Monday, March 8, 2010

Hidden Dangers In Your Drinking Water

The safety of your drinking water has been compromised by municipal treatments, industrial waste, and unreliable government regulation that leave dangerous cancer-causing byproducts in your glass. There has been an alarming increase in the amount of contaminants in drinking water supplies, both in big cities and small towns. Each time we hear of another waterborne disease outbreak, we wonder whether the benefits of drinking tap water outweigh the risks. These newly discovered contaminants that may be in your water include MTBE, Arsenic, and Trihalomethanes.

MTBE is a chemical added to gasoline to reduce carbon monoxide emissions from automobiles. However, because of the toxic health effects, many states are phasing it out and will eventually ban it. MTBE is toxic and causes eye irritation, tearing, nasal discharge, trouble breathing, nausea, and is a probable carcinogen. MTBE has leaked into ground water throughout the U.S., over a period of years. Reports of hundreds of people becoming ill have come to light and are connected to MTBE contamination in drinking water.

No one would purposely add arsenic to the water supply—yet arsenic has been found in thousands of water supplies serving over 12 million people across the U.S. Studies have linked long-term exposure of arsenic in drinking water to increased rates of cancer of the bladder, lung, skin, kidney, nasal passages, liver, and prostate. Non-cancerous effects impact the cardiovascular, pulmonary, immunological, neurological, and endocrine systems. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) set a new arsenic standard for drinking water at 10 ppb (parts per billion) to protect consumers against the effects of long term, chronic exposure to arsenic in drinking water. All public water systems in cities, towns, apartments, mobile home parks, nursing homes, and factories will be required to reduce the arsenic concentration in their drinking water systems which will lower cancer deaths, chronic disease, and save hundreds of millions of dollars in health care costs.

Trihalomethanes (THMs) are chemicals formed by the action of chlorine with naturally occurring organic matter in water. In January 2000, the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease, published a study associating several different types of birth defects with the ingestion of Trihalomethanes (THMs). Also, exposure to THMs occur through exposure from showering, washing dishes, and flushing toilets. According to Erik Olson of the Natural Resource Defense Council, water supplies have as much as one-and-a-half to two times the amount of chlorine added in the summer months, increasing short term exposure and health risks.

The discovery of these toxins in munincipal drinking water is causing concern for many Americans. One of the most important things to do to protect yourself is install a water filtration system in your home. There are a variety of filters available that remove specific toxins and material. Filters can be placed at the source of water for the entire house, or at each faucet. The first step is awareness!

No comments:

Post a Comment