Water is very important in our bodies. It helps us detox, carry oxygen in our blood, digest our food and keeps your 75% water level. Most of us have heard that we should be drinking about 8-10 glasses of water a day to stay healthy. What if we’re drinking a lot of the wrong water? Can we then be hindering our health? The answer is yes.
Toxins in Our Tap Water
Tap water comes from two major sources: groundwater or surface water. Groundwater can be anything from artesian or deep wells. Surface water is from reservoirs, rivers, and lakes. After the water is collected, it goes through a cleaning process involving chlorination which kills a lot of the bad bacteria and parasites.
The problem with chlorination is that it doesn’t kill all the harmful germs in the water. In many older houses (pre 1970) tap water can have traces of copper and lead from corroded pipes. Some of the other things that are found are nitrates and harmful chemicals from fertilizer and pesticide runoff, along with arsenic.
Chlorine’s Effect on Your Body
One of the most commonly used chemicals in the water treatment is chlorine. It used to be thought of as a healer since it killed a many different bacteria. The problem is that it also has harmful effects on the body. In 1992 the Medical College of Wisconsin found that people that regularly drink tap water containing higher levels of chlorine by-products have a greater risk of developing bladder and rectal cancers than people who drink non chlorinated water. Read more about chlorine in our bodies.
Fluoride’s Effect on Your Body
Fluoride is another chemical that is still in many drinking supplies today. In the early days of water treatment it was thought to be a great addition to help with the health of our teeth. It was later found that there are many side effects that were overlooked. One of the most debilitating effects of fluoride is how it can lower IQ levels by causing damage to cells and neurotransmitters, especially in children. The damage can effect many other areas of human life such as balance, nervous system disturbances, and impairing anti-oxidant defense systems. Prolonged exposure with fluoride can also calcify the pineal gland which helps regulate melatonin and serotonin. It is also believed that a calcified pineal gland will stop you from dreaming, impair creativity and imagination, and lead to nervous system problems and eventually contribute to Multiple Sclerosis. The Fluoride Action Network has put together a fluoride health effects database that’s worth checking out.
If we can’t drink our tap water, the next logical choice is bottled water right? Sadly it’s not necessarily a healthy, nor a sustainable option, not to mention it can get quite expensive.
Bottled water in the U.S. is under the authority of the FDA. This is only in effect though, when the water crosses state lines. Since more than 70% of bottled water in the U.S. doesn’t cross state lines it flies beneath the nose of regulations. Much of the time, it will be local tap water that is bottled and sold back to the population that it came from. A lot of areas have corporations buying up the water supplies in efforts to privatize the water. There is a documentary named, Thirst that growing privatization of water supplies and the effect these purchases are having on local economies.
Another consequence of drinking bottled water is the accumulation of garbage. Bottled water wastes about 1.5 million tons of plastic per year. That requires nearly 47 million gallons of oil per year to produce. It wouldn’t be so bad if every bottle was recycled but, sadly, more than 80% of plastic bottles are thrown in the trash. A great documentary covering the use and wasted of plastic bottles is Tapped.
There are many water filters out there to use. Most of the filters such as Brita, don’t quite get all of the chemicals out. There is much left of the chlorine and almost all the fluoride gets through. Are they better than just drinking tap water? Yes, a little bit. With what we know about fluoride though, it’s not a great option.
There are filters that can grant you clean water and get rid of all of the fluoride. They are definitely pricier than a Brita filter but completely worth it in medical costs and discomfort. You can filters for the entire house which will keep you from bathing in chlorine and fluoride or you can get smaller units just for drinking water.
You can even take it up a notch and get an ionized water filter. This separates your water into acidic water and alkaline water. The acidic is great to pour on your hedges or bushes to help them grow. The alkaline water will help your body remain alkaline and reduce stress and inflammation. These units are quite a bit more expensive but if you’re looking for optimal health you’ll find that it’s worth it.
So we come to only a few options for clean, healthy water. The best way is reverse osmosis water while the others still allow our water to be tainted by fluoride and chlorine. In order to reduce the risk of nervous system ailments, brain damage, and possibly cancer, we need to stay away from regular tap water while eating a clean, detoxifying, organic food.
What type of water do you drink? Have you noticed a difference switching to a cleaner water?