Testing LabsWater Check Deluxe

<div class="product-note in-L4-carbon-filtration">Note: For rural Areas with <a href="/indoor-6/herbicides-pesticides">Herbicides and Pesticides</a> Usage</div>

View
Filter WaterFW-210 Under-Sink Reverse Osmosis System (Code A27AC)

<div class="product-note in-L6-bromate">Note: If the concentration is < 0.01 mg/L</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-uranium">Note: Uranium less than < 0.030 mg/L</div>

View
Crystal QuestEagle 4000A Whole House Filter and Water Conditioner

<div class="product-note in-L6-benzene">Note: If the concentration is < 0.005 mg/L (POE Device)</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-trichloroethylene">Note: If the concentration is < 0.004 mg/L (POE Device)</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-chlorite">Note: If the concentration is < 0.8 mg/L (POE Device)</div>

View
Recommended Products
National Testing LabsL3-NATE-W-2 | WaterCheck Deluxe

<div class="product-note in-L4-carbon-filtration">Note: For rural Areas with <a href="/indoor-6/herbicides-pesticides">Herbicides and Pesticides</a> Usage</div>

View
Filter WaterST-FILT-F-03 | FW-210 Under-Sink Reverse Osmosis System

<div class="product-note in-L6-bromate">Note: If the concentration is < 0.01 mg/L</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-uranium">Note: Uranium less than < 0.030 mg/L</div>

View
Crystal QuestLT-CRYS-E-02 | Eagle 4000A Whole-House Filter and Water Conditioner

<div class="product-note in-L6-benzene">Note: If the concentration is < 0.005 mg/L (POE Device)</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-trichloroethylene">Note: If the concentration is < 0.004 mg/L (POE Device)</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-chlorite">Note: If the concentration is < 0.8 mg/L (POE Device)</div>

View

Level 3 | Informational Testing

Level 3 Testing is done through an accredited Water Testing Laboratory. With Level 3 Testing, you can order a testing kit that is used to prepare your sample and submit it to the lab. By utilizing a lab, you have the assurance that a certified water expert had analyzed your water sample. If your test results reveal the presence of a contaminant that is cause for concern, you can either proceed to determine the best treatment options (see below) or continue to Level 4 Testing - Certified Testing.

Notes on Level 3 Testing for Lithium

Many, but not all informational water quality tests include analysis for lithium.

Recommended Level 3 Tests
National Testing LabsWater Check Deluxe

<div class="product-note in-L4-carbon-filtration">Note: For rural Areas with <a href="/indoor-6/herbicides-pesticides">Herbicides and Pesticides</a> Usage</div>

View
Filter WaterFW-210 Under-Sink Reverse Osmosis System (Code A27AC)

<div class="product-note in-L6-bromate">Note: If the concentration is < 0.01 mg/L</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-uranium">Note: Uranium less than < 0.030 mg/L</div>

View
Crystal QuestEagle 4000A Whole House Filter and Water Conditioner

<div class="product-note in-L6-benzene">Note: If the concentration is < 0.005 mg/L (POE Device)</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-trichloroethylene">Note: If the concentration is < 0.004 mg/L (POE Device)</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-chlorite">Note: If the concentration is < 0.8 mg/L (POE Device)</div>

View

Level 4 | Certified Testing

A Level 4 Certified Test Test uses chain-of-custody with a water professional coming to your home to prepare the water sample and then works with an accredited laboratory in order to certify your test results. This type of testing not only gives you the highest level of assurance in the accuracy of your test results, but can also be used as a document in legal cases. For Baseline Testing, we recommend that you use Certified Testing.

Notes on Level 4 Testing for Lithium

If there is a concern about lithium, we strongly recommend a preliminary screening test to determine what other contaminants are present and it would be wise to have a custom Neighborhood Environmental Report prepared.

Get Treatment | Lithium

Pretreatment may be needed in some cases to ensure acceptable treatment by the primary water treatment system. Some of the treatment technologies may not be amenable to point-of-entry or even whole-house treatment options. In these cases, point-of-use units may be the best option. Periodic testing should be maintained after the treatment system is in place to ensure objectives are being met and the system is operating properly. Most systems will require maintenance on at least an annual basis. The common water treatment systems for lithium include: Reverse Osmosis, ion exchange resins, and Distillation.

Short-Term Treatment

In the short term, the best solution would be to provide an alternative "spring water" bottled water source for your drinking water or temporarily using an under-the-counter Reverse Osmosis system or a Distillation unit.

Recommended Short-Term Treatments

<div class="product-note in-L4-carbon-filtration">Note: For rural Areas with <a href="/indoor-6/herbicides-pesticides">Herbicides and Pesticides</a> Usage</div>

View

<div class="product-note in-L6-bromate">Note: If the concentration is < 0.01 mg/L</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-uranium">Note: Uranium less than < 0.030 mg/L</div>

View

<div class="product-note in-L6-benzene">Note: If the concentration is < 0.005 mg/L (POE Device)</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-trichloroethylene">Note: If the concentration is < 0.004 mg/L (POE Device)</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-chlorite">Note: If the concentration is < 0.8 mg/L (POE Device)</div>

View
Contact a KnowYourH2O Recommended Professional

Submit a Request for Consultation with the Know Your H20 Team. Contact Us

Long-Term Treatment

In the long term, it will be necessary to evaluate the chemistry of your drinking water source, source water, plumbing within the home, and to determine the source of the lithium and associated contaminants. It is likely a multi-barrier system will be needed and it is very likely you will need to seek the advice of a professional to design and install a custom water treatment system.

Recommended Long-Term Treatments

<div class="product-note in-L4-carbon-filtration">Note: For rural Areas with <a href="/indoor-6/herbicides-pesticides">Herbicides and Pesticides</a> Usage</div>

View

<div class="product-note in-L6-bromate">Note: If the concentration is < 0.01 mg/L</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-uranium">Note: Uranium less than < 0.030 mg/L</div>

View

<div class="product-note in-L6-benzene">Note: If the concentration is < 0.005 mg/L (POE Device)</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-trichloroethylene">Note: If the concentration is < 0.004 mg/L (POE Device)</div>
<div class="product-note in-L6-chlorite">Note: If the concentration is < 0.8 mg/L (POE Device)</div>

View
Contact a KnowYourH2O Recommended Professional

Recommendation: Seek Advice from a Local Professional (Customized Solution). Contact Us

Archive Page Reference
This is a newly redesigned Water-Research.net page. To reference related archived Water-Research.net page(s) click the link(s) below:
No items found.