The problem of lead in drinking water with regard to sensitive groups of the general population (e.g. unborn, babies that are not breast-fed, infants and children) is discussed. In respect of children in nurseries, the question regarding the relation of blood-lead levels to neurobehavioural deficits due to lead as well as a theoretical "tolerable" daily intake of lead is discussed. A provisional daily intake of approx. 1.2-1.3 micrograms Pb/kg body weight for children and pregnant women is proposed. For non-pregnant adults a double to three times higher intake may be tolerated (base: high blood pressure). These doses are well three times below the still recognised Provisional Tolerable Weekly Intake of led (PTWI-values, WHO), when related to daily intake. Considering the water consumption as well as the proportionate share of other exposure routes which result in the total lead exposure of risk groups, a toxicologically tolerable level of 10 micrograms Pb/l in drinking water is suggested. A reduction of the actual limiting value in drinking water (40 micrograms Pb/l) is advised. A special problem arises from lead tubes within the water distribution system. Water in stagnation as well as in use in these tubes may have enhanced lead concentrations. Therefore, it is recommended to exchange lead tubes preferentially in areas of sensitive use (e.g. as in the kitchen).