(Kristine Payne) While the tap seems like an easy and hassle-free way to drink water, it’s anything but. Tap water is filled to the brim with dangerous contaminants that have no business being anywhere near your body. Every time you turn on the tap and fill your glass, you risk drinking any of the thousands of chemical toxins that have been found in our nation’s tap water.
In California, sewer water is now being recycled into tap water. “New regulations approved Tuesday by the California State Water Resources Control Board allow treated recycled water to be added to reservoirs, the source of California municipal drinking water,” reports the San Francisco Gate. “The regulations specify the percentage of recycled water that can be added and how long it must reside there before being treated again at a surface water treatment facility and provided as drinking water.”
Listed below are some of the most common and prolific toxins found in municipal water:
- Fluoride — Because it’s believed to prevent tooth decay, water fluoridation has been practiced for the last 50 years. Unfortunately, not only is fluoride totally unnecessary, it also does more damage than you think. According to FluorideAlert.org, fluoride can harm tooth enamel, negatively impact thyroid and pineal gland function, and weaken bones. The dose is not controlled, and it is known to accumulate in the body, interfering with digestion, hormones, and neurotransmitters. This array of health issues is why countries such as Belgium, Sweden, and Hungary have either banned or rejected water fluoridation.
- Chlorine — Turns out chlorine isn’t just for the pool; water treatment facilities make use of this chemical as well. The problem with chlorine is that it’s so effective a disinfectant that drinking it destroys beneficial gut bacteria. In turn, this makes you more susceptible to digestive issues and ailments such as asthma and food allergies. Moreover, chlorine is believed to be highly carcinogenic in even small amounts.
- Arsenic — This naturally-occurring element can seep into groundwater and water wells, which is usually how you become exposed to it. On top of it being extremely carcinogenic, arsenic has been known to raise the chances of developing cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and cognitive development disorders in young children.
- Heavy metals — Pipes contain heavy metals that make their way into our water whenever water passes through them. Lead is the most well-known of these heavy metals, and has been connected to neurological and developmental difficulties in young children. Other heavy metals like aluminum can damage your nerves, kidneys, and brain. And don’t make the mistake of thinking that having new plumbing fixtures makes you safe. As per NRDC.org, even new brass faucets and fixtures can still have a relevant amount of lead in them.
- Hexavalent chromium — This probable human carcinogen can result in reproductive harm, severely damage the liver and kidneys, and bring about eye and respiratory irritation. Hexavalent chromium is so dangerous that even drinking it over a short period of time has been shown to cause health issues.
- Pharmaceutical drugs — From being flushed down the toilet to being passed through bodily waste, there are several ways that pharmaceutical drugs can end up in our drinking water supply. And the kinds of medication that have been found in drinking water is nothing short of shocking: painkillers, antidepressants, blood thinners, antibiotics, and hormones are just some of them. This means that your local water supply could be harboring a deadly cocktail of pharmaceuticals with disastrous health effects.
So what water do you drink? For a full comparison of all the major water sources, read this more detailed report.