...(WHAT TYPE OF WATER TO DRINK)...contd....

 ...we are forced to drink normal, available water, we may immediately suffer from colds, throat pains, fever and dysentery etc if our immune systems are weak.

In this day and age, however,  most of the available drinking water is filled with dangerous chemicals and it is important to realize how overworked our kidneys are just trying to filter out nitrates, fluoride, lead, arsenic, aluminum, bacteria etc. The advanced technology available to us provides cheap and simple filtering systems for our use. Cheap charcoal water filters are readily available in supermarkets while solar-powered water purifying systems are available for use. 

CHEMICALS IN TAP WATER

A survey by the Environmental Working Group released recently found 141 unregulated chemicals and an additional 119 for which the Environmental Protection Agency has set health-based limits. Most common among the chemicals found were disinfection byproducts, nitrates, chloroform, barium, arsenic and copper.

Jane Houlihan, EWG's vice president for research, said the group's findings show that the United States allows millions of people to be exposed to some chemicals for which EPA either has never considered the risks or if it has, has no enforceable limits.

"So in many communities the water that comes out of the tap could be contaminated with scores of chemicals. People shouldn't be alarmed, but they should be concerned. Our system of public health protections isn't working in this case," Houlihan said.

The top 10 states, listed in order of the most contaminants in their drinking water, were: California, Wisconsin, Arizona, Florida, North Carolina, Texas, New York, Nevada, Pennsylvania and Illinois, according to EWG, which listed the biggest sources as agriculture, industry and urban and sprawl developments.

The main dangerous chemicals in tap water are:

Fluoride: In 1973, British Columbia was considering mandatory fluoridation. They gave the job of researching and reporting the topic to Richard Foulkes, MD. Foulkes then wrote a 1900 page report and he recommended that legislation be passed to make fluoride mandatory in Canada. Based on that work, Canada began to fluoridate.

Then something happened. Little by little, Foulkes found out that the statistics that his researchers had based their findings on were largely falsified. It took Foulkes several years to uncover the truth, but by 1992, he shocked the country by backing down from his original recommendation:

"I now hold a different view. …the fluoridation of community water supplies can no longer be held to be either safe or effective in the reduction of dental caries….Therefore, the practice should be abandoned."-         Foulkes, 1992

If fluoridation is as safe and effective as the American Dental Association says it is, why don't other countries do it?

Chlorine: 
The experimental use of chlorine began in the 1890's to combat water-borne diseases such as cholera and typhoid. The problem with chlorine is that it is a known poison and the safety of drinking this poison over the long term (i.e. your lifetime) is highly uncertain. 

Chloramine: Chloramine is another substance used now in many larger municipalities (i.e. Los Angeles). In systems where the level of chlorine is at the highest acceptable level but need still more disinfection, the utility will then add a chlorine/ammonia compound. Chloramine is represented as totally safe but with the disclaimer to not give chloramine-treated water to your animals or use it in your fish tanks (it kills fish)!


Lead: Lead is a cumulative toxin that stays in the tissue permanently, especially in brain tissue. It also affects a person in relation to their body weight. Therefore, an exposed adult can fend off the toxic effects for some time but in children, brain and developmental damage occur quickly and permanently. Lead pipes and lead solder in the distribution system are the main sources of lead pollution. Boston Globe estimates that 98% of all households have lead in their plumbing. Houses older than 20 years and less than five years are most at risk. Also, houses in areas of soft (low mineral levels) water tend to corrode the lead from the pipes more easily.

Other contaminants (PCBs, THMs, heavy metals): Chlorine reacts with water-borne decaying organic matter like leaves, bark, sediment, etc. to create a family of chemicals called trihalomethanes and other highly toxic substances. Trihalomethanes, or THM's, include chemicals such as chloroform, bromoform and dichlorobromethane, all of which are extremely carcinogenic even in minute amount.

    PREVIOUS PAGE                   HOME                          NEXT PAGE