Arsenic, lead, PFAS chemicals; A toxic brew is being found in our drinking water and it’s getting worse.

Water in glass, Clean drinking water

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.  

Groundwater contamination

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.  

References for this Article: Newsweek, CNN, CBS, Agency for Toxic Substances, National Groundwater Association, Livescience.com, World Health Organization,

Is your tap water safe to drink? Is bottled water the best option?

Water in glass, Clean drinking water

By Kami Klein

According to a report by the National Resources Defense Council, there is nearly a 1 in 4 chance that your tap water is either unsafe to drink or is not being monitored for contaminants according to Federal law. Do we really know what is in our water when we drink it?   Most people want to have faith in the laws and the standards that are set for our cities but what is being discovered, in many areas, are that those standards are not being met nor are they being brought to the attention of the public.  

We hear warnings from media reports which has resulted in many of us turning to bottled water “to be safe”. According to the  “Ban the bottle” website, American’s consumed over 50 billion water bottles this past year. Unfortunately, in a study by the Natural Resources Defense Council, one-third of the bottles tested in a thousand various brands contained significant contamination with levels of chemical or bacterial contaminants exceeding those allowed under a state or industry standard or guideline.

We must have water to survive.  We assume since we pay for our water that it will be safe for our consumption and for our families. We are told by doctors and nutritionists that it is imperative to have enough water in our bodies to remain healthy and we are told to stay away from beverages loaded with sugar and chemicals. We must come to understand that filtering our water for contaminants is not just a “to be on the safe side” move, but an imperative and proactive one.   

In July, CNN reported on another case of severe contamination of PFAS in a Michigan city water well. PFAS, and /or polyfluoroalkyl substances, are a family of more than 4,000 synthetic chemicals that degrade very slowly, if at all, in the environment. Some of the best-known chemicals are PFOS, PFOA, and GenX. In a Facebook post by the city of Parchment, Michigan, city officials warned residents that testing had found that the water contained 1400 ppt with the acceptable limit being 70 ppt. They strongly advised people to boil their water or use bottled water. No one was sure how long people had been exposed to this high level of contaminants or of the health problems that eventually may go with it.  That means that children were drinking the water, babies, whose formula was mixed with the water and all adults in that town were exposed to a very toxic mix of poison when using the city water supply.

In other evidence gathered by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) from samples of more than 60,000 water systems in all 50 states between 2013 and 2015, samples show that the tap water of 218 million Americans contains high levels of chromium 6. In fact, this carcinogen turned up in as much as two-thirds of our nation’s water supply! These high levels of chromium 6 were deemed unsafe by public health officials. Oklahoma, Arizona, and California had the highest average statewide levels of the chemical found in their drinking supply. This was the poison in the water that got Erin Brockovich upset enough to take on huge corporations in the attempt to clean it up and help families who suffered from cancer and other disease stemming from the groundwater becoming contaminated.

 Last year another report showed that nearly 3,000 areas in the U.S. have lead poisoning rates that are at least double of those in Flint, Michigan during the absolute peak of the city’s lead crisis.

Many local water treatment plants, especially those in small, poor and minority communities, can’t afford the equipment necessary to filter out contaminants. Those can include arsenic found naturally in rock, chemicals from factories and nitrates and fecal matter from farming. In addition, much of the country’s aging distribution pipes delivering the water to millions of people are susceptible to lead contamination, leaks, breaks and bacterial growth.

We are now at a time in all cities and in all states that we can no longer depend on a safe supply of drinking water. The government can try, but with aging water systems and so many cities needing to update, to be absolutely certain your water is safe to drink now demands a filtration system.  With several affordable options on the market, a way to filter your water should be as common as a microwave in your kitchen and in the end much more cost effective than bottled water that may or may not contain harmful bacteria or chemicals.

Water is life.  There is no doubt about that. With so much new information that continues to be revealed about our drinking supply, taking heed and filtering your water is the only responsible action we can take.  Your good health depends on it!

Seychelle filtration products