There are many contaminants found in our drinking water and they can affect the health of our children to an even greater extent. Modern public water treatments filter and disinfect the water at a basic level but they don’t remove all contaminants. Some contamination can occur after the water has left the plant due to breaks in the pipes that make up the water delivery network. In this article, we will look at three dangerous contaminants that are found in drinking water and what you can do to remove them.
In recent years, we have heard a great deal about the dangers of lead exposure due to problems experienced in Flint, Michigan, and other areas. Lead is dangerous because it’s a potent neurotoxin that can be especially harmful to infants, young children, and pregnant women. Lead typically enters the water supply through aging lead plumbing pipes that are corroded. Another source is chips of aging lead-based paint, they enter the water supply via runoff during rainfall and the water dissolves them. Even soil and rocks can contain lead naturally and they can be added to the makeup of water that comes into contact with them.
The EPA has stated that no exposure to lead is safe. It can attack the central nervous system and the brain leading to the development of learning difficulties and behavioral disorders. Other health problems include reduced IQ, anemia, renal impairment, hypertension, immunotoxicity, and damage to your reproductive organs. One of the worst things about lead is that it cannot be tasted, smelled, or seen when it’s dissolved in your drinking water. The only way to detect it is with laboratory testing and steps must be taken to remove it if it’s present.
This may seem contentious, but the addition of fluoride to our drinking water is a controversial subject. Many experts believe that adding fluoride helps to prevent the formation of cavities in teeth and that’s why it’s an ingredient in many kinds of toothpaste. But, in recent years areas that added fluoride have decreased the amounts due to concerns from the plumbing and medical professionals. It’s estimated that around 66% of Americans consume fluoride in quantities higher than recommended levels and this can lead to a drop in IQ amongst children. A study conducted in 2017 by Harvard University found that children residing in areas where fluoride exposure was higher than an optimal level had significantly lower IQ scores when compared to their peers. Other negative health effects from high levels of fluoride exposure include dental fluorosis, neurodevelopmental disorders, skeletal fluorosis, and more.
3. Nitrates and Nitrites
These two types of chemicals are commonly used in agriculture and they enter the water supply in sewage runoff from livestock manure and fertilizers. Exposure to these chemicals causes thyroid disruption in women, reproduction issues, neurodevelopmental impairment, lower IQ scores more. In babies, the presence of these chemicals can cause methemoglobinemia which is often referred to as “blue baby disease”. This can lead to brain damage, digestive problems, and even death for a vulnerable infant. In adults, exposure to nitrates and nitrites can cause a number of health problems, including low blood pressure, insufficient oxygen for tissues, an increased heart rate, abdominal cramps, and even death.
As you can see, these three contaminants represent a significant threat to human health and they are just the tip of the iceberg. There are many other dangerous contaminants present in our water and this is why some homeowners have installed their own filtration systems. There are water filtration systems to remove these and other contaminants to make your water cleaner and safer to drink. Contact your local water treatment specialist and they can help you to fix your specific water quality problems.
By EcoWater Systems.
EcoWater Systems of Nebraska is the largest water treatment company in the state and is a member of Water Quality Association.