If you think there’s nothing in your water because it appears clear, think again!  Most of the contaminants are not concentrated in our water enough to see them.  But, that doesn’t mean that over time, they don’t build up in your body and start to impact your health.

Here’s the “13 Most Dangerous Contaminants in Your Water Supply.”                      

Lead –  almost 33% of water systems in the US are known to contain lead service lines

Copper – As pipes and plumbing fixtures age, they may release copper into drinking water

Chlorine – when it combines with other organic compounds, it can create several harmful byproducts

Arsenic – naturally occurring element in the earth’s crust. It is also present in air, food, and water

Nirate – usually enters our water supply through fertilizers or septic systems

Radioactive Substances –  these seep into groundwater sources through practices such as construction, coal mining, and oil and gas production

Fluoride – in public water systems, the mineral is still consumed by about 66% of the American population

Mercury – through multiple sources, including discarded household products like paint, and through industrial waste sites

Perchlorate -– the chemical used to make missiles, fireworks, and rocket fuels

PFOA – Perfluorooctanoic Acid the “nonstick” compound in Teflon that prevents your food from clinging to the pan – Per-flu-in-oc-tic acid

Manganese – naturally occurring mineral in the earth’s crust

Microorganisms – bacteria, viruses, parasites, bacteria, E. coli

Pharmaceuticals – everything from estrogen, to antidepressants, opioids, antibiotics, and more

Lovely list, isn’t it?  Why are these there? Because most facilities supplying our water in the U.S. don’t test for many of these substances. The ones they do test for have “acceptable limits” – meaning the contaminant being tested for is allowed by law to be there.  However scientists have said there is no acceptable limit for most of these – that even a tiny, tiny bit can accumulate over time and impact the health of humans, animals and even our crops.

Here’s what the EPA says are health impacts of the many toxins that can be found in our water:

  • Health effects of chemical exposure. Chemical exposure through drinking water can lead to a variety of short- and long-term health effects. Exposure to high doses of chemicals can lead to skin discoloration or more severe problems such as nervous system or organ damage and developmental or reproductive effects. Exposure to lower doses over long periods of time can lead to chronic, longer-term conditions such as cancer. The effects of some drinking water contaminants are not yet well understood.
  • Health effects of consuming water with disease-causing microbes.  The more common illnesses caused by viruses, bacteria, and parasites can result in stomach pain, vomiting, diarrhea, headache, fever, and kidney failure. Infectious diseases such as hepatitis can also occur. Hepatitis may be severe in people with weakened immune systems (e.g., infants and the elderly) and sometimes fatal in people with severely compromised immune systems (e.g., cancer and AIDS patients)
While we are all concerned about COVID-19, wouldn’t it be a good idea to also figure out how we can get some other (albeit maybe slower) killers out of our daily life?