There's so much to think about regarding toxins we put in our bodies – from pesticides on food, to chemicals on our lawns, to chemicals in our personal care products, chemical “nasties” are everywhere. All of those are important, but since we drink so much water and our bodies are made up of so much water, what we really should be asking is, “Is tap water safe to drink?”
Have you been:
- wondering if your tap water is safe to drink,
- purchasing cases of bottled water from the store or
- deciding what kind of water filter to get?
These are questions that I pondered literally for years. I wish that I'd done what we finally did years ago, but then again, hindsight is 20/20, right?
At some point in the future I will write a post on my top recommendations for a healthy diet. However, I will say now that at the top of that list, if not the top of list will be —
ENSURE YOU ARE DRINKING CLEAN WATER
I really cannot emphasize this enough.
Why Do We Need to Filter Our Water?
1. Water is Crucial to Our Health
We all learned in school that our bodies are made up primarily of water. But did you 50-75%. And water's function in our bodies is critical to good health.
Water transports nutrients, minerals, and chemicals to every cell in our bodies.
Beyond that, consider these functions of water in our bodies:
- Is a vital nutrient to the life of every cell
- Regulates our internal body temperature by sweating and respiration
- The carbohydrates and proteins that our bodies use as food are metabolized and transported by water in the bloodstream;
- It assists in flushing waste mainly through urination
- acts as a shock absorber for brain, spinal cord, and fetus
- forms saliva
- lubricates joints
2. Our Water Is Contaminated
What's in our water?
If you're like me, this list will shock you.
Of course you already know that there is chlorine and fluoride (a known carcinogen) in your water, but did you know that these things are also some of what you are drinking every day?
- perc (a dry cleaning chemical)
- PCPPs (personal care products)
- and more – including up to a total of at least 830 synthetic chemicals
Many of these are linked to cancer and other diseases, even in small amounts. And this is all not to mention what might be leaching into your water through copper or PVC pipes in your home :-(.
Toxins have been documented in the water of many cities and the quality of our water just isn't up to safety standards.
One of the main problems is testing. For example, you for sure don't see PROZAC listed as something that water plants are testing for. Water testing is antiquated since there are so many more toxins in water today than in years past.
Sources: The New York Times and USA Today. It cites the fact that toxins like arsenic, perc (a dry cleaning chemical), uranium, mercury and others have been found in tap water and that there are even 830 chemicals that have been found in total in our water. According to The Times, many of these are liked to
To be fair, my city's water site does have a statement showing that they are concerned about this issue and are performing some testing of our water to monitor levels of PCPPs (Pharmaceuticals and Personal Care Products). Kudos to them for being ahead of the curve on this, but truthfully, “90% elimination of a majority of 22 target compounds? is not enough for me. I want them all out!
I think you'll agree with me that the answer to the question, “Is tap water safe to drink?” is a resounding “NO!”
But if you still need convincing, here's more on why filtering your water is important.
3. Our “Exposure” to Water is Constant
It's one things to eat the occasional hot dog. But it's another to drink contaminated water each and every day.
I personally know many people who are very concerned about healthy living. They buy organic, or at least whole foods, but they drink unfiltered tap water.
Water is certainly the item that we consume the most of by volume and by weight. So it makes sense that we pay the most attention to it, over and above everything else. In my opinion, it is the most important thing that we must change on our path towards health, with the exception of considering the quality of the air that we breathe.
But of course, short of walking around in a bubble with an air purifier attached to it, once we leave our home, there is little we can do about air quality.
Clean water, on the other hand, we can take with us.
If you know our family, you have seen us toting our water around in stainless bottles for a long time. We even occasionally risk insulting hosts by bringing out bottles of water to the table with us when we are invited for a meal (depends on the occasion).
Especially when the alternative is drinking tap water, I try not to worry about what others might think, because I am trying to do the best for my family within reason, and after reading articles like those cited above, I feel that a little embarrassment is a small price to pay for safety. Plus, it might spark conversation and help get the healthy-living message out.
If we clean up our water, are we solving all of our problems? Of course not, but to quote Maria Von Trapp from The Sound of Music, it is “a very good place to start” :-).
I think that this water problem is just one part of the greater trouble that truly is everywhere in our environment.
In effect it is a perfect storm.
We have toxic water, polluted air, heavy-metal preservatives in immunizations, EMF's (electromagnetic frequencies) coming at us from our cell phones and fluorescent lights, and smart meters, BPA leaching from our plastics…the list goes on and on.
As I have mentioned in other posts, my son has a form of autism, and I have been dealing with a number of health issues. Therefore, we need to be extra careful with what we put into our bodies.
I also feel that we are, like others who are dealing with auto-immune disorders. chronic fatigue and the like, are sort of like canaries in a coal mine. We are, by our illnesses and disabilities, warning others that something is amiss. That there are things that we ought to be paying attention to. Things that we ought to be cleaning up.
So, what to do about it?
We'll tackle the question about what to do about your toxic water in my next post. Stay tuned.
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Editors Note: This post was updated on 2/4/16 to include new information on safe water.