I know, I know – ignorance is bliss. When you drink a cold glass of tap water you don’t want to think about the possible contaminants swirling around within; you just want to cool off and hydrate. Unfortunately, with exponential urban expansion, ever-increasing carbon emissions and a slew of other day-to-day pollutants in the air, soil and water, even the general consumer needs to take a step back and ensure that their drinking water is safe, clean, and tasty! Eliza Wasser
5) All over North America, the drinking water is contaminated with various pollutants. Depending on where you are located, some of those contaminants are more repulsive and dangerous than others. The most common contaminant in water is chlorine. For those of you who slept through Chemistry 101, chlorine is a toxic gas. The reason it is in a large proportion of our drinking water is because its poisonous nature is useful to kill bacteria and other pathogens that might be dwelling in your city’s water system. The problem is that it doesn’t always come out of the water once it has served its purpose. If that isn’t enough, chlorinated consumption products have been scientifically flagged as possible carcinogenic materials and should therefore be limited if not avoided altogether.
4) In some parts of the North American continent you will find hard water. Hard water is essentially water that has an overabundance of calcium and magnesium ions flowing through it. While the World Health Organization has decreed that hard water has no adverse health risks attached to its consumption, new studies show evidence that hard water can cause undesirable effects in children – namely eczema. In addition, hard water tastes, looks and smells bad! If you have ever lived in an area with hard water, you can identify with this statement. What happens when you drink tap water from a hard water area? You get a cloudy glass of water. The taste is almost bitter and it leaves a white-ish dusty film on anything it touches. Needless to say, using this water to clean your dishes is almost a futile effort.
3) Perhaps the most repulsive contaminant in the drinking water for some areas is fecal matter – that’s right, human solid waste particles floating around in your tap water. Now obviously, there are certain hygienic implications of consuming water contaminated with human waste. Not only is it disgusting, but it is also a health hazard that can cause illness such as the ever-dreaded e. coli bacterial infection.
2) Some areas in North America contain lead in the drinking water. Lead, as you may know, is an extreme hazard to your health. Prolonged exposure to Lead can cause damage to your blood, kidneys, liver, and nervous system. With that said, pregnant women and young children are especially susceptible to Lead poisoning. According to the EPA, the most common sources of lead in drinking water are from lead, brass or copper pipes in your home. Although filtration is the most effective way to mitigate the dangers of Lead in your drinking water, an alternative method is to run your cold water for a few minutes to “flush the pipes” until it is relatively clear of contaminants.
1) Unfortunately, Arsenic is a very common contaminant in residential drinking water. Arsenic is an extremely toxic chemical that WILL cause health issues if exposed to it for long enough. It has been scientifically proven that Arsenic causes bladder, lung and skin cancer. In addition, a lot of recent research points toward the possibility of Arsenic contributing to kidney and liver cancer as well. According to a survey of 25 states in the U.S. by the EPA, an estimated 34 million Americans are drinking water that has a very high level of Arsenic contamination posing an unacceptable risk of cancer and other health complications.