When it comes to drinking water, there are very few of us who would hesitate when grabbing a glass of water at a restaurant or in a friend’s home when we know the water has come from the tap. Unless we know for certain that the water in an area has been contaminated, we often assume that the water has been filtered in some capacity. The Utah based ecologist James P McMahon has some excellent information on his website about the dangers of drinking unfiltered water. He sells a water filter which is custom built, called the Urban Defender. James believes this is the best whole house water filter available today. If you would like to know more about the Urban Defender please see https:/
So what kind of dangers could be hiding in water that hasn’t been filtered? Are there chemicals that could make their way into our water that would make us sick from drinking it? There are a few undesirable chemicals that can be found in unfiltered water, such as:
- Pesticides – Areas that are surrounded by farms, or get their water from natural means—lakes, wells, aquafers—run the risk of having their water contaminated by pesticides used on crops, or from lawn run-off. Pesticides in water can lead to damage to organs, and hormone imbalances. Continued exposure over a long period of time can lead to serious illnesses, such as cancer.
- Chlorine – This is a scent most of us can recognize fairly quickly, because it’s used to keep pools clean. Chlorine has been hailed as a miracle for stopping the spread of diseases through dirty water, and while it is extremely efficient in killing bacteria, drinking it in water over long periods of time is not good for one’s health. In recent years, the focus has come off of removing harmful pathogens from drinking water and instead the focus has shifted to the fact that long term chlorine exposure is known to cause cancer.
- Lead – Lead can make its way into water a variety of ways, such as from rusty pipes, or from improper filtration systems. Lead poisoning in adults can be mild, or barely noticeable. However, the real danger comes when children or pregnant women ingest water contaminated with lead. Babies and young children are very easily affected by lead, which can lead to cognitive delays, and permanent brain damage. If there’s any worry about water being contaminated with lead, cease drinking and bathing with it immediately.
- Lye (Sodium Hydroxide) – Lye is added in order to control the pH of water that is more acidic than it should be. The lye brings the pH back up to 7, which is what regular tap water should be. However, drinking large qualities of lye in water, or drinking this mix for a long time can have serious effects on your health. This is especially true because the usual reason there is a need to add lye to drinking water is because the use of chlorine has caused the water to become too acidic, which can slowly eat away at your pipes over the years.
One or more of these harmful chemicals can be found in any water you’re drinking in your home. It’s important to make sure that you filter water you have access to with either a built in filter, or with a simple filter you can refill and leave in the fridge for drinking. Being proactive is the best way to protect yourself and your family from unknowingly drinking something harmful.