“Drink tons of water… you need to stay properly hydrated!” We’ve all heard that a million times. And while adequate hydration is a huge issue – 75% of Americans may be chronically dehydrated – could the water we drink be doing more harm than good? If it’s coming straight out of a tap and isn’t properly filtered, it’s very likely.
Here are four reasons why tap water (and improperly filtered water) could be dangerous for our long-term health.
- Chemicals. Studies have shown that traces of up to 18 different unregulated chemicals, including herbicides and antibacterial compounds, were found in more than one-third of U.S. water. Although the concentrations were very low, no one knows what the long-term effects of exposure to these chemicals could be for our health!
- Fluoride. The fluoridation of our water supply is common knowledge, but there is still a ton of controversy over whether or not it should be added to our drinking water. Fluoride is supposed to protect us from tooth decay, but there is cause for concern for various reasons. Many other countries including Australia, Germany, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, and Japan have banned water fluoridation. The accumulation of fluoride in our bodies may be damaging to our bones, affect our reproductive system, and even affect the onset of puberty.
- Prescription drugs. Feel like taking some antidepressants, then mixing them with some sex hormones, antibiotics, and anti-convulsants? If you live in a metropolitan area, it’s very likely that there are traces of some or all of these drugs in your drinking water. Water companies are not required to divulge any information about pharmaceuticals in your water, nor has the federal government set any limits on how much of these substances can be present in water.
- Store-bought filters may not be effective. Not only do common store-bought filters not completely protect you from the toxins and contaminants listed above, they may even add bacteria to your water. The disposable filter cartridges in many brands contain bactericides, but they may not be effective at preventing the build-up of harmful bacteria in your filtered water pitchers.
So what do we do? We know that many bottled waters may not be much better than tap water, and the environmental cost of the disposable plastic containers isn’t worth it. So here are a couple things you can do. If you’re at the store and need to get water, try to find a glass bottled spring water, rather than plastic bottles of filtered water. Second, focus on getting a very high quality water system in your home that has been proven to take out the contaminants and toxins above. If you’re concerned about you and your family’s long-term health, getting a proper filter may be one of the most important things you can do!