Access to clean water is considered a fundamental human right, but unfortunately, it is far from reality in many regions of the globe. The problem affects humans worldwide, especially those living in rural areas. Even if the water looks, smells, and tastes perfectly normal, it can still hide harmful contaminants. Here are the most common toxins in tap water you need to be very careful of.
This toxic metal can harm humans and animals even at low doses. One of the major sources of lead pollution is the corrosion of household plumbing systems that contain lead, especially in places where the water has high acidity or low mineral content. The amount of lead found in the water varies depending on how long the water is exposed to the pipes, faucets, or fixtures.
A powerful oxidant added by several municipal water systems to kill off harmful organisms such as viruses and bacteria, chlorine can severely damage the skin and hair. It may also irritate the eyes and nose. Ingesting chlorine with your tap water can cause asthma symptoms, food allergies, and even bladder and rectal cancer, according to one study.
Chloramines are commonly formed when ammonia is added to chlorine to provide long-lasting disinfection. They have been linked to respiratory tract damage and eye irritation. Some studies have also shown an increase in deaths from influenza and pneumonia in communities using chloramine.
This liquid metal is found in many natural deposits. Some of the ways mercury can get into a person's tap water include erosion of natural deposits, landfill runoffs, cropland runoffs, and discharge from refineries and factories. Prolonged exposure to high levels of mercury can cause kidney damage.
These synthetic chemicals make their way into the water stream way too often due to improper disposal and poorly controlled manufacturing facilities. Although there's no evidence that pharmaceuticals in drinking water can harm humans, research has found it can have adverse effects on aquatic life.
There are hundreds of different compounds that make up pesticides. Few tests and studies have been carried out to determine how much impact they have on our health. However, they are considered potentially toxic to humans and can have both acute and chronic health effects.
Herbicides enter the water system of the home by accumulation in soil and public water sources. Atrazine, commonly used on golf courses, is an endocrine-disrupting chemical that can interrupt regular hormone function and cause birth defects in amphibians and humans, one study shows.
Other common waterborne contaminants:
- Bacteria and Viruses
What Should You Do?
Make sure you are drinking the cleanest, safest water possible. Test your tap water in a laboratory to determine if there are any harmful contaminants you need to take care of and purchase the best alkaline water to preserve your health. It is also a good idea to add a water filter system that can reduce the presence of many of the most dangerous toxins in tap water. When it comes to drinking water, there can be no compromise.