Water is an essential part of our daily diet. It’s the major component of our bodies which means that it’s involved in almost every aspect of our body’s metabolism and functioning. It is in our blood, cellular reactions, and saliva, aids the maintenance of body temperature, oxygen transportation, skin refreshing, dissolves minerals, prevents kidney damage and many other benefits. All these functions make water so essential that we cannot do a day without it unless we have to face negative consequences like dehydration, and skin irritation, among other health challenges.
With all these benefits and the necessity of water, many people still give little consideration to the water they consume. They care less about the amount of water they should drink, the quality and the right kind of water to drink and the water they should not drink. Meanwhile, all these factors have an overall impression on the health of every individual.
As much as water is highly beneficial to our overall health, in the same way, it can be a deterrent to our health when wrongly consumed. This can come from the inadequate consumption angle or a situation when you drink water full of toxic materials. This is mostly not an intentional action. It is because people don’t know as there’s no one who would want to harm themselves through the water they drink. This is why it’s important to answer the question; is the water I’m drinking safe for my health?
By the time you ask this, you’ll probably realize that most of the water that you think is pure and safe for you is not, especially the ones that come from your taps and bottles. This water is the most consumed by people. Little did they realize that these waters contain several chemicals that are toxic to human health. Maybe you’re surprised to hear this; it’s the sad truth. Here, we will highlight the constituents that are present in tap water that made them so dangerous and hazardous to human health.
15 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Drink Tap Water
Despite the tremendous benefits of this chemical, the ubiquitous nature of existence, and the fact that it’s present in human teeth and bones, the excessiveness of fluoride in our body can lead to many health challenges, some of which are mild teeth colouration is known as fluorosis, skeletal problems that can cause the defect to bones and joints in the human body, thyroid and health issues relating to the neurons. Other health challenges that can come from tap water with fluoride are acne, high blood pressure, and heart failure, among others. It’s important to note that fluoride can be beneficial in small amounts. However, we drink water every day, which means that we are taking more fluorides into our bodies. And this can lead to the rise of the above diseases in the long run.
This is one of the dangerous chemicals present in tap water. Arsenic is a chemical that is naturally present in rocks and soil and gets its way into the groundwater, which is where most drinking water from the tap is from. The sad news is that the accumulation of these chemicals in the body is highly detrimental to our health and wellness. When the accumulation in the human body has reached a hazardous level, it’s called arsenicosis. And it results in several health issues such as cancer, skin discolouration and lesions, cardiovascular diseases, diarrhoea, nausea, and blindness, among others. Therefore it’s important that everyone makes sure that their drinking water is free from these chemicals because the aftermath does not often show at an early stage since the consumption is at a very trace level. However, it can lead to an enormous health disaster in the long run.
Chlorine might not be quite as harmful as we have thought when we carry out a comprehensive evaluation of its effect on human health. On a general level, everyone knows that chlorine is used in the purification of water that runs through the taps in every household. And the purpose is to eliminate germs that might have contaminated the water and thus lead to diseases. This function, although highly beneficial, comes with its side effects. When you consume a high level of chlorine, a chemical reaction between it and water leads to the production of corrosive acids, which give rise to many health problems such as chronic cough, difficulty in breathing, chest tightness and sore throat.
These are hazardous chemicals that are neither obtained from natural sources nor through commercial activities, but as a result of the combustion process from bush burning, cigarettes and releases from combustion in companies. These chemicals diffuse around when released and, as a result, land into the source water that runs through the pipe to the tap of every home. Continuous consumption of dioxins over a long period exposes the consumer to the risk of having cancer and reproductive health challenges.
Heavy metals have been one of the major contaminants of water running through the tap of every household and have been a concern to world health due to the health risks that come with their consumption. When we talk of heavy metals, we’re talking of lead, nickel, aluminium, zinc, chromium, mercury etc. Some of these metals, such as cobalt and iron, are useful to the human body but not when ingested in higher amounts, while some others are not known to have any effect other than to cause health deterioration. Examples of these are lead and mercury.
When heavy metals are consumed through water, which is the most popular means by which people get exposed to heavy metals, it creates an oxidative reaction in the body that leads to adverse health challenges. They also affect body metabolism in a negative way by gathering important body organs like the liver, brain and heart. For these reasons, the hazards of drinking tap water are not safe for human health as it exposes us to threats of health deterioration.
Herbicides And Pesticides
During agricultural activities, herbicides and pesticides are used to eliminate weeds and pests that can halt the yield of crops on the farmland. These herbicides and pesticides are made of chemicals that are toxic to human health. And unfortunately, they get into the tap water people consume daily. You may want to ask how this is possible. It’s due to the drainage. Whenever rain falls or the farmland is irrigated, a certain portion of the chemicals on the plant runs off and gets mixed with the water. The excess of this water that the soil cannot withhold will move into the groundwater water or freshwater, which are the major source of tap water. This is how chemicals like herbicides and pesticides can get into the tap water, which is unsafe for human health.
This is another chemical usually present in tap water as a result of its natural availability in the air, soil and water. They’re mainly used for the purpose of preserving processed meats like bacon and ham. Over time, nitrates have been reported to have a detrimental effect on human health when in excess. This health issue is referred to as methemoglobinemia, which is an abnormality in blood where excess methemoglobin produced replaces haemoglobin in the blood and thus leads to the shortage of oxygen in the blood cells. This condition leads to abnormal skin colouration and explains why it’s dangerous to our health.
Phosphates are commonly used in the production of fertiliser and detergent to soften water. When these chemicals are present in water, they enhance the growth of algae which leads to the dirtiness of the water after the death of the algae. These phosphates have their way into the regular tap water from the mixing of dissolved rocks with the water below the ground, which is the main source of tap water. This means that whenever you open your tap and collect a cup of water to drink, you’re possibly drinking some amount of phosphates. When accumulated in the body, phosphates can cause such abnormalities as the hardness of the arterial walls in the body as well as a reduction in water available oxygen.
Water softening is the process of removing hardness from water. The hardness of water is a situation where the water contains a substantial quantity of magnesium and calcium dissolved in it. This condition may not necessarily have an effect on human health. However, it makes it ineffective for the purpose for which you might want to use it. In order to solve this problem, softening is done on the water to remove its hardness. Although softening might be advantageous in many ways, it also has downsides, the first of which is removing other natural minerals vital for optimum body functionality when consumed. Another disadvantage of softening is that the process involves the exchange of the eliminated ions with sodium chloride, which, when consumed in excessive amounts, can lead to several health challenges such as convulsions, respiratory problems, vomiting as well as GIT irritation. Average tap water usually undergoes the process of softening and is likely to have its downsides in the long run, which is another reason why it’s not safe for consumption.
Bacteria are microorganisms that are present all around our environment. Their ubiquitous nature is a reason why they’re present in the groundwater. These microorganisms can be harmful to human health. This is why it might not be safe to drink tap water as it might have contained harmful bacteria from the groundwater source. Some harmful bacteria are Escherichia coli found in dirty water, Legionella which causes lung abnormalities and salmonella which causes several health disorders like typhoid, food poisoning etc. When not given proper attention, the presence of bacteria in tap water can result in serious disease.
This is another chemical that has gained attention in the last few years. Diethyl PHTHALATE is around us as it is used in the production of many products such as cleaners, fragrances, packaging, cosmetics and skincare products. In recent times, this chemical has been discovered to have a detrimental effect on our health. And the interesting part is that it can find its way from landfills into the groundwater source of water in taps. Consumption of this kind of water that has been contaminated by diethyl PHTHALATE can be so harmful to your reproductive system. Over time, this chemical has been proven to cause diseases related to reproduction, such as the risk of low sperm quality, disruption in sex hormone production as well as an alteration in the development of the genitals.
A trace amount of pharmaceutical drugs have also been reported to be present in tap water. How could this be possible? Some of the possible sources are urine, faeces as well as a situation where some people flush away drugs that they deemed as no more useful down their toilets. Although this may not be regarded as a pressing threat to human health due to its presence in trace amounts, we cannot be sure that it’ll not cause a disaster in the long run.
Radioactive substances are not only found in nuclear power plants. There are some of them that exist naturally in nature. Examples of these naturally occurring radioactive chemicals are radium, radon, uranium and thorium. These chemicals can get into the groundwater water through several means, some of which are coal mining practices as well as oil and gas production or a situation when groundwater meets a rock that contains uranium, which causes some portion of the uranium to dissolve in the water.
When these radioactive chemicals are consumed through the drinking of tap water, it generally leads to a risk of cancer. The type of cancer depends on the type of radioactive substances consumed. Radium has been proven to cause cancer of the bone the same way radon leads to stomach cancer. Some other types of cancer caused by radioactive substances are cancer of the skin, liver, Lungs and Kidneys. Regardless of the type involved, no one wants to have the smallest form of cancer.
When it comes to drinking water, it’s important that you consume adequate water daily to ensure the proper functioning of organs in the body and body metabolism. This need for water consumption demands that the water has a pure taste that increases human interest in consuming more. However, tap water often lacks the amazing taste of pure water due to many contaminations from its source to the delivering tap. The different taste that can come with tap water is mostly linked to the contaminants. Examples are earthy, chlorine, bitter, metallic, and musty tastes. When the taste is not pleasant, the drive to consume more will be reduced, and this has been one of the reasons why a lot of people are getting dehydrated and facing the health challenges that come with it while they’re not aware.
Mercury is also one of the metals that are deteriorative to human health when consumed excessively. It can get into the groundwater, which is the principal source of water that runs in taps through industrial wastes and household products that are discarded in landfill, such as paints. The health risks of exposure to this chemical cannot be underrated as it causes diseases such as kidney and nervous system impairment. Although you might have heard that the issue of mercury in tap water has been addressed, how can you be sure you don’t have it in the water running through your tap? It’s better to stay safe as prevention is better than cure.
What Should You Drink?
Now that you know that tap water is hazardous to your health, what should you drink? The best answer to this question is an ionised water that helps to hydrate your body and improve your immune system, thus reversing ageing and keeping you in a quality health condition.
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