Unfortunately, we are exposed to chemicals and heavy metals through our tap water. Not only are we drinking this water, we are also bathing/showering in it and using it to clean (i.e. washing dishes, etc.). Therefore, we are exposed through drinking as well as through skin contact.
Contaminants in Municipal Water
Municipal water is delivered to your home through a system of pipes from Lake Michigan (if you live in Southeast Wisconsin). These pipes are made of metals and depending on how old they are, the soldering used to secure the pipes probably contains lead. If you have an older home, the piping in your home may contain lead, among other metals. These metals may flake off into the water that is delivered into your drinking glass. Also keep in mind that other things have been added to our water supply such as fluoride and chlorine. These chemicals can have a negative impact on your skin, such as damaging the lipids in the skin, which can cause dryness. Fluoride dissolves “cellular glue” in collagen. Incorrectly mineralizing collagen leads to stiffer skin. It also prevents new collagen formation.
Yet another legitimate concern, is Lake Michigan is contaminated with industrial pollution and sewage runoff. Because we “recycle” our water and because things like pharmaceutical drug metabolites and byproducts are so molecularly small, they cannot be filtered, despite the water being put through a number of filtration processes. These processes cannot filter everything, especially items that are very small on a molecular level. In essence, we are drinking drug byproducts and metabolites, among other toxins.
“Scientists tested water and sediment from Lake Michigan (up to two miles from the outfalls) for 54 chemicals used in pharmaceuticals and personal care products. Twenty-seven chemicals were found in the lake, with four found most frequently: an anti-diabetic drug called metformin, caffeine, the antibiotic sulfamethoxazole and triclosan, an antibacterial and antifungal compound found in some soaps, toothpastes and other consumer products.”
“Wastewater treatment plants are simply not designed to remove these chemicals,” Klaper said. Metformin was detected at the highest levels – up to 840 parts per trillion, a mile from the outfalls, and up to 160 parts per trillion two miles away.”
Taken from Scientific American, “Drugs Contaminate Lake Michigan”,
September 5, 2013 |By Brian Bienkowski and Environmental Health News)
Contaminants in Well Water
Although well water is ideal, those who have access to it are not off the hook either. Due to farmland pesticide and manure runoff, possible contamination from construction sites and the location of a well (downwind vs. upwind), owners need to have their well checked at least every 9-12 months. Possibly more depending on activity in and around the property. It is smart to monitor contaminant levels often.
How this Affects Our Health
Unfortunately, we are bombarded with chemicals and heavy metals every day. When our bodies are exposed to toxins, there is a strong possibility that they can become stored in our tissues and organs. When this occurs, it can be challenging for the body to expel them. After repeated exposure, the body is unable to “take the garbage out” and it becomes overwhelmed by the burden. This can take the form of symptoms such as fatigue, brain fog, weight gain and hormonal issues.
Scary stuff, right? OK, enough of the gloom and doom, there is good news. There are affordable ways to convert your tap and well water into safe water. The best way to fix this problem is to have a reverse osmosis (RO) system installed in your home. Although, it can be an expensive investment. Since many of us simply have to work within our living and financial situations, below are some great options to at least reduce your exposure to many of these contaminants.
For reverse osmosis (RO) and water filtering systems, check out Aquaspace.com and Aquasana.com. They are both great resources for affordable items to reduce exposure to chemicals and heavy metals found in municipal water and well water. Items available range from pitcher filtration to full home reverse osmosis systems.