Do You Know What’s in Your Water?
Living in the western world, blessed with the advantage of safe drinking water, we often underestimate the importance of ensuring we have access to water free of chemicals that can accumulate and damage our bodies. If you are health conscious, you avoid processed foods, eat organic, and focus your diet around fruits and vegetables. But are you sure your drinking water is clean? There are more than 300 chemicals and pollutants found in water. More than half of those are legal in the United States. Here are some of the ones that may be affecting your water supply.
Chlorine – Water treatment plants add chlorine to eliminate parasites and viruses that occur in freshwater sources. Long-term exposure to the by-products of chlorine can cause miscarriage or birth defects.
Heavy Metals – If you live in a house built prior to 1975, it is likely your pipes contain lead, which can leach into the water supply. Lead is known to cause irritability, anemia and nerve damage. Mercury, which also causes health problems, may also be present.
Fluoride – This neurotoxin is a byproduct of aluminum. Too much fluoride causes behavioral changes, nerve damage and brain disorders. It has been implicated in thyroid disorders.
Bacteria – Tap water is filled with bacteria, including E. coli from human and animal waste products that run into reservoirs from sewage systems and broken pipes.
How can you safeguard yourself and your family from potential dangers in the water supply? There are a number of good solutions. Take a moment to review them and decide what is best for you.
Bottled water and pitcher water filters are a small improvement over straight tap water. If you use bottled water, choose glass. Plastic can leach more chemicals into water. Pitchers remove some of the toxins, but leave fluoride and heavy metals.
Refrigerator water filters are expensive, and they do not remove fluoride or hundreds of other chemicals present in tap water.
Reverse osmosis uses a semipermeable membrane to remove large particles from your water supply. It can eliminate many kinds of molecules and bacteria. Unfortunately, RO filters also remove vital minerals such as calcium and magnesium. Studies have found drinking RO water over time may increase the likelihood of developing osteoporosis and other degenerative diseases.
Solid Block Carbon Filters use activated carbon, which provides for higher absorption of many chemicals, pesticides, herbicides and some heavy metals.
Whichever system you ultimately choose, health experts recommend you select one that removes the maximum number of toxic chemicals without removing the minerals so important to your health.