Drinking water is the cornerstone of any health plan and is essential for life. The average adult is advised to drink one ounce for every two pounds of body weight. Water is essential for a variety of functions. It:
- Regulates body temperature
- Helps maintain blood pressure
- Cushions the brain and other essential organs
- Lubricates the joints
- Flushes toxins out of the body via the kidneys
The human body can go weeks without food, but only a few hours without water in extreme conditions. Unfortunately, water can contain many dangerous pollutants that can make a person ill. A person may not be aware the water they drink has made them sick, or not realize it is the source of the heavy metals lodged deep in their cells.
Your municipal water system is mandated to deliver water from the treatment plant through miles of sometimes antiquated pipe and to your tap disease free. To do this, they add chemicals, primarily chlorine, to kill any ‘bugs’ the water contains or encounters. They are not required to identify, much less remove, any of the medications or more than 87,000 other chemicals currently being used in the US, and there are ‘acceptable’ levels of many of those things known to be toxic that they DO test for. While the importance of drinking water is understood, many tap water sources have been found to have the following toxins:
. Sources of arsenic in drinking water are often from industrial plants and natural runoff from mining and agricultural locations. Arsenic exposure has been linked to cancers of the skin, lungs, and bladder.1
Sources of mercury in drinking water can include volcanoes, geological deposits, the ocean, and other natural sources. Man-made sources can include mining, industrial plants and coal combustion. Low grade mercury exposure has been linked to the following ailments:
- Weight loss
- Memory loss
- Inability to focus and concentrate
Studies also indicate higher levels of mercury exposure can cause depression, myocardial infarction, carotid atherosclerosis, delayed reaction times, diminished motor control, coarse shaking and gingivitis.2
The most common sources of lead in water is from corroded water pipes. Lead can remain in the body for years, causing the following symptoms:
- Abdominal pain
- Loss of appetite
- Memory loss
- Pain in hands and feet
Continued, long-term exposure to lead could lead to kidney and brain damage.
Fluoride, a toxic byproduct of fertilizer production, was added to drinking water to help prevent tooth decay. Even though fluoride is considered safe, many special interest groups believe it could cause cancer.
Pesticides used on crops seep into the soil and eventually make their way into drinking water. The improper disposal of pesticides can also contaminate drinking water.
These are just a few of the many toxins that could be in drinking water at any time. Even though government agencies have taken many steps to ensure tap water is safe, issues still arise – Flint, Michigan and other cities have issues with lead in tap water.
- Young-Seoub Hong, Ki-Hoon Song, Jin-Yon Chung. Health Effects of Chronic Arsenic Exposure. J Prev Med Public Health. 2014 Sep; 47(5): 245–252. Published online 2014 Sep 11. [doi: 10.3961/jpmph.14.035] PMCID: PMC4186552 PMID: 25284195 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4186552/#__sec4title
- Robin Bernhoft. Mercury Toxicity and Treatment: A Review of the Literature. J. Environ Public Health. 2012; 460508. Published online 2011 Dec 22. [doi: 10.1155/2012/46508] PMCID: PMC3253456 PMID: 22235210 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3253456/