Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Is Tap Water Safe to Drink?

Do you drink the tap water in your home without a backward glance? You may be surprised to learn that your tap water is actually much more harmful than you would think. Not only does tap water contain lead, arsenic, and other toxic metals, but there are also detectable levels of pharmaceutical chemicals and hormonally active chemicals present as well.

During 2006 and 2007, researchers tested tap water for 51 different chemicals from 19 U.S. cities. According to New Scientist, the 11 most frequently detected compounds were:
  • Atenolol, a beta-blocker used to treat cardiovascular disease
  • Atrazine, an organic herbicide banned in the European Union which has been implicated in the decline of fish stocks and in changes in animal behavior
  • Carbamazepine, a mood-stabilizing drug used to treat bipolar disorder
  • Estrone, an estrogen hormone secreted by the ovaries and blamed for causing gender changes in fish
  • Gemfibrozil, an anti-cholesterol drug
  • Meprobamate, a tranquilizer used in psychiatric treatment
  • Naproxen, a painkiller and anti-inflammatory linked to increases in asthma incidence
  • Phenytoin, an anticonvulsant used to treat epilepsy
  • Sulfamethoxazole, an antibiotic
  • TCEP, a reducing agent used in molecular biology
  • Trimethoprim, another antibiotic
Although these concentrations are diluted to millions times lower than the average medically recommended dose, Christian Daughton of the EPA's National Exposure Research Laboratory stated that neither this nor other recent water assessments give cause for health concern. "But several point to the potential for risk - especially for the fetus and those with severely compromised health." Unfortunately, the two statements made by Daughton are opposing because in the United States, many people have compromised health and are unaware of their condition. The health and condition of the immune system of the average citizen is below optimal due to poor quality lifestyles and eating habits.

The decision to stay away from tap water and filter your drinking water and/or water in your shower and tub is definitely a personal one. But if you are considering an alternative to tap water, a filter is the way to go. The quality of most bottled waters is too uncertain, and then there is the added health risk of chemicals from the plastic container leeching into the water. Filters add another expense to your household necessities, so if you are going to choose filtering your water, selecting a good filter is important. Various brands on the market such as Brita and PUR are available for reasonable cost, but there is some debate by various health professionals as to whether or not these filters actually remove enough of the undesired material. A good, economical choice is GE Smart Water, which was top rated in Consumer Reports December 2002.

The bottom line is, a preponderance of evidence shows tap water should be avoided because it contains hormones, pharmaceutical compounds, heavy metals, chlorine and may contain fluoride --toxic substances which can have serious health implications with repeated consumption. Avoid distilled water because it has the wrong ionization, pH, polarization and oxidation potentials, and can drain your body of necessary minerals. It has been tied to hair loss, which is often associated with certain mineral deficiencies.

For information about Kangen, one of the most high-quality water systems available which contains antioxidants that are vital for health, visit Very Healthy Water.

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