Is Water From the Tap Healthy?
The answer depends on where you live and where your tap water comes from. Does it come from a private well or is it from a public source? Private wells or water sourced from a rural community may have a higher likelihood of pesticide runoff or contamination from farming. A public water supply is treated with chlorine and most likely has fluoride added to it. Either way you should have have your water tested once a year and more frequently if you have infants or small children in your household. If your tap water is polluted with toxic chemicals you may be doing more harm than good every time you drink water.
How do you find out what toxins might be lurking in your tap water?
The Environmental Protection Agency site has a link where you can signup for a report of the contaminants in your drinking water. https://www.epa.gov/ccr.
The most effective way is to order a water test and test your water frequently. Test it if you notice a change in color, odor or taste. Test more frequently if you have infants or small children living in your house hold.
Which Contaminants Pose the Greatest Health Risks?
Lead This is a big one. A recent report from a USA Today Network surveyed US EPA’s Safe Drinking Water information and found 2,000 water systems with lead exceedances over the last four years. The article further detailed that six million people were exposed to these high lead levels. At least 180 of the water systems in violation of the US EPA safe levels did not notify consumers about the risks. Their lead exposure was found to be at 14 to 42 times higher than a safe level.
The states with the most occurrences were California, New York, Texas and Pennsylvania. Click on this link from USA Today for a listing of the test results in your county and to read more about the lead problems occurring in our water supply.
New legislation in Congress aims to increase testing for lead in drinking water in cities, schools and day cares across the country. A bill introduced in April 2016 by Rep. Donald Payne Jr., D-N.J., would amend the Safe Drinking Water Act to require schools that receive federal funding for safe water programs to test for lead more regularly. Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., has filed a similar bill in the Senate.
What Are The Health Risks with Cumulative lead Exposure in Tap Water?
There are no safe levels of lead exposure. Short term exposure is measured through urine and blood, long-term exposure is measured in the bones. The most significant side effects lead exposure can lead to behavior problems, developmental delays, ADHD and lowered IQ. For adults, lead exposure can lead to increased risk of cancer, stroke, hypertension and heart disease.
When ingested via contaminated drinking water, approximately 20 percent of the lead is absorbed into the body. Short-term exposures can be measured in the urine (excreted levels) and blood (absorbed levels), while long-term exposures are monitored in bones. Intellectual impairment has been documented in children with less than 7.5 ug/dL of body blood levels.
Chlorine Chlorine is used in the treatment process of our tap water. Chlorine becomes dangerous when it reacts with organic matter in our water and produces what is commonly called DBP. DBP is short for disinfection by-products.
Scientists discovered as early as 1970 that chlorine forms chemical compounds called Trihalomethane. One you may have heard of is chloroform. Trihalomethane’s and chloroform are highly carcinogenic and have been linked to various types of cancer, high blood pressure, headaches, nervous system and immune system disfunction, birth defects, kidney and liver damage.
Fluoride Added to almost all public water supplies for its believed benefits to prevent tooth decay. Fluoride can have adverse side effects when consumed in drinking water. The benefits of adding it to improve teeth may far outweigh the risks associated with consuming on a daily basis. Most children already receive over the recommended daily limit just by brushing their teeth.
Naturally the effects are more apparent in children. These include lowering IQ and effecting hormones. In adults it can contribute to arthritis, premature aging and brittle bones. Overtime the fluoride consumed accumulates in the body in the pineal gland. Here it causes the pineal gland to calcify. The pineal is located in the brain and regulates production of serotonin and melatonin. These hormones affect our mood and sleep cycle. A few studies have suggested that calcification of the pineal can lead to early onset puberty in young girls as well. More research needs to be done on this as well as the safety of fluoride.
What Can You Do to Protect The Health of You and Your Family?
Find out what’s in your water supply. Look online for the water supplier to your home and check your local water report to see what contaminants are in your water. If there isn’t one posted, contact them.
Test your water. You can order an on line test from National Testing Labs. http://www.ntllabs.com/residential.html
Install a water filter. Start with purifying your drinking water by installing an under the counter or over the counter model. Once you know what contaminants are in your water you may be able to better choose the right system for you.
We love Multipure water systems because they start at an affordable price and are super easy to install. They use a carbon filtration system which removes up to 95% of contaminants. Most importantly, Multipure is certified by NSF International. They have passed the intensive scrutiny of NSF for certification to reduce a wide range of contaminants which affect our health including lead and other heavy metals, chlorine by products, PCB’s, VOC’s and numerous other contaminants.
Stay educated and active about what’s going on in your area’s wastewater, chemical plants, fracking facilities and drinking water wells. Read any notifications and news from your water company as well. Test your water and know what’s in it. Contact the Fluoride Action Network, http://fluoridealert.org/take-action/ and see what you can do at a local level to fight fluoridation of our water.
A Multipure drinking water system is your best defense against pollutants in our water.