Your Tap Water Is Legal But May Be Unhealthy

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The 35-year-old U.S. federal law regulating tap water is so out of
date that the water Americans drink can pose what scientists say are
serious health risks, even if it meets all legal standards.

Only 91 contaminants
are regulated by the Safe Drinking Water Act, yet more than 60,000
chemicals are used within the United States. Government and independent
scientists have scrutinized thousands of those chemicals in recent
decades, and identified hundreds associated with a risk of cancer
and other diseases at small concentrations in drinking water. But
not one chemical has been added to the list of those regulated by
the Safe Drinking Water Act since 2000.

Recent studies
have also found that even some chemicals regulated by that law pose
risks at much smaller concentrations than previously known. However,
many of the act’s standards for those chemicals have not been
updated since the 1980’s, and some remain essentially unchanged
since the law was passed in 1974.

Sources:

Dr. Mercola’s
Comments:

Drinking pure
uncontaminated water as your primary fluid is one of the most important
and foundational health principles. And tap water, despite the regulations
that purportedly keep it pure, is filled with contaminants –
some of them pollution, and some of them deliberately put in your
water by the government.

Unfortunately,
you simply can’t tell your water is safe by the way it looks,
tastes, or smells. Some contaminants in water are so harmful that
they are measured in "parts per million" or "parts
per billion." In other words, just a drop of these poisons
added to, in some cases, a swimming pool full of water would be
hazardous to your health

Drugs in
Your Drinking Water

One unintended
consequence of the drug focused health care paradigm plaguing the
United States is the increasing number of drugs finding
their way into drinking water supplies
.

Drugs get deposited
into your drinking water via two routes.

  • First, drugs
    that you take, or that are given to livestock, do not necessarily
    become inert in your body. Some of the active components are not
    absorbed, and so they are deposited into sewage treatment centers
    that are not always looking for, or removing, prescription drugs.
  • Second,
    unused prescription drugs are sometimes flushed down the toilet
    or deposited into landfills by individuals, hospitals and pharmaceutical
    companies, where they ultimately end up back in the environment.

Many drugs
in your water supply are known to have dangerous side effects. Drugs
that were only intended for external application are being ingested
(and vice versa). And people are being exposed to combinations of
drugs that should never be combined.

The best way
to reduce environmental drug pollution is also the simplest and
most obvious – seek to eliminate the number of drugs you take
in the first place.

The vast majority
of drugs are dangerous and unnecessary band-aids that treat symptoms
without ever addressing underlying health problems. Of course, to
curb the pollution problem, drug use will also have to be greatly
reduced among livestock and other animals in the food supply.

Rocket Fuel
and Heavy Metals

Perchlorate,
an oxidant used in fireworks and road flares and as an accelerant
in rocket fuel, has been found in the water supplies of 36 states.
This chemical can interrupt the production of thyroid hormones,
which are needed for pre- and postnatal development.

Another potential
consequence is hypothyroidism. The EPA has predicted that the effect
could ultimately lead to the development of thyroid tumors –
a conclusion the agency based on the occurrence of thyroid tumors
in rats exposed to perchlorate.

Heavy metals
are also seeping into your water. These are inorganic chemical elements
with relatively high density, such as mercury, arsenic, chromium,
cadmium, nickel and lead. They are toxic even at low concentrations.
They usually accumulate in your water supply through human activity,
such as industrial and consumer waste.

But even your
own home can be a source of heavy metal contamination – in
homes built before the late 1980’s, lead and copper can leach
into the passing water from water pipes and soldered joints on the
way to your tap.

Left unchecked,
heavy metal poisoning can lead to chronic nerve, brain and kidney
damage, as well as blood disorders.

Chlorine
and Fluoride

The above contaminants
would be bad enough all by themselves. But the chemicals which are
deliberately added to your water may be even worse.

You’d
think people would realize that if chlorine is toxic enough to kill
bacteria and other potentially infectious life forms when added
to water, it might not be the safest thing to drink. In fact, if
you drink water disinfected by chlorine while pregnant, it
can increase your child’s risk of heart problems, cleft palate
or major brain defects.

In addition
to this problem, cancer-causing agents are created when disinfectant
chemicals like chlorine come in contact with organic materials already
in water, among them trihalomethanes.
And, that’s why washing
dishes with antibacterial dish soaps in tap water
isn’t safe
for you either.

Fluoride can
be every bit as toxic as chlorine. Fluoride is a toxic industrial
chemical. Although it has been widely promoted as being healthy
for the public, in reality, fluoride is a poison that may harm your
health. It is even used in rat poison.

Fluoride accumulates
in your bones, making them brittle and more easily fractured, and
in your pineal gland, which may inhibit the production of the hormone
melatonin, which helps regulate the onset of puberty. It has also
been found to increase the uptake of aluminum into your brain and
lead into your blood.

If you are
just finding out about the dangers of fluoride and want to know
more, The
Fluoride Deception
by Christopher Bryson is an excellent resource.
You can also review What
Your Dentist Isn’t Telling You About Fluoride
for more information
on the dangers of fluoride.

Tap Water
Gives You Cancer

What’s
the result of all these contaminants? A serious danger stemming
from the very water you need to survive.

Six studies,
examining a combined total of almost 8,000 people, indicated that
higher
consumption of tap water can increase the risk of bladder cancer
.
Men who drank more than 2 liters of tap water a day ran a 50 percent
higher risk of bladder cancer.

At least 13
million people in the U.S. are at increased
risk of bladder and lung cancer
as a result of high levels of
the heavy metal arsenic in the water supply. Young boys exposed
to fluoridated tap water suffer an increased
risk of osteosarcoma
– bone cancer – when they reach
adolescence. Chlorine and antibacterial soaps can produce yet more
carcinogens in your water.

Bottled
Water is Not the Answer

I
do not suggest using bottled water
as an alternative because
of the extreme toll it takes on the environment. Bottled water is
also usually just as unsafe as tap water. Like tap water, bottled
water is often tainted with fluoride and chlorine, and some of it
is just
as polluted
.

Right now,
the best way you can provide pure water to your family is by using
a reverse osmosis filter, which you can install in your home. You
may also want to filter the water that you use to bathe and wash
with, as this can be a significant source of exposure to toxins
as well.

Remember that
you can still be exposed to contaminated water when you:

  1. Shower or
    bathe
  2. Wash your
    hands
  3. Wash laundry
  4. Rinse fruits
    and vegetables
  5. Wash dishes,
    glasses, and other utensils

Although a
distillation unit will also remove fluoride from your water, I personally
do not recommend drinking distilled
water
. Distilled water has the wrong ionization, pH, polarization,
and oxidation potentials, and if you drink it for too long it can
drain your body of necessary minerals.

What I Use
to Filter My Water

My favorite,
and the one I personally use, is a high-quality reverse osmosis
(RO) filter. You just need to add a few minerals back to the water,
but the water is far superior to distilled water. RO reliably removes
virtually every possible contaminant that could be in the water,
providing pure water for your health and the health of your family.

I have been
seeking to offer one to readers for over 10 years, but have not
been able to make a recommendation. The reason I do not currently
offer one is that we are still researching filters that don’t require
someone with professional installation experience. Most of them
are not very user friendly.

Another problem
with nearly all R/O filters is keeping the holding tank clean. You
need to pay very careful attention to regularly draining it at least
weekly, otherwise mold and bacteria might build up.

Related
Links:

January
7, 2010

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