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?
Eating a healthy diet is crucial for healthier living, however, it’s so important to think about the quality of the water that you’re drinking.
I really can’t emphasize this enough.
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Why Should You Filter Your Water?
Water is Crucial for Good Health
We all learned in school that our bodies are made up primarily of water. But did you know that our bodies are about 55-60% water? 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
We Drink Water Every Day
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.
Our Water Is Contaminated
It’s great to know that you need to drink more water to be healthy, but clearly it needs to be clean water.
City water departments clean the water by filtration and sterilization, but actually even the sterilization is part of the problem due to what’s left behind as byproducts.
Following is a list of things that are in your tap water, some of which will likely shock you.
Contaminants In Tap Water
You likely already know that there is chlorine and fluoride (a known carcinogen) in your water, but did you know about these other things?
Here are some not so great things that are in the water you likely drink and use for cooking each and every day.
Arsenic gets into lakes, rivers and underground water when things like rocks that contain arsenic erode and dissolve into the water. It can also enter groundwater as an industrial and agricultural waste product.
Arsenic in drinking water is a huge problem because it’s toxic at very low levels and is well known to be a carcinogen. (source)
Perc (a Dry Cleaning Chemical)
Perc can get into well water or other water that’s a source for drinking water when groundwater comes in contact with a toxic spill or from water contaminated with waste from dry cleaners.
Rain and snow carry mercury that’s in the air to lakes, rivers and reservoirs. Mercury can also seep into underground water supplies from the waste of industrial sites and hazardous spills. (source)
Uranium enters local water, air and food supplies by leaching from natural deposits and also from industrial and agricultural sites like mills, the nuclear industry, from fertilizers and the combustion of coal and other fuel products.
Yes, you’re drinking other people’s meds! Pharma products enter the drinking water through urine, people disposing of meds in the water system, and also waste from pharmaceutical companies.
PCPPs (Personal Care Products)
Of course personal care products get into the water system as we use them (in the case of shampoo, body wash, conditioner, detergent, and the like. But they also come from industrial waste and people disposing of products down the drain.
In fact, there are likely up to a total of at least 830 synthetic chemicals in the water coming out of your tap.
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!”
Clean water, on the other hand, we can take with us.
How to Take Clean Water With You
When you’re home, it’s easy enough to get clean water if you have a great water filter in your house.
However, once you leave your home, things are a little more difficult, but certainly not impossible.
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 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 good health. Plus, it might spark conversation that helps 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’s “a very good place to start” :-).
This water problem is just one part of the greater problems that truly are everywhere in our environment.
In effect it’s a perfect storm.
We have toxic water, polluted air, heavy-metals in cosmetics, pesticides in food, mercury in fish, pesticides, 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’ve mentioned in other posts, my son has a form of autism, (actually he’s edging off the spectrum) and I’ve dealt with a number of health issues over the years. Therefore, we need to be extra careful with what we put into our bodies.
I also feel that we are, like others dealing with auto-immune disorders. chronic fatigue and the like, like canaries in a coal mine. We are, by our illnesses and disabilities, warning others that something is wrong.
There are things that we ought to be paying attention to.
So, what to do about this water problem?
Read what to do about your toxic water next.
Do you drink tap water? Will you keep doing so after reading this post?