When you have a family, it changes your priorities and you want to keep your children healthy and safe. This is essential for their development and continued growth as they approach adulthood. We place a focus on feeding them healthy food and yet many parents don’t think about the water that arrives at their taps. We accept that our water is cleaned to a basic level at the municipal water treatment plant but is it clean enough? In this article, we will take a look at toxic contaminants in the water supply that can harm children and how you can protect them.

Children and Exposure to Harmful Toxins

Children are more vulnerable to toxic exposure than adults because they tend to drink more per pound of their body weight. This is equally true when it comes to breathing air, they have a variable metabolism and they have an increased absorption rate. These characteristics are essential for the rapid growth that occurs during the formative years of a child. But, they are a vulnerability when it comes to dealing with toxic pollutants because the levels of exposure are much higher. When a child ingests contaminated water, they are more susceptible to health problems. Because a child is still developing their organs and tissues are prone to damage caused by harmful chemicals. In extreme cases, exposure can be fatal, and understanding these effects is key when you want to protect your children.

How Drinking Contaminated Water Affects the Health of Children

According to the site Water.org, a child dies from a waterborne illness every 2 minutes. Here in the developed world, we tend to have better disinfection systems in-place but breaks in the pipes can allow contaminants to enter. Public water treatment cannot remove every type of contaminant, and some are regarded as less dangerous. Because we rely on a supply of clean water to stay healthy we are especially at risk when contaminated water is what we have to use. Some sobering statistics from the Tap Water Database make troubling reading with more than 250 contaminants found in American tap water, including:

  • 38 pollutants that reduce human fertility.
  • 45 contaminants that disrupt hormones.
  • 63 pollutants that affect fetal and child development.
  • 78 contaminants that affect the nervous system and brain functions.
  • 93 chemicals that are linked with various forms of cancer.

More research is needed to determine the level of exposure required to harm the development of a child. But documented effects include everything from gastrointestinal distress to cramps, headaches, and vomiting. Some more serious long term consequences of toxin exposure could include seizures, skin lesions, cavities, bone disease, and a reduction in IQ.

Babies are very susceptible to water contamination when it’s in their formula. A typical baby can consume 85% of their diet from formula and this can expose them to toxins. This is troubling because a baby can eat in this way for up to six months before they switch to food.

In Conclusion

More research is needed in this area, but it’s fair to say that far more needs to be done to fix these problems. Sadly, the budget isn’t available to make the necessary changes to our public water treatment plants and the water delivery network. Many people have decided to take responsibility for their own water supply and they have installed a water filtration system. If you want to secure a source of cleaner drinking water for your family, contact your local water treatment specialist today.

By EcoWater Systems.
EcoWater Systems of Nebraska is the largest water treatment company in the state and is a member of Water Quality Association.