Is Drinking Tap Water Safe? Here are 7 Facts That You Should Know
Despite the recent E.Coli scare that prompted a major bottling facility to recall 14 brands of water bottles, opting for bottled or filtered water over tap water is still your best best. Here’s why:
Did you know that the average adult human body is 55-60% water? (Babies’ bodies are closer to 75%.) The brain is made up of about 70% water. The lungs are closer to 90%! This means that the quality of the water you drink has an enormous impact on your health.
Unfortunately, high quality drinking water is increasingly difficult to come by in this day and age. Most health conscious Americans understand we are lucky in this country to have access to water that is largely free of disease-causing microorganisms. However, drinking plain old, unfiltered tap water is generally not a great idea.
What’s wrong with tap water?
Recent analyses of municipal drinking water have shown that, despite government regulations, there are still many dangerous contaminants present in our water. This is noted even after it has gone through municipal water treatment facilities.
In fact, these water treatment facilities often actually contribute to the problem. They add dangerous chemicals to water as part of the treatment process. These chemicals include fluoride and chlorine. The water regulations and treatment methods used in the U.S. are old and outdated. They do little to address the assortment of toxic chemicals that are currently present in our environment. The Safe Drinking Water Act only regulates 91 potential water contaminants. Yet there are more than 60,000 chemicals used within the U.S., many of which have been identified as probable carcinogens. According to some estimates, there are now more than 2,100 known chemical toxins present in U.S. tap water. Additionally, many municipalities transport their water in antiquated, corroded pipes. This process may leach toxic heavy metals into the water after it has been treated.
Here’s a rundown of some of the chemicals that are more than likely lurking in your tap water:
6 Scary Contaminants Found in Tap Water
For over 50 years, the U.S. government has mandated that fluoride be added to the water supply to prevent dental problems. However, current research has shown that fluoride, a chemical that is used in rat poison, does a lot more harm than good. The fluoride found in tap water has actually been shown to damage tooth enamel. It also can increase fracture risk, as well as suppress immune and thyroid function. Plus, it increases cancer risk and disrupts the function of the pineal gland.
Many European countries have banned the use of fluoride altogether. Also, there is a large activist movement of people working to get fluoride banned in the U.S. Visit FluorideAlert.org to learn more.
Water treatment facilities use chlorine as a disinfectant. It effectively kills microorganisms, but also has toxic effects on the human body. Chlorine has been identified as a leading cause of bladder cancer, and has been associated with rectal and breast cancers, asthma, birth defects and premature aging of skin.
3. Pharmaceutical drugs
Recent investigations have shown that an increasing number of pharmaceutical drugs are finding their way into our drinking water. Drugs ranging from antibiotics and birth control pills to painkillers, antidepressants and other psychiatric medications are now showing up in most municipal water supplies.
4. Hexavalent chromium
Earlier this year, an Environmental Working Group report revealed that hexavalent chromium, a chemical identified as a “probably carcinogen by the EPA,” is present in high concentrations in 31 U.S. cities. This is the chemical made famous by the movie, Erin Brockovitch, which chronicled the case brought against Pacific Gas and Electric for contaminating the water in an area of Southern California and poisoning thousands of people. Yet despite its known toxicity, there are no government regulations for hexavalent chromium in drinking water.
5. Lead, aluminum and other heavy metals
Lead and other heavy metals can make their way into your tap water through corrosion of the pipes in your plumbing system. Lead consumption has been linked to severe developmental delays and learning disorders in children. Aluminum and other heavy metals have been linked to nerve, brain and kidney damage. Currently, some municipalities still transport water in lead pipes.
Arsenic is a poisonous element known to be extremely carcinogenic. The Natural Resources Defense Council estimates as many as 56 million Americans drink water containing unsafe levels of arsenic. For more information, see the USGS website, which offers maps showing where and to what extent arsenic occurs in ground water across the U.S.
You can read more about these and other common water contaminants in this article.
So what are the healthier alternatives to tap water?
So what is the best way to ensure that the water you drink is supporting your health, rather than damaging it? We cover that topic in detail in this article:
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Joshua Corn – Editor-in-Chief
Josh is a health freedom advocate and veteran of the natural health industry. He has been actively involved in the natural health movement for over 15 years, and has been dedicated to the promotion of health, vitality, longevity and natural living throughout his career. Josh has successfully overcome several personal health challenges through natural means, and believes that sharing information can empower people to take control of their health so they can solve their own problems and live life to its fullest potential. Josh is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Live in the Now. Additionally he serves as CEO of Stop Aging Now, a company that has been formulating premium dietary supplements since 1995. Josh is currently working on his first book about natural health, and is gearing up to launch the Live in the Now radio show. In addition to his work in the natural health field, Josh is an avid outdoorsman, animal lover and enjoys “living in the now” with his wife and two sons.