Most homeowners rely on tap water to do everything, from washing dishes and cooking food to soaking in the tub and drinking. Yet, something many of us ever considers the ways that tap water can be bad for your health. It is estimated that tens of millions of Americans are exposed to unsafe drinking water every year. And lurking in our tap water are countless contaminants and water issues, including one we’re all familiar with: hard water (did you know that an overwhelming 85 percent of Americans have hard water?).
Exposure to these contaminants and other toxins and chemicals can have many adverse effects on your health. Below, we’ll walk through several examples of ways tap water can be bad for your health, plus a life-changing solution.
Fluoride is one of the few chemicals that were purposely added to municipal drinking it. It is said to help keep our teeth white, but adverse effects can crop up when you ingest excessive amounts of it. Because of this, the U.S. Department of Health has lowered the recommended amount of fluoride in public drinking water systems.
Its side effects are why your tap water can be bad for your health. Excess fluoride in your tap water can result in children developing white or brown spots on teeth and affect their brain development. The World Health Organization determined that it could impair muscles or lead to joint stiffness and pain for adults.
Short for volatile organic compounds, VOCs can cause nausea, fatigue, dizziness, sore throat, and other irritations. Many of us may not be aware that we’re affected by them because of the side effects so easily mimic other ailments and illnesses. These chemicals are found in thousands of products we use daily, so it’s no wonder how they can end up in our water supply.
What makes them so dangerous is how easily they can taint our groundwater. As a vapor, it can be absorbed in our water, and in liquid form, it can leak into our water supply. Another source of VOCs is dry cleaners and other nearby industrial businesses. Prolonged exposure to VOCs is believed to harm the nervous system, increase cancer risk, and affect reproduction.
Although lead service lines were banned from plumbing systems in the late ‘80s, nearly a third of U.S. systems still contain lead service lines. Lead is perhaps the most notorious way that tap water can be bad for your health. As these pipes age, they start to corrode and release lead into municipal water sources or taint the water as it enters your home. Its side effects include nausea, seizures, and reproductive issues. However, lead poisoning can cause brain damage, learning disabilities, permanently stunt growth, and result in increased violent behavior in children.
Contrary to popular belief, chlorine isn’t only found in pools; it can be present in your household water. Along with fluoride, chlorine is intentionally added to municipal water sources to help kill germs and pathogens. However, when it mixes with other organic compounds, it creates byproducts that can be harmful.
Eye and nose irritation, stomach discomfort, and anemia are among some of the top reactions you can have from drinking water with an excess of chlorine. Some also believe that it can destroy the good bacteria needed for our digestive system. Chlorine in your water can also expose you to a parasite called giardia, which causes diarrhea, cramps, and nausea when it enters your body.
Copper is a naturally occurring substance in nature. It is essential in having good overall health. You can find it in your favorite foods like seafood, nuts, and leafy greens. But when you ingest large amounts of it, there can be a host of effects. Typically, when copper contaminates your water, the culprit is old pipes, brass faucets, and appliances leaching into your home. The telltale sign of copper contamination is blue or green water and blue-green stains on fixtures.
According to the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR), short term excessive exposure to copper can have mild side effects like stomach cramps, nausea, and irritation of the nose, eyes, and mouth. However, long term exposure to excessive amounts of copper can cause anemia, kidney and liver damage, and in extreme cases, death.
Although these chemicals are essential in protecting crops in farmland, gardens, and lawns, they are harmful to humans and animals to consume. These chemicals wind up in our water supply because of rainfall and runoff. When it rains, trace amounts of pesticides and herbicides are rinsed off and end up in our groundwater. Runoff from excess chemicals trickles down into the soil, finding its way into groundwater as well.
Pesticides in your tap water can be bad for your health because it can cause both short-term and chronic health effects. The short-term include diarrhea, pinpoint pupils, rashes, headaches, and vomiting. In cases of chronic exposure, it can irritate asthma symptoms, cause cancer, birth defects, reproductive issues, and issues with the immune system. The best way to remove pesticides is through filtering.
The Science of Water
There are many chemicals can contaminants that plague our water. Today we only touched on a few. It is enough to make you look at your water differently! But do you know what all of these toxins and chemicals have in common? They can all be filtered out by Puronics’ residential water treatment systems.
The Science of Water is a proud Puronics installer, and we can help get you on the path to having the cleanest, best-tasting, and contaminant-free water you’ve ever experienced flowing through your home. The first step is taking one of our free water tests to identify what contaminants are lurking in your water so that we can advise you with the best options!
Are you ready to experience how water should taste? Contact us at (352) 745-7070 or (904) 580-0000 to get started.