When it comes
to your health, drinking hot water straight from the tap may get you into,
well, hot water. While it can be tempting to simply drop a tea bag into
piping-hot tap water instead of going to the trouble to boil your brew, don’t
do it.

The reason you should avoid
hot tap water is because it dissolves contaminants more quickly than cold
water. This is especially problematic because many homes have pipes that
contain dangerous amounts of lead. Lead can leach into tap water and over time cause
brain or nervous-system damage, especially in kids. Although the problem occurs
most often in older homes with corroded pipes, even new “lead-free” houses
contain as much as 8% lead, according to a report by the New York Times News
Service.

While the risk is small, the U.S. Environmental
Protection Agency says that hot water from the tap should
never be used for cooking, drinking or preparing
baby formula.
You can find more
information on lead in tap water at epa.gov/lead.