How safe is the water you drink? You may not be able to see, taste or smell contaminants in your water that can be negatively affecting your health.
Did you know?
Americans drink more than one billion glasses of tap water per day.
According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) 2010 report, “7% of all public water systems in the U.S., serving approximately 20,570,000 users, had violations of health-based standards in 2007 and 2008. In both 2007 and 2008, about 19% of all public water systems had significant monitoring and reporting violations. This is of concern because if a system does not monitor and report on the quality of its water, it is impossible to know if there are health-based violations.”
The Environmental Working Group conducted a study of over 20 million records obtained from state water officials and found over 315 pollutants in the tap water. More than half of these chemicals are not regulated and 49 of the contaminants were found at levels above the legal guidelines.
Which contaminants should you look out for?
Disinfection By-Products: These chemicals can form when chemicals used by the local water utilities to kill microorganisms react with other chemicals in the water.
Industrial Pollutants: These contaminants are prevalent in urban areas. One example is benzene, where up to 6 million pounds of benzene is released in the U.S. each year.
Agricultural Pollutants: One common pesticide to avoid is atrazine. This product is banned in Europe, but over 70 million pounds are used on farms in the U.S. These pollutants can not only affect our health, but also threaten fish and wildlife.
Heavy Metals: Lead can easily make it into your drinking water through your pipes, but don’t think
if you have “lead-free” pipes that you’re safe—they can contain up to 8% lead.
What can you do?
Here are steps you can take to safeguard your health:
- Get Educated: Research where your water comes from and what
contaminants it contains. Visit https://water.epa.gov/action/protect to get helpful tips--especially if you have well water. This link also includes ways to prevent contamination. The EWG created a drinking water quality database that covers 48,000 communities across 45 states and the District of Columbia. Visit www.ewg.org/tap-water/home to search what is in the water in your community.
- Don’t Just Substitute Bottled Water: Bottled water is even less regulated than public water. Plastic bottles contain additional contaminants that can leach into the water. Plus—bottles put an additional burden on the waste stream.
- Take Action: Purchase a water filtration system that has been independently certified to reduce the contaminants in your water. Look for systems with the Water Quality Association (WQA) or the National Sanitation Foundation (NSF) seal.
Contact Delia Dorn at Form Healthy Habits to learn more and make a difference in your health today!