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Chemicals In Tap Water: What To Do About It

by Tatiana Alcazar

November 24, 2020

Chemicals in tap water
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We’ve all heard that drinking water first thing in the morning is crucial to our overall health and metabolism. 

When we drink it, when we wake up and use it to make our meals, and even when we shower, water is a necessary part of staying healthy, but is tap water safe? What are the chemicals in the water that has negative effects on our health?

Chemicals are present in tap water. In fact, the terrible stories of the effects of unhealthy water have impacted families across the nation from Flint, Michigan, to California and Indiana in recent years.

What's Wrong With Our Water?

The real question we should be asking is not whether there is contamination. Instead, ask which chemicals are in our specific water source and what you can do to prevent or reduce the chance of negative health effects.

Luckily, there are also ways to find out which chemicals are causing contamination in your water source and limit their health impact. Generally, the chemicals in the water and the preventive action depends on where the water comes from.

Chemicals from The Source

The primary place that water faces potential contaminants is its source. Also, human activity and natural phenomena have a high impact on the quality of water.

Recognizing the different risks based on where your water comes from can also help you know what to look out for. Tap water mainly comes from only one of two places.

City Water

Your city’s water system therefore play a major part in the quality of your water. The natural environment also slowly absorbs the contamination happening at surface level. 

While events that occurred over decades can still have an impact on the quality of water the land produces. 

Industrial activity, waste disposal, wildfires, and even military sites can all produce a variety of contaminants. 

Industrial factories and plants can produce chemicals such as:

  • PCB’s
    • Used in industrial and manufacturing settings in the past, but could still be present in water systems such as draining, landfills, and a tendency to linger in the environment.
    • Studies have found that PCB’s negatively impact the immune system and may cause cancer.
  • Arsenic
  • Mercury
    • Mercury in water is from human-related sources and industrial waste such as landfill and refineries.
    • Drinking contaminated water with mercury can lead to brain damage and kidney problems.

So if your town's water supply is near industrial, manufacturing, or waste facilities, there is a chance that you could feel the effects of these chemicals and more.

Moreover, even the pipes used in your town can cause a whole host of known issues. For instance, lead pipes found in older water systems flood this dangerous heavy metal into your water.

Exposure to high levels of lead may also cause brain damage, various cancers, and cardiovascular issues. But lead pipes are not the only issue. 

Cadmium can leach into water when pipes begin to age and deteriorate. Health effects of cadmium depend on your body, and how long you have been exposed. 

Well Water

If you get your water from a direct ground source such as a well, you could still have the same issues as the list above. However, focus more on other harmful chemicals and elements, such as:

  • Nitrate
    • Typically found in agricultural areas. However, it becomes common contaminant in the water due to their use of fertilizer and animal waste. Nitrate also can lead to disorders associated with oxygen deprivation in infants.
  • Barium
  • Hard Water
    • Although it is less associated with health issues. Hard water is also high in magnesium and calcium, and can be harmful to your skin

Added Chemicals

There are two main chemicals added to water sources, and it’s important to understand how Fluoride and Chlorine have been subjects of hot debate in the medical community.

Fluoride

The history of fluoride in water is an odd story. At one time, decision-makers decided to pump fluoride into our nation's drinking water as a way to increase dental health. This was in the 1940s when taking care of your oral health was less of a societal habit. 

Today, we are more aware of the negative effects of fluoride consumption

Fluoride in particular is one chemical in tap water that harms the endocrine system. It can also cause damage to the thyroid gland, which can reduce energy levels and increase weight gain. 

Chlorine

Shockingly, we use the same chemical to purify our drinking water as well to kill bacteria in our swimming pools. However, this chemical can be absorbed by drinking and bathing.

So even if chlorine levels are low in our water supply, chlorine can still negatively impact our cell health and contribute to respiratory issues.

Some Options for Safe Drinking

If you have concerns about the chemicals that could be in your water, the first step is awareness. Most importantly, test your water source to see what your local source contains, and you can also use a variety of tactics to increase the health of your home:

  • At home filtration system
    • Filtration systems can catch chemicals and many harmful contaminants. You can also attach these to your main water supply line or directly to a sink or refrigerator.
  • Distilled water
    • There are a variety of health benefits to distilling water, and you can even distill it at home for yourself.
  • Bottled water
    • Purified, filtered, bottled water often does a better job of limiting chemical contamination than the water supply leading into your house.
  • Supplements
    • The U.S. National Library of Medicine shared research showing that supplemental vitamins can reduce the risk of health issues caused by pollutants. Besides air, water sources are the most polluted natural resource by contaminants.

Water is the basic natural resource we need the most. Since it has to come from somewhere, there is no avoiding contamination along the way, at the same time these contaminants cannot be detected by human senses, and it might go years before realizing the problem exist.

What Can I Do About Chemicals in Tap Water?

Understanding the chemicals in tap water can help you develop a plan to reduce the risks and live healthier. There is a lot to be said about the importance of what we put in our bodies.

Making our water healthier is only the start. If you'd like to experience the benefits of natural health supplements, check out the Naravis store today and start living your best life. 

 

Sources:

  1. " After at least 7 children diagnosed with cancer, parents eye chemical in city's water." CBS THIS MORNING, 19 Jul. 2019, https://www.cbsnews.com/news/children-cancer-ripon-california-parents-believe-its-linked-to-chemical-in-towns-water-supply/
  2. "Indiana mom's demands answer amid spate of kids cancer cases." CBS THIS MORNING, 13 Aug. 2018, https://www.cbsnews.com/news/pediatric-cancer-johnson-county-indiana-mothers-demand-answers/
  3. Serdar, Berrin. "Potential effects of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and selected organochlorine pesticides (OCPs) on immune cells and blood biochemistry measures: a cross-sectional assessment of the NHANES 2003-2004 data." NCBI, 16 Dec. 2014, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4290093/
  4. Luo, Elaine K. MD. "Everything You Need to Know About Arsenic Poisoning." healthline, 24 Ma. 2014,https://www.healthline.com/health/arsenic-poisoning
  5. "Impact of Heavy Metal Poisoning on the Human Body." wellbeing, 6 Ma. 2019, https://wellbeing-support.com/impact-of-heavy-metal-poisoning-on-the-human-body/
  6. Hampton, Julie. "Side Effects of Nitrates in Water." livestrong https://www.livestrong.com/article/473727-side-effects-of-nitrates-in-water/
  7. Simmons, Michelle. "Barium — toxicity, side effects, diseases and environmental impacts." naturalpedia, 29 Nov. 2017, https://www.naturalpedia.com/barium-toxicity-side-effects-diseases-and-environmental-impacts.html
  8. "Flouride Toxicity." sciencedirect, https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/biochemistry-genetics-and-molecular-biology/fluoride-toxicity
  9. " The Facts About Chlorine." Department of Health, May.2005
  10. Whyand, T. "Pollution and respiratory disease: can diet or supplements help? A review." NCBI, 2 Ma. 2018, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC593

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About the author 

Tatiana Alcazar  -  A software engineer, former IBMer, co-founder of Naravis Corporation and a mom, with a passion for finding the solution and root cause to everything that comes across, including health. It has been a long journey since founding Naravis and trying to find solutions to my leaky gut syndrome and pursue natural health. Throughout this journey I have learned an enormous amount of information (acquired knowledge) and I feel it's my duty to share my knowledge and my experience with you.

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