Common Chemicals Found In Your Drinking Water and What To Do About Them
Take a minute to ask yourself – do you really know what’s in your water? Did you know that 700 organic chemicals have been identified in drinking water, and some may even cause cancer? There are countless contaminants that can find their way into your home through the tap water that flows through your pipes. Here are the common chemicals you may find in your drinking water and what to do about them.
Many homes built before 1986 have plumbing fixtures and pipe fittings that contain lead. A National Resources Defense Council (NRDC) analysis of the most recent EPA data shows that 186 million people in the United States between January 1, 2018 and December 31, 2020 – about 56% of the country’s population – drank from drinking water systems with lead levels exceeding the level of 1 part per billion (ppb) that is recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics to protect children from lead in school water fountains. Even the smallest amount of lead can damage the central nervous system and lower IQ’s in children. Not only that, but it can also spark irritability, anemia and nerve damage.
Does your tap water smell like a swimming pool? Not only can this just be unpleasant to smell and taste, but it can also be harmful to your health. In fact, chlorine is essentially bleach and can react with other municipal disinfectants to create trihalomethanes. This can increase our risk of cancer by up to 93%. On top of that, 80% of chlorine intake absorbs through the skin by way of showers, baths, and hand washing.
Weed killer and pesticide components have been found in roughly 97% of cities tested. These pesticides runoff through our water from farmlands, gardens, and lawns, and can be found in the water we drink on a daily basis. In fact, scientists have found a connection between food allergies, environmental allergies, and levels of dichlorophenols (commonly used in weed killers and pesticides).
Traces of medications, both prescribed and over-the-counter, filter out through your urine and eventually get recycled in tap water. Your tap water could contain small amounts of pharmaceuticals such as antidepressants, birth control, painkillers, anti-seizure drugs, estrogen, and antibiotics.
5. Hardness (Calcium and Magnesium)
While hardness in tap water might not impact your health in a largely detrimental way, it can break down in your plumbing, appliances and water fixtures. Not only can this calcium and magnesium build-up stain your plumbing fixtures, but it can also lead to dry, and itchy skin and hair.
What To Do About Them?
Now that you know the common chemicals found in your water, you may be wondering what to do about them. One way to eliminate the worry and concern of these chemicals and contaminants is to invest in a water purification system. To minimize the risk of consuming harsh chemicals through your water, a high-quality water treatment is necessary.
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