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Health Risks From Tap Water Contaminants
With about 270 contaminants affecting tap water sources across the country it’s better to be safe than sorry when it comes to your health. According to an article by Live Science referencing EWG’s Tap Water Database 50 states included eight contaminants, lead and arsenic were among the eight most prevalent contaminants.
So how can some of the dangerous contaminants that are found in tap water affect your heath? Let’s examine the health risks and effects associated with 5 known tap water contaminants.
It’s shocking that the highest level of lead found in Flint by Virginia Tech Researchers was 13,000 parts per billion, a ridiculously high lead level. Every organ in your body can be affected by lead exposure. Adverse health effects from lead exposure include hearing loss, dyspepsia, seizures, hypertension, anemia, chronic nephropathy with proximal tubular damage, peripheral neuropathy, abnormal sperm, and stillbirths.
You may associate arsenic as a cigarette ingredient, which is not a comforting thought if you think you may be drinking arsenic in your tap water at home. Some adverse health effects of arsenic exposure include fatty degeneration of the heart, muscular weakness, muscular pain, toxic hepatitis, renal cancer, cardiomyopathy, gangrene of the extremities, lung cancer, skin cancer, prostate cancer, liver cancer, kidney cancer, bladder cancer, lung tumors, prostate tumors, liver tumors, kidney tumors, and bladder tumors.
Chromium-6 has gained notoriety because of the film ‘Erin Brockovich’. The film is based on a lawyer who confronted a power company that was responsible for polluting tap water with chromium-6 in Hinkley California. Based on Research by Environmental Working Group over 200 million Americans in 50 states have chromium-6 in their water supplies. With this alarming information being made public, people can decide if they want to take extra precautions when it comes to tap water, like installing a reverse osmosis water filtration system. Hexavalent chromium aka chromium-6 exposure health effects include irritation or damage to eyes and skin, lung cancer, irritation to the nose, throat, or lung, allergic contact dermatitis, and chrome ulcers.
Chlorine treatment or chlorination of water supplies meant to disinfect water, can lead to the chlorine reacting to organic material already in the water, thus creating THMs. Public water systems use the process of chlorination to disinfect water supplies, so if your tap water comes from a public tap water supply, you should know the level of THMs present int eh water. Adverse health effects from exposure to THMs include abnormalities of the liver, abnormalities of the kidneys, cardiac arrhythmia, and evidence has suggested breast cancer risk.
People continue to debate the cognitive health risks associated with fluoridated water. However, anti-fluoride groups like Moms Against Fluoridation maintain a firm stance against adding fluoride to drinking water. An article from Harvard School of Public Health features the following statement regarding the effect of Fluoride exposure on cognitive development:
“Fluoride seems to fit in with lead, mercury, and other poisons that cause chemical brain drain,” Grandjean says. “The effect of each toxicant may seem small, but the combined damage on a population scale can be serious, especially because the brain power of the next generation is crucial to all of us.”
The NSF Certified Pure Blue H2O 4-Stage Reverse Osmosis System provides a means of filtration for the contaminants listed in this article.