While tap water is treated to prevent waterborne diseases like Cryptosporidium and Giardia, filtering is required for truly clean water.
Chlorine and chloramine are the most common chemicals used to treat drinking water. Chloramine, a combination of chlorine and ammonia, is less commonly used. In contrast to chlorine, chloramine remains in the water longer and cannot be removed by boiling, distilling, or letting water sit uncovered.
As effective as chlorine and chloramine are in killing disease-causing organisms, they are still somewhat toxic themselves. Chloramine corrodes pipes which increases the exposure to lead in older homes. Therefore, water treated with chloramine should also not be used in fish tanks, hydroponics, home brewing, or for dialysis.
Toxic pollutants in our water supplies
Unfortunately, chlorine and chloramine also create carcinogenic compounds by reacting with organic particles normally found in water.
The byproducts they create in this process are more toxic than the chlorine or chloramine themselves. Research shows these compounds cause cancer in lab animals, produce inflammatory free radicals, irritate the skin and mucus membranes, impact the nervous system, and are linked to birth defects. Some researchers assert that these byproducts are also associated with thousands of cases of bladder cancer each year.
Along with these chemicals and the toxic byproducts that are triggered, our water supplies are contaminated by an estimated more than 100,000 industrial chemicals and heavy metals. These toxins come from car exhaust, pollution, farming, and industrial waste.
In addition, almost 40 different pharmaceutical drugs have been found in our drinking water. (There is currently no regulation on pharmaceutical drugs present in drinking water.) Concerned experts say these drugs can accumulate in people’s bodies, potentially interact with medicine people are taking, or contribute to antibiotic resistance.
Water bottles also contain contaminated water
Even bottled water isn’t a safe solution since it is contaminated as well. Then there are the harmful BPA chemicals from plastic bottles that are leeched into the water and then consumed. BPA is a hormone-disrupting chemical linked to multiple health disorders.
Not only is bottled water unsafe for consumption, it’s also not safe for the environment. Plastic water bottles contribute to serious pollution, particularly for our oceans.
Use a filter for healthier water
You can reduce your exposure to industrial chemicals, their toxic byproducts, and pharmaceuticals by using a high-quality water filter that removes particles 0.8 microns or under. If you water has chloramine, look for filters specifically designed to remove it as this chemical is more difficult to filter out of water.
Since your skin is very permeable and easily absorbs toxic chemicals, you could also consider filtering the water that comes from your bath faucet and shower head. Whole-house filters are a good option. People who filter their shower water often report improved skin and hair condition.
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