For far too many Americans, turning on their faucets for a glass of water is like pouring a cocktail of chemicals. Lead, arsenic, the “forever chemicals” known as PFAS and many other toxic substances are often found in our drinking water at potentially unsafe levels!
In my recent efforts to raise awareness about the contaminants in our clean water supply, my attention turned homeward to Northwest Arkansas. Normally I would consider NWA to have pretty decent water compared to many places that I have travelled, but even Arkansas has contaminated drinking water.
I don’t think that most people would consider for a moment giving chloroform to one of their children, but the sad fact is that if your kids are drinking tap water, they’re probably drinking chloroform. The Environmental Protection Agency claims to have data indicating that humans can be exposed to the carcinogenic chemical chloroform at the “low” levels found in tap water and not suffer any ill effects.
At least one environmental group believes that proposing a nonzero health goal for a known carcinogen is a dangerous precedent that does not go far enough to protect public health. The Environmental Working Group is a great resource for identifying contaminants in tap water sources. They offer a zip code based search and have conducted studies of all 50 states. The following data was compiled from the EWG website.
Many more chemicals were found, but I decided to focus primarily on Nitrates and Nitrites as well as Hexavalent Chromium. Nitrate levels in our water resources have increased in many areas of the world largely due to applications of inorganic fertilizer and animal manure in agricultural areas. As for Hexavalent Chromium (or Chromium-6), if it sounds familiar it’s probably from the movie Erin Brockovich (2000), which starred Julia Roberts as a legal assistant taking on a company accused of polluting the water in Hinkley, California, which resulted in elevated rates of cancer and death among the town’s residents.
So what is hexavalent chromium, and what is it used for?
Industry adds chromium (Cr) to iron and nickel to make metal alloys. Stainless steels are alloys of chromium and iron. Chromium alloys are used to make products such as oil tubing, automobile trim, and cutlery. Hexavalent chromium (Cr+6), in contrast, is toxic. It is hazardous when breathed in, ingested, or touched. It carries a 50 percent lethality (LD50) when ingested to the amount of 50 milligrams per liter of body weight. Repeated exposure to hexavalent chromium can cause a number of respiratory conditions, including asthma, bronchitis, itching, physical trauma to the respiratory tract, and lung cancer. Far be it from a diabolical scheme, the chemical is used in a number of industrial processes as well as for the tanning of leather products, chromium plating, making colored glass, as well as paint pigments and inks that are used to color plastics and fabrics and serve as corrosion-resistant coatings.
The presence of this chemical in our drinking water supply however, is very sinister indeed.
I mentioned chloroform earlier
According to a Public Health Statement on Chloroform by the CDC:
Most of the chloroform found in the environment comes from industry. It will only burn when it reaches very high temperatures. Chloroform was one of the first inhaled anesthetics to be used during surgery, but it is not used for anesthesia today. Nearly all the chloroform made in the United States today is used to make other chemicals. Chloroform enters the environment from chemical companies and paper mills, It is also found in waste water from sewage treatment plants and drinking water to which chlorine has been added. Chlorine is added to most drinking water and many waste waters to destroy bacteria. Small amounts of chloroform are formed as an unwanted product during the process of adding chlorine to water. Chloroform can enter the air directly from factories that make or use it and by evaporating from water and soil that contain it. It can enter water and soil when waste water that contains chlorine is released into water or soil. It may enter water and soil from spills and by leaks from storage and waste sites. There are many ways for chloroform to enter the environment, so small amounts of it are likely to be found almost everywhere.
The Contaminants mentioned in the Blog Header which was 685 times the limits set by the EWG Guidelines were Haloacetic acids (HAA9), a type of chlorination disinfection by-product that are formed when the chlorine used to disinfect drinking water reacts with naturally occurring organic matter in water. They are a carcinogen.
So What Do These Chemicals Have In Common?
Well, for the intents and purposes of our discussion today, filtration! Since all of the chemicals tested by the EWG are toxic, and since we absorb even more through our skin during showers and baths than in the water that we actually drink, we need to knowhow to protect our families. Especially when federal water safety standards aren’t keeping up with the science on contaminants. In fact, some regulations haven’t been updated in over 50 years, and the EPA is not moving fast enough to deal with drinking water properly.
This leaves us with three viable options if you are not opposed to a Berkey Water Filter. Obviously, you could set up a whole-house Reverse Osmosis system, but aside from the cost of the system, if you have followed me for any length of time you know that I am not a fan of RO water because it is acidic, oxidizing, and void of minerals. I have done many presentations on cellular voltage in the human body and why continuous power water ionization technology will be the way of the future, perhaps I will write a blog about it as well.
But, if you want to take a closer look, this demonstration is very visual as to why I prefer Ionized Water over Reverse Osmosis. Yes, our ionized water turned on the lightbulb. We put it through a medical-grade water ionizer that acts as a molecular hydrogen generator. This stuff is fascinating and you can learn more about it here. (affiliate link)
If you’re looking to get the best quality of water for yourself and your family, I would suggest looking into the Enagic product line. (affiliate link) They are the Gold Standard in the water ionization industry. It is personal preference of course, some people will add trace minerals into their RO water, which is good. But I prefer the point-of-use, Active Carbon Filtration with Ionization due to the demonstration above.
Also be sure to check out the Anespa Shower Units here. (affiliate link)
They are amazing like the rest of the Enagic product line.
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