Cyanobacteria, nitrates, lead, fluoride and PFAS are just a few of the chemicals found in tap water.
Also present are chemicals like VOCs (carcinogenic volatile organic compounds) and hexavalent chromium, says research in the journal Heliyon, taking a tremendous toll on US health:
“Cumulative risk analysis of contaminant occurrence in United States drinking water for the period of 2010–2017 indicates that over 100,000 lifetime cancer cases could be due to carcinogenic chemicals in tap water.
The majority of this risk is due to the presence of arsenic, disinfection byproducts and radioactive contaminants … Overall, national attributable risk due to tap water contaminants is approximately … two orders of magnitude higher than the de minimus cancer risk of one-in-a-million.
Thus, decreasing the levels of chemical contaminants in drinking water represents an important opportunity for protecting public health.”
Chemicals that may not be harmful by themselves may interact with other chemicals, hypothesize the authors:
“[C]ontaminant mixtures may exert their toxicological effects in ways that differ from the simple response additive framework used in the present study. If mixtures of carcinogenic contaminants in water were to elicit a synergistic, or “greater-than-additive” toxicity effect, the overall risk would be greater.”
Other risks present in tap water include the bacterium Legionella, mercury, THMs (disinfection byproducts like trihalomethanes) and HAAs (haloacetic acids), pharmaceuticals flushed down the toilet and from urine and feces and endocrine-disrupting personal care products.
Your safest bet against the risk of toxins and contaminants in your tap water is to install a quality water filtration system in your home. There are a variety of options.
Ideally, you want a filtration system that uses a combination of methods to remove contaminants, as this will ensure the removal of the widest variety of unwanted chemicals and substances.
Below are a few of the most common filtration options, as follows:
•Reverse osmosis (RO): In addition to removing chlorine, inorganic and organic contaminants in your water, RO will also remove about 80% of fluoride and most DPBs. Drawbacks of RO include the need for frequent cleaning to avoid bacterial growth. Your best alternative is to use a tankless RO system with a compressor.
Cost is another consideration since you may need the help of a plumber to get the system operative.
Note: In addition to removing harmful contaminants, RO will also remove many minerals and trace elements that might be valuable or desirable.
•Ion Exchange: Ion exchange is designed to remove dissolved salts in the water, such as calcium. This system also softens the water and helps prevent the creation of scale buildup.
While advantages of ion exchange include a high flow rate and low maintenance cost, disadvantages can include calcium sulfate fouling, iron fouling, adsorption of organic matter, organic contamination from the resin, bacterial contamination and chlorine contamination.
•Granular carbon and carbon block filters: These are the most common types of countertop and under counter water filters. Granular activated carbon is recognized by the EPA as the best available technology for the removal of organic chemicals like herbicides, pesticides and industrial chemicals.
A downsides to granular carbon filters is that the loose material can “channel” as the water creates pathways through the carbon material and escapes filtering. Carbon block filters offer the same superior filtering ability but are compressed with the carbon medium in a solid form.
This eliminates channeling and gives the ability to precisely combine multiple media in a sub-micron alter cartridge. By combining different media, the ability to selectively remove a wide range of contaminants can be achieved.
With the shocking breadth of chemicals that are now found in tap water, a home filtration system is a wise investment.
Also, it is important to continue opposition to glyphosate, CAFOs and monocrop farms and products and manufacturers that pollute the environment with PFAS.
Eat healthy, Be healthy, Live lively