The Million Dangers of Tap Water?

  • Danger of Lead: - Lead in drinking water is the one environmental health threats to childrenNext to chlorine, lead is the most common contaminant found in tap water. Lead in drinking water usually originates between the water main in the streets and the house hold faucet, so treatment from a central point is not logical or practical. Most lead in drinking water comes from lead line pipes, lead solder & brass plumbing fixtures inside your home. All chrome-plated brass and brass plumbing fixtures contain 8% to 15% lead. The EPA estimates that 98% of all homes have pipes, fixtures, or solder joints in the household plumbing that can leach some level of lead into the tap water.

    It has been determined and recognized by the EPA that there is no safe level for lead in drinking water and that any level poses some degree of adverse health effects, especially to small children. Even very low levels of lead can cause reduced IQs, learning disabilities and behavioral problems such as hypertension and reduced attention span in children and often the effects of lead are lifelong and irreversible.

    One study, done in Baltimore MD, showed that children with high blood-lead levels had a significantly higher rate of problem behaviors than children with low blood-lead levels and concluded that "this study lends support to the belief that undue exposure to lead in childhood years may have a pervasive influence on the prevalence of juvenile delinquency in this country." In adults, lead in drinking water causes high blood pressure and reduces hemoglobin productions necessary for oxygen transport and it interferes with normal cellular calcium metabolism. Water borne lead affects everyone in a very tragic and permanent way. Lead exposure is cumulative and long lasting. This toxic metal is stored by the body, primarily in teeth and bones. Essentially, lead has a very damaging effect on the body‘s electrical system, the nervous system. It causes the critical life giving message, sent from the brain to every cell and organ in our body, to become distorted. This results in the onset of a chain of adverse health effects. It is estimated by U.S. EPA that lead in drinking water contributes to 480,000 cases of learning disorders in children and 560,000 cases of hypertension in adults, each year in the U.S. alone.

    In the first quarter of 1993, the EPA released a first time report that showed the result of the new "test at the tap" requirements for lead in drinking water. The report documented that in America, 42 states exceeded the legal limits of lead in drinking water and that other states failed to do the required testing. Some areas had lead levels in excess of 450 parts per billion, thirty times the legal limit of 15 PPB. The level the EPA has set as the safe level or MCLG (maximum contaminant level goal), is -0-PPB.

    Essentially, every household with indoor plumbing has some level of lead in the plumbing structure that may represent a health risk. In the first quarter of 1993,the EPA released a first-time report that showed the result of the new “test at the tap” requirements for lead in the drinking water. The report documented that in America, 42 States exceeded the legal limits of lead in drinking water and that other states failed to do the required testing. Some areas had lead levels in excess of 450 parts per billion, thirty times the legal limit of 15 ppb.

    The biggest tragedy of lead contamination from drinking water is that it is completely preventable. By taking a few simple steps, beginning with Point-Of-Use filtration of our drinking water, we can virtually eliminate the crippling effects of the lead on our society, and most importantly on our children.

  • Danger of Chlorine - Chlorine Cancer & Heart Disease"We are quite convinced, based on this study, that there is an association between cancer and chlorinated water." Medical College Of Wisconsin, Senior Research Team. The addition of chlorine to our drinking water began in the late 1800s and by 1904 was the standard in water treatment, and for the most part remains so today.

    We don't use chlorine because it is the safest or even the most effective means of disinfection, we use it because it is the cheapest. In spite of all our technological advances, we essentially still pour bleach into our water before we drink it. Long-term effects of using chlorinated water have just recently been documented. It is not uncommon to find more chlorine in tap water than is recommended safe for your swimming pool. A simple chlorine test kit from your local discount department store, around 6.00,will typically yield surprising result, try it. According to the U.S. Council of Environmental Quality - "Cancer risk among people drinking chlorinated water is as much as 93% higher than among those whose water does not contain chlorine."

    There is a lot of well founded concern about chlorine. When chlorine is added to our water, it combines with other natural compounds to from Trihalomethanes (chlorination byproducts), or THMs. These chlorine by-products trigger the production of free radicals in the body, causing cell damage, and are highly carcinogenic. Chlorine is also suspected to contribute to hardening of the arteries, the primary cause of heart disease. “We are learning the hard way that all the time we thought we were preventing epidemics of one disease, we were creating another. Two decades after the start of chlorinating our drinking water the present, Epidemic of heart trouble and cancer began. “Up to 2/3 of the harmful effects of chlorine are due to inhalation and skin absorption while showering.” The American journal of Public Health. No one will argue that chlorine serves an important purpose, and that is likely here to stay. The result of not using chlorine in our water would be outbreaks of water borne disease like typhoid and cholera, like existed in the 1800s. It is also clear and experts agree that chlorine represents a very real and serious threat to our health and should be removed both from the water we drink and the water we shower with.

A high quality water filter system together with a de chlorinating shower filter can easily and affordably take the risk of chlorine out of your water, at the point of use just prior to consumption.

While chlorine (a chemical also found in household bleach) is a disinfectant that kills germs, it may also pose health hazards. Chlorine reacts with the leftover organic waste products in water to form a possible carcinogen, Trihalomethanes, which may increase the risk of bladder and rectal cancers. Chlorine vapors can be inhaled through shower steam (so ventilate your shower well) and even absorbed through the skin during showering with chlorinated water. (You can eliminate this risk by placing an inexpensive, replaceable, activated-charcoal carbon filter in the shower head and by using a chlorine-free-ozone filtration system in your pool or spa). There is also the possibility that chlorine is used to kill germs in water, might upset the balance between harmful & useful bacteria in the human intestines, perhaps even killing the weaker bacteria and allowing the stronger, and sometimes more harmful ones, to multiply unchecked. While chlorination of the water supply has eliminated public health problems, such as water borne outbreaks of cholera and hepatitis, the question about the overall safety of chlorination is still unanswered.
  • More Facts 1. There are 35,000 pesticides containing 600 chemicals compounds. Yet municipal water systems are only required to test for six. Many of these chemicals are known to cause birth defect, nerve damage, sterility and cancer.

    2. The General Accounting Office reports that 20% of the nation's 65,000 community systems are unable to meet minimum standers set by the Safe Drinking Water Act.

    3. More than 700 organic chemicals have been identified in drinking water, and some of them are suspected cancer causing agents.

    4. A recent government study found that more than 25% of all large U.S. public water systems contain traces of one or more toxic substances. Public water systems do not test for the carcinogens and other dangerous chemical that are being found.

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