Dangers Of Tap Water. Is that possible you may ask. Tap water is treated after all right? But people have a good reason to be wary of the water they drink. There have been multiple cases all around the world where even tap water, which is supposed to treated, have been found to contain contaminants. The rise of industrial areas, use of higher and higher levels of pesticides and bad storage of contaminants have all caused to pollute our natural water sources and sometimes normal treating does not clean your drinking water completely.
The following are some of the main contaminants that you find in drinking water.
Lead has been contaminating water sources due to human actions for a long long time. Lead is a heavy metal and can cause a lot of harm to the human body.
The main cause of the lead contamination in home tap water was due to lead based plumbing. Lead pipes and taps have been used to transfer water since the Roman Empire. Even though this practice started declining due to cheaper alternatives, using lead based substances in industrial applications and the burning of petro chemicals which contain lead has led to lead contamination of drinking water in recent years.
Lead poisoning affects the neuromuscular system mainly and can be quite toxic. Initially you get symptoms such as abdominal pain & tiredness but over time it can lead to loss of brain function and brain damage. Children are the worst affected usually with lead slowing down their growth rate, lowering their IQ and leading to learning difficulties.
Arsenic is element that occurs naturally in certain types of rock formations and can seep into groundwater and contaminate it. Even though people can get arsenic poisoning through that way, a majority of the water gets contaminated by arsenic released into the environment through industrial and agriculture pollution. Certain chemicals used in industrial areas and the heavy use of fertilizer and pesticides are usually the main culprits.
Arsenic Poisoning causes a wide range of health problems; from skin issues to physical deformities to multi-organ failure which can even lead to death. Long-term exposure to arsenic through either drinking water or cooking water can cause cancer as well.
Chlorine is a common disinfectant that is used to clean water in swimming pools and used to treat drinking water in treatment plants. Chlorine has an irritating smell and has an oxidization process that can kill many waterborne pathogens. This includes severe pathogens such as cholera, typhoid, hepatitis & salmonella.
The negative side of using chlorine is that it can lead to many health issues and certain chronic conditions such as cancer as well.
But the downside is that it can cause many health problems, including certain types of cancer. A lot of the lighter symptoms include asthma, skin irritation and eye irritation & sore throats. When you start consuming water with chlorine the issues get much worse. You can get cancer in the colon, urinary & breast cancer and it can cause birth defects as well.
Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral and is found in natural water sources. Some sources contain more amounts of Fluoride than others. Because studies done in the early 20th century showed that people who drank water from high fluoride water sources developed less dental cavities. So this prompted certain governments/states to add fluoride to other water supply systems as well.
But later, studies have showed that fluoride is known to suppress thyroid function and lower immunity and that is after consuming water with Fluoride level under the recommended level of 1ppm. It is supposed to damage the tooth enamel & weakens the bones.
Certain studies have reported that fluoride has neurotoxicity and is capable of reducing IQ in children. It is also supposed to trigger tumors as well as said to increase their growth rate as well.
There are certain organic compounds or hydrocarbons that can be toxic to the human body found in the drinking water in some places around the world.
The degreaser Trichloroethylene is used for many purposes in the manufacturing industries and has the potential to lead to liver and kidney issues and can lead to cancer as well. A common solvent used in dry cleaning, Perchloroethylene has been discovered to generate tumors in the body.
Atrazine is compound that is found in agriculture areas due to the use of pesticides. Perchlorate is another organic compound that is used as a rocket fuel and is found in explosives as well. Both these compounds have been found to restrict brain development.
Certain natural water sources can contain radioactive elements such as Uranium, Cesium, Telurium & Radioactive Iodine. Radon gas which is radioactive can contaminate underground water sources as well.
When radioactive elements slowly decay, they release ionizing radiation that causes cell damage and change their DNA. This can result in cells multiplying abnormally which can then lead to cancers in various parts of the body.
Nowadays huge qualities of Pharmaceutical drugs find their way into the groundwater systems and end up as drinking water. Most of the contaminants are either pain relief drugs or drugs given to fight infections or psychiatric issues.
The main issue with such drugs entering the water systems is that people who drink that contaminated water end up having adverse reactions and can even lead to drug resistance.
Hexavalent chromium or chromium is used in the plastic, paint, electroplating and steel manufacturing industries and is quite toxic. Exposure to it has directly affected people working in those industries and it can seep into groundwater and contaminate it.
Chromium, is known for as a genotoxin. Drinking this contaminant can cause different types of cancer, especially lung cancer and it is known to cause intestinal problems & kidney damage.
Bromates do not contaminate water naturally. There is usually some industrial action that cause contamination, with mostly the textile industry and the cosmetic production industry being the culprits.
Some forms of bromates are known to cause liver and kidney damage and have been known to form tumors in the thyroid and kidneys.
HCB was a widely used pesticide up to until 1965 when it was banned. Yet, it still is generated as a byproduct when making other chemicals.
HCB in smaller doses cause skin lesions and liver disease but in large doses it can even cause death.
Dimethyl tetrachloroterephthalate (Dacthal or DCPA) is a herbicide that can pollute soil and water sources. This is a chemical that is still in use and animal tests have found it can damage the kidneys, spleen, thyroid, adrenal glands, and the liver.
Many people believe that boiling your drinking water will remove all harmful contaminants from it. Boiling by itself does not remove the Dangers Of Tap Water. Boiling does kill off all harmful organisms such as bacteria from water but it does not help to remove toxins such as metals, chemicals, salts and compounds. Having a good Reverse osmosis filter is the only way to guarantee the safety of the water you drink.