By Kami Klein
Water…we are all taught from an early age that drinking water is a must for our body to remain hydrated and flush out the bad stuff. Health authorities commonly recommend eight 8-ounce glasses, which equals about 2 liters, or half a gallon per day. The American people seem to be getting the message and are drinking more water than ever before. but reports and studies recently released are creating increasing alarm about the many dangerous chemicals that we are consuming with every drop. Americans get drinking water from private wells, tap water from public water treatment plants and in buying bottled water. Many concerned consumers are urging scientists for in-depth analysis of the health risks for each.
The United States Geological Survey says that about 44 million people in the U.S. get their drinking water from private wells. Surveys show about half of those have their wells tested at least once a year. When flooding occurs, such as in this spring’s historic storms, thousands can be exposed to a dangerous mix of materials in their water.
Many in the Midwest that are affected rely on groundwater for rural and small municipal water supply. Household, farm, and small business wells situated in broad, sand and gravel valleys and glaciated rolling countryside could be standing in water for several days, raising the potential for contamination if the wells aren’t properly maintained. Exposure to E. coli, coliform, and other pathogenic microbes from human and animal fecal matter in floodwaters is a common health concern following a major flooding event.
But there is a growing problem in many states that has nothing to do with flooding. And that is from a natural substance found in our soil…Arsenic.
Though arsenic can be found in the air and soil, the World Health Organization says the greatest threat to public health globally comes from groundwater, which is contaminated as it flows through rocks and minerals containing arsenic and resides in wells and tributaries.
In a recent study published by the American Heart Association Journal, the dangers of increased and prolonged exposure to arsenic in water and in some food such as rice are becoming more evident. The study found that young adults free of diabetes and cardiovascular disease developed heart damage after only five years of exposure to low-to-moderate levels of arsenic commonly found in groundwater. Arsenic has also been linked to various cancers, kidney damage, hypertension, cardiovascular disease and diabetes.
“It is important for the general public to be aware that arsenic can be a risk factor for cardiovascular disease, the study’s lead author, Dr. Gernot Pichler said. “Private wells are currently not regulated and people using private wells, including children and young adults, are not protected.”
Millions Exposed to PFAS chemicals
In a recent report by the non-profit Environmental Working Group and Northeastern University, it has been found that people in nearly every state in the U.S. are exposed to unhealthy drinking water both in private wells and through public water systems. According to researchers, 43 states have locations, including drinking water sites, contaminated with PFAS chemicals
Taken from Pentagon data and water utility reports the study shows an estimated 19 million people are exposed to contaminated water. PFAS, are synthetic chemicals found in many products, including food packaging, household cleaners and nonstick cookware, according to the U. S. Environmental Protection Agency
In an interview with CBSN, David Andrews, a senior scientist for the Environmental Working Group said, “This should be frightening to all Americans in many ways. these chemicals… don’t break down in our body and they don’t break down in our environment and they actually stick to our blood. So levels tend to increase over time.”
The EPA stated in March 2019 that 92 percent of the water used every day by Americans meets all of the EPA requirements for safe drinking water. According to Andrews, the EPA has not set a new legal drinking water limit for any contaminant in over two decades. And feels that the whole system of regulating chemicals that may end up in our water is broken. “The agency is really falling behind the science here.”
But let’s say that the EPA is correct and do the math on their claims. Nationwide, 327 million Americans each drink two to eight glasses of water on average every day. If 8 percent of that supply doesn’t meet EPA standards, that’s up to 209 million unsafe glasses of water per day, or 2.3 billion gallons of water—enough to fill a quarter of a million bathtubs. In short, high compliance numbers do not mean everything is fine.
In May 2019, Representatives from both parties of Congress released a half-dozen bills in response to PFAS contamination. The bills range from providing more funding for communities tasked with the cost of treating contaminated water to increasing transparency in reporting chemical flows and prohibitions on products with PFAS.
But as many consumer groups have stated, the damage is there and many feel that it would take decades to fix this ever-increasing problem.
Filtered is Best
Many have turned to bottled water as a safer alternative. In fact, Americans consume more than 8.6 gallons of bottled water each year. Studies on the health risks of bottled water have shown that plastic these bottles are made of and can basically leak into the water.
BPA, a component often found in plastic, is a hormone disruptor that can have a wide range of impacts on the human body, including hormone imbalance, toxicity, inflammation, and even cancer. BPA isn’t even the only component of plastic that is potentially dangerous—there are dozens of other chemicals that can have adverse effects on the body, endocrine system, and other organs.
What is the solution? How do we keep our family from toxic chemicals? How do we know our water is safe?
The best solution is to filter your water. Bottled water, which many believe is the best alternative is costly. A good filtering system can save you money and remove ALL of the chemicals used to treat water as well as those that are leaking into our water systems.
There are many advances in the past decade of filtering systems that remove more than 99 percent of pathogens, bacteria, lead and more.
The light on the problems with our water quality are becoming brighter by the day. In the meantime, we must tackle the problem with common sense and safety in mind. A filtering system for your drinking water is what makes the most sense for YOUR health and for your family.
There are many water filtration systems out there. Morningside highly recommends Seychelle products.