Toxic Water

Toxic Water

The Associated Press (US) has done a study, and they’re reporting today that all kinds of chemicals are found in your tap water, and this time we’re not talking about lead, mercury, pesticides, synthetic hormones, or anything like that. Today we’re talking about pharmaceuticals in your water.

Sounds pretty crazy doesn’t it? But it’s true. Pharmaceuticals are now found in 24 major metropolitan cities. I mean the water supplying those cities is contaminated with pharmaceuticals. Not just one or two either, but six different pharmaceuticals so far – that’s what has been found – including anti-depressant medications, anti-seizure medications, anti-inflammatory medications, painkillers, even caffeine. Yes, there is caffeine in the water. You don’t even need to drink coffee in the morning anymore!

Get up; slam some tap water, and you have your chemicals for the day! Well, that’s just an exaggeration of course. They’re not found in large amounts in the water, and we’re going to talk about that over the next few minutes – talk to you about the dangers of these chemicals found in the public water supply and reveal what you can do to protect yourself from these chemicals. All that’s coming right up.

Now this might be kind of a scary talk, actually. If you know where your water comes from you may not want to drink it anymore. In fact, I think anyone drinking out of the tap is probably not well informed yet. We’re going to help you get informed here in the next few minutes.

Here is how the water really works. Many cities take their water from the rivers. Now, this is where you get your water, and they just treat it. So whatever actually comes downstream to those cities is put into their municipal water supplies. Now many consumers have the misconception that these cities actually remove all the dangerous chemicals and substances from the water before they put it into the pipes that go into your kitchen and your bathroom and your home.

That’s not true. They don’t remove everything. Sure, they remove the dirt, the sand, and the leaves but they don’t even remove microorganisms and bacteria. No, that’s not their job. They don’t remove them. They just kill them.

Their only job is to sanitize the water so that what you get is drinkable. It will not kill you, but it’s not clean. They use chlorine for that usually. They dump chlorine chemicals into the water; chlorine kills the microorganisms, and then you end up drinking chlorine and dead bacteria at the tap.

Public water treatment systems rely on chlorine to kill harmful bacteria. Until recently, concerns about drinking water focused on eliminating pathogens. Chlorination of drinking water was a major factor in the reduction in the mortality rates associated with waterborne pathogens. The use of chlorine was believed to be safe until recent years, when halogenated organic compounds, such as chloroform, were identified in chlorinated drinking water supplies. Recent surveys show that these compounds are common in water supplies throughout the North America. These concerns about cancer risks associated with chemical contamination from chlorination by-products have resulted in numerous epidemiological studies. These studies generally support the notion that by-products of chlorination are associated with increased risk of cancer and other health problems. These risks arise from both drinking and bathing in chlorinated water.

Figures for the U.S. shows that in the 1880,the death  rate from typhoid was about 90 per 100,000 Americans.  Thanks largely to chlorinated water, the death rate today is only  about 0.1 per 100,000.   Recent research done in the 1950’s, has enabled scientists to establish a link between chlorine and arteriosclerosis’s in chicken.  It was also suggested that this was because of chlorine’s ability to destroy Vitamin E. Vitamin E promotes heart muscle function, strengthens capillary walls and dilates blood vessels. It thereby reduces blood pressure and the risk of heart disease. Vitamin E functioning as an anti-oxidant also protects against cancer.

In a 1988 survey, scientists at Oak Ridge National Laboratory found that drinking chlorinated water increased  the risks of high blood cholesterol.  The survey which covered 1,520 residents of 46 towns in Wisconsin, found that both men and women who d rank chlorinated water had higher levels of LDL, the “bad” cholesterol.

In 1989,researchers at the EPA’s Health Effects Research Lab (HERL) reported that mice showed “abnormalities” in fat metabolism when they were given chlorinated water and a typical, modern high-fat diet.  The mice too, had higher levels of “bad” cholesterol.

While links between chlorinated water and cancer are harder to establish, it is known that chlorine reacts with organic matter in water to form compounds called  trihalomethanes THMS) which are cancer-causing. Chloroform which one of the THMs was once used as an anaesthetic. It has since been banned by the US Food and Drugs Administration in 1976 because of its carcinogenic properties.   Recently, HERL scientists found that chlorine reacts  with organic compounds in water to form two other cancer-  causing agents: MX and DCS.  These substances both contribute to cell mutation and tumour growth.

So what can you do? Drink clean filtered water that gets rid of all the chemicals like chlorine.

Be well

Dr Sundardas