As crazy as it sounds, you and your family are likely consuming a variety of pharmaceuticals, pollutants and other toxins in your drinking water, whether it’s from the tap or bottled.
A report from the Environmental Working Group, investigated 10 leading brands of bottled water, and found 38 different contaminants including disinfection byproducts, caffeine, pharmaceuticals, heavy metals and minerals (specifically arsenic and radioactive isotopes), fertilizer residue and other industrial chemicals. An AP investigation showed that the drinking water supply of at least 41 MILLION Americans contained residues of antibiotics, anticonvulsants, mood stabilizers and sex hormones.
Here’s A Sample Of What Was Found
Philadelphia: 56 pharmaceuticals or byproducts, including medications for treating asthma, epilepsy and mental illness.
Southern California: Epilepsy and anxiety medications.
Northern New Jersey: Medications for the treatment of angina and mood stabilizing drugs.
San Francisco: Sex hormones.
Washington D.C.: Six different medications.
Tucson: Three pharmaceuticals, including an antibiotic.
For the AP investigation, the Associated Press contacted over 60 major water suppliers. Shockingly, ONLY 28 of them test for water contaminants, and not necessarily for all pharmaceuticals. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has cautioned the public, that bottled water is not safer than tap water. In fact, it may be even less healthy. Companies that bottle water do not have to report if the water has been contaminated! Nor do they have to say where the water came from! What? Is this true? Unfortunately it is. At least public utilities are required to report to consumers on water quality.
Whether Tap Or Bottled, How Exactly Do These Pollutants End Up In Our Water?
Simply put, we do not absorb all the medication we put into our bodies. What is not absorbed, is part of our waste, and goes down the toilet and into the water supply. Then you need to include all the medications that is discarded by disposing of them down toilets and sink drains. Even though this water is treated at the municipal water plants, most treatments simply do not get the entire drug residue out of the water. Not helping the matter any, the treatment plants are NOT required to test for pharmaceuticals or to remove them.
Another important point to consider is not only the quality of the water itself, but the plastic bottle the water is in as well. Study after study shows that the chemicals in plastic leach into the water, causing us to consume an even higher quantity of toxic chemicals into our bodies. And, while plastic bottles are promoted as being a recyclable product, in truth, only approximately 20% actually are recycled, causing a major environmental concern, regarding their disposal.
How To Get Clean And Safe Drinking Water
Clean, drinkable water is essential to our health, and you want to be able to consume the cleanest, freshest and safest water you can. For starters, you want to avoid drinking water from a plastic bottle. You ideally want to consume your water (and other beverages as well) from either a glass, ceramic mug or non-leaching and toxin-free stainless steel. Secondly, your best option for assuring that you are drinking clean and safe water is to purchase a quality water filter system. For smaller budgets, you can opt for the faucet only models. For larger budgets, you preferably want to opt for a total-home system.
It’s unfortunate, but don’t ever assume that your water supply is clean, contaminant-free or safe. We can’t live without water, yet the majority of our water supply is tainted and actually harming our health. But knowledge is power. So starting right now, get rid of all those plastic water bottles you are reusing, and get your family into the habit of only drinking water from safe containers, such as glass, ceramic or stainless steel. Secondly, and as soon as you can, purchase a high-quality water filter for your faucet, or better yet, if you can a total-home water filtration system. They are much more affordable than you might imagine.
The harmful effects of drinking tainted water are cumulative and real. Your children and your elders are even more susceptible to the harmful effects, due to their weaker immune systems, so please do your part to ensure they have clean and safe water to drink.
For more information on water in your area, go to: http://www.epa.gov/safewater/
Bon Veggie Appetit!
Gina ‘The Veggie Goddess’ Matthews