What contaminants are in your tap water?

Habits to Healthy Blog Post 4

There is a 2017 study by the National Resources Defense Council estimating that 77 million Americans are drinking tap water from contaminated water systems.

We are fortunate that our water system in the US is treated to decrease water-borne illnesses but there’s still a lot of contaminants in it. From toxic chemicals and pesticides to heavy metals and pharmaceuticals… it’s all in our tap water, REGARDLESS of where you live.

The Environmental Working Group‘s website is a great resource to see exactly what is in your tap water. In my area, there’s arsenic at levels 800 times higher than the standard levels recommended by health and science experts. IARC classifies arsenic as “carcinogenic to humans” so this is why filtering your water is important.

Research from the Environmental Working Group found there’s more than 160 UNregulated contaminants found in our water. Of the regulated ones, the legal limit is 100 times higher than the standard levels recommended by health and science experts. Each and every contaminant can impact our health.

Common contaminants are:

Chlorine
When combined with water that contain organic compounds, it can form byproducts called trihalomethanes that have been linked to cancer, kidney damage, miscarriage, hormone and thyroid disruption, and birth defects.

Fluoride
When ingested orally, it’s a neurotoxin and an endocrine disruptor. A 2017 study found that fluoride exposure during pregnancy can later impact the child’s IQ and cognitive development. The World Health Organization determined that chronic exposure can impair muscles or lead to joint stiffness and pain.

Heavy metals

Arsenic
Can cause cancer and damage the brain, central nervous system, and increase the risk of cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and stroke.

Lead
Is toxic even in low concentrations. Lead can cause permanent brain damage in children leading to developmental issues. Chronic low dose exposure can lead to nausea, seizures, reproductive issues, and kidney and brain damage.

Mercury
Can cause damage to our kidneys, thyroid, immune system, harm fetal growth and child development, and impair fertility.

We encounter toxins everywhere, whether it’s in our food, water, air, household products, etc. Our body can detoxify contaminants but to optimize our health, the goal is to REDUCE exposure.

How? By filtering our water! Investing in a water filter is a MUST.

Contaminants, such as heavy metals, are often one of the root causes to chronic disease. Headaches, skin rashes, tingling in extremities, nausea, vomiting, increased sweating, heart arrhythmia’s, joint pain, autoimmune issues, thyroid dysfunction, hormone imbalance, infertility… and the list goes on.

EWG‘s website allows you to enter in your zip code to see what’s in the tap water in your area. There’s also a chart to show which water filter systems remove those specific contaminants and recommendations on various water filter systems available.

The one I’ve been using and recommending is Berkey Filters (no affiliation). It filters out an extensive list of contaminants (including pharmaceuticals) and water from it tastes crisp and refreshing. It’s been one of the best ‘health investments’ I’ve made.

Water filters are NOT created equal. Brita and Pur are pretty basic and does not filter out a majority of the toxic compounds I listed above. Do your research and invest in a filter when you can. Your body will thank you!

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