Don’t Drink The Water
Stop using your tap as your drinking water source . Drink bottled water or better yet, buy a home water purifier to get away from the chlorine. It’s one of the easiest things you can do to add years to your life.
Chlorine is in almost everybody’s tap water. This chemical effectively kills the little water-borne critters that cause typhoid, cholera, and dysentery. Problem is, chlorinated drinking water is directly responsible for more than 4,200 cases of bladder cancer and 6,500 cases of rectal cancer every year.
These figures are based on a study published by the American Journal of Public Health (AJPH) a few years ago. You see, chlorine reacts with other substances in the water to form chloroform, carbon tetrachloride and other cancer causing compounds.
These are well known carcinogens. The only question is whether there is enough in your water to be harmful.
How Great Is The Danger?
Researchers have tried to find out if we’re getting harmful amounts of these compounds in our water, but have never been able to reach a firm conclusion.
The AJPH study, conducted by the Medical College of Milwaukee, drew together all the other studies. That way the authors had enough data to show a definite link between chlorinated water and cancer.
This alone should show us the danger of waiting until scientists are “sure” about something.
More than a hundred thousand people came down with cancer from this carcinogen in the last decade. But I promise that if you ask your doctor he’ll tell you there is nothing to worry about.
There is new technology using ozone that is much better than chlorine for killing microorganisms. There are a few cities using this technology now but it will be quite some time before it’s used nationwide because the money just isn’t there.
The EPA knows there is a chlorine problem but they figure the benefit of preventing typhoid and all the other water borne diseases outweighs the cancer risk. Well that’s great as long as you’re not one of the 10,000 people who get cancer this year!
They (the EPA) have also learned that chlorinated drinking water decreases the good cholesterol (HDL) and increases the bad cholesterol (LDL). Great, so now you increase your heart disease risk and your cancer risk at the same time!
Chlorine Doesn’t Get All of the Bugs
There are quite a few disease causing organisms in drinking water that are resistant to chlorine, including the one that causes Legionnaire’s disease. Almost all the outbreaks since 1982 have been traced to a water system.
Contaminated water has made well over 250,000 people ill in the US alone since 1971 and experts believe that at least 25 times that many don’t report their illnesses.
There are quite a few other harmful substances that may be in your drinking water too. The EPA has found unacceptable lead levels in over 800 municipal water systems.
The trouble with lead is that it may come from the pipes in your own home or office and not from the municipal water system. The older the building, the greater the risk for you drinking water since lead containing solder was once used in the joints of copper water lines.
They have even found unacceptable levels in the water at the U.S. Capitol. That could be one reason our congressmen and senators seem mentally impaired!
What About Large City Water Systems?
But even big cities aren’t completely safe. A few years back, thousands of Milwaukee residents became sick from a chlorine resistant bug called cryptosporidium.
The flu-like infection caused diarrhea, abdominal pains and vomiting. It got into the water from fecal matter from an upstream dairy farm.
In a study done in Montreal, families that did not filter their own water suffered 51% more colds, flu, and digestive problems than did those who drank filtered water.
There is also a recent U.S. federal report that says the city water you drink may have been recycled from sewage waste back to drinking water at least 5 times!
It isn’t only municipal water systems that are at risk. If you have paid any attention at all to the news in the last 30 years or so you’ll know that pesticides are found almost everywhere.
The ground water in two California counties was found to be heavily contaminated with DBCP. This is a pesticide that was banned in 1977 but has a half life of 141 years. That means that half of it will still be around in the year 2118!
Play It Safe With Your Drinking Water
There is no reason to get overly alarmed though. The number of water related cancer cases is relatively small as are the number of infections. But the point I’m trying to make is why expose yourself at all?
There are a number of options available to you. One being bottled water which is relatively cheap by the gallon in groceries.
If you decide on bottled water , please know that spring water or filtered water may still be contaminated with bacteria, chlorine, or other elements. The longer spring water sets on the shelf, the more bacteria it is likely to have.
It’s best to boil for 5 or more minutes prior to use. I would try to avoid distilled water though. True, it’s clean and free of bacteria, but it’s also slightly acidic and devoid of trace minerals the body needs.
Make Your Own Bottled Water
In the long run you’ll save money if you clean your water at home. It’s also more convenient than lugging gallon jugs from the store. There are several good water filter systems on the market today.
Carbon filters are not perfect but are better than nothing. They will remove chlorine and pesticides and some (but not all) heavy metals such as lead.
Unfortunately, carbon filters are not effective against bacteria and can even provide a home for them. That isn’t much of a problem if you are on city water because the chlorine will have killed of the bacteria.
But if you are on a well, you should boil the water for at least 5 minutes after filtering it. You can store the water in plastic containers as long as you let it cool off first.
The gold standard for purifying your water is a system that uses ultraviolet light to kill bacteria and a filter for the other contaminates. These are more expensive but you have the comfort of knowing there is nothing bad in it and all you are getting is pure water!