Just how safe is the water from your tap?
As you turn on the tap for a glass of drinking water or to wash your fruit for eating, you might not give any thought to the level of contaminants in tap water, nor to the dangers that they pose to human health.
You may want to give it some consideration, however; because tap water contains additives and contaminants that are unsafe to consume and thereby dangerous to your health.
Our beautiful country is the envy of many nations. We are blessed with outstanding natural beauty and a wealth of natural resources. Although Australia is top among the earth's driest inhabited countries, its water supply has been adequate.
The use of reclaimed water and the desalination of other water sources have contributed to the easy availability of tap and other water, even though these processes introduce additional chemicals into the water system.
Generally, when we need water we just turn on the tap and water flows out. We tend to take this precious resource for granted. That is, until there is a drought and we have to conserve water by cutting out or limiting certain activities such as watering the lawn or washing the car. Yet, as a rule, we always have water for drinking and cooking. It is ever available, on tap!
The safety and purity of this tap water is also taken for granted, but you would be surprised and even horrified by the chemicals, toxins and other unwanted contents of tap water.
Our government has the overall control of the water system, and it allows a number of chemicals and other contaminants at certain defined levels that are claimed to be safe for human consumption.
Can we be sure that they are safe?
According to a publication at the National Health and Medical Council website, studies in the U.S. and Canada have found traces of asbestos fibres in water supplies, usually from the asbestos in cement pipes. The drinking water supply in Australia is not well monitored for the presence of asbestos, however; but it is believed that Australian drinking water contains a similar level of asbestos contamination.
Asbestos is a well-known cancer-causing agent. Would you want asbestos in your drinking water, or any source of water for that matter? Fortunately, studies also show that a filtration system can greatly reduce the number of asbestos fibres in tap water.
Arsenic is a poison, and even though the Australian Drinking Water Guidelines
sets the acceptable level of arsenic quite low, we cannot be sure that a cumulative effect would not endanger our health. Simply put, arsenic in tap water can cause lung, skin and bladder cancers.
Atrazine is an herbicide that has been found in Australian tap water, especially in the regions of Queensland, New South Wales, and Tasmania. This herbicide causes adverse changes to hormonal functions within the body. Nobody needs that, but certainly pregnant and breastfeeding women will want to make sure that it is not in their drinking water. Studies using rats have shown that Atrazine negatively affects the unborn baby as well as the baby's development after birth. A good quality water filter is necessary to reduce and or eliminate any risk of potential harm to human babies.
A number of other chemicals, herbicides and pesticides get introduced into the Australian drinking water system, bringing health concerns.
Toxins include, but are not limited to:
- Chlorine: This is used to disinfect the water supply but has been shown to cause miscarriages
- Pharmaceutical by-products
- Lead: This is found in water pipes
- Mercury and Cadmium
- Fluoride: This contaminant, while useful in the fight against dental cavities, has been linked to certain cancers, metabolic diseases, nerve damage, and arthritis,
So, what can you do to protect your health and the health of your loved ones? The absolute best way to ensure that your tap water is safe is to install water filters in your home. More and more people are purchasing water filters to ensure that they have safe drinking water in their homes. The benefits are many, even with an entry-level countertop water filter.
The Benefits of a Water Filter
- Removal of lead and other heavy metals and toxins
- Cleaner, healthier water that is less expensive than bottled water
- Prevents disease and improves health
- Removal of bacteria, thus preventing gastrointestinal illnesses
- Aids in the development of healthy immune systems in children
- Better tasting water
Good quality water, the kind that is obtained from an in-home filtration system, is even more important for optimum health. Water filters make sense: For your own health -- and the health of your family!