Why so much emphasis on water filters, water purifiers and bottled water lately? How can tap water be unhealthy, you may ask? The EPA does regulate tap water contaminants, but only less than 100 of these contaminants are on their list, when in fact there are hundreds more that are not even regulated! Many of these unregulated contaminants are in fact associated with various diseases including cancer. In addition, there are some chemicals with allowable thresholds that are simply too high! For example, in Reno, NV, Scottsdale, AZ and El Paso, TX, the tap water with no water filter or water purifier attached has been shown to contain arsenic at levels that have been associated with cancer, but these levels did not exceed the Safe Drinking Water Act, so they were legal. Water coming out of the tap without a water filter in cities in New Jersey and Oklahoma have contained uranium, which can cause kidney problems, but these levels were also within the drinking water standards.
While it is true that very few people get ill from drinking tap water without a water purifier in the United States over the short term, over the long term, those chemicals can accumulate in your body and cause disease. According to William K. Reilly, the President Bush’s EPA Administrator, “For years, people said that America has the cleanest drinking water in the world. That was true 20 years ago. But people don’t realize how many new chemicals have emerged and how much more pollution has occurred.” Even government scientists now agree for the most part that even at low concentrations, many of the chemicals found in our water supplies are a “serious risk.” They have evaluated 830 of the contaminants that are usually found in water supplies, and have determined that many of these chemicals have a link with many diseases including cancer, even at low concentrations.
So you can indeed be drinking water out of your tap that meets all the guidelines of the Safe Drinking Water Act, but is still dangerous to your health, especially if you do not use a water filter or water purifier on your tap. So what can you do about it? Check back with us next week to find out if bottled water or water filters or both may be the answer.