Yes. In the 21st century, it is safe to say that all water everywhere is contaminated with some kind of man-made chemical at some level. With more than 7 million recognized chemicals in existence and approximately 80,000 of them with common use worldwide, your focus should change from “Are there chemicals in my water?” to “Which chemicals should I be concerned most about?” Learn more about concerning chemicals that might be in your water below.
Are You Drinking Chemicals?
With so many chemicals being introduced to community water supplies, how do you really know what is in your drinking water after it leaves the treatment plant?
Do you have chemicals in your water?
As more and more medications and drugs are developed each year, the likelihood of them contaminating your water increases. Antibiotics, birth control, artificial hormones, antidepressants, and countless other drugs are entering water and water treatment facilities in unprecedented amounts, and without the technology to detect them all and remove them, some of them are inevitably in your water. Even in low concentrations, exposure to these medications in your drinking water can cause unintended side effects like endocrine (hormone) disruption, which can lead to infertility.
Personal Care Products & Cosmetics
Personal care products like deodorants, makeup, shampoos, lotions, and countless other hygiene items that are commonly used are another increasing water quality concern. Although these products contain chemicals that are deemed safe-to-use in small amounts, think about your chronic exposure to them throughout your lifetime, and realize that you may be further exposing yourself to them by consuming them in your drinking water too. Do you really want to be drinking minuscule amounts of makeup and sunscreen each and every day?
Microplastics are tiny bits of plastic that emerge from aging plastic that has started breaking down in the environment. Microplastics are a water contaminant of increasing concern because of their negative impact on marine life. But if they have ill effects on aquatic life, what does exposure to them mean for you? Ingested microplastics have been shown to be release high concentrations of pollutants like polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), which are carcinogens that can absorbed by your body through your gut tissue. These plastics are so small that they often pass right through municipality filtration systems, so they are probably in your drinking water.
Arsenic is an abundant, naturally occurring element that has been declared a human carcinogen by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC). Groundwater consumption is one of the most common sources of arsenic exposure, and even at extremely low levels, arsenic consumption has recently been linked to the development of cancer, diabetes, oxidative stress, DNA damage, skin damage, and immune system malfunction in susceptible persons.
Lead is a very toxic element with varying concentrations throughout the world. The EPA has declared that there is NO safe level of lead in a child’s blood, and that it’s extremely dangerous to human health–especially for children. Lead can enter water in a variety of ways, but it most commonly comes from pre-1986 in-home lead pipe corrosion–especially in areas that have particularly acidic water. If you live in an older home and you’re concerned about lead being in your water, please take action and give us a call immediately.
Pesticides and Herbicides
Pesticides & Herbicides are widely used in agriculture and in homes, so it makes sense that they are a very concerning water contaminant. They can seep into the ground, contaminate groundwater, and are potentially toxic to humans. Many pesticides are linked to endocrine disruption, cancer, and a variety of other health issues. Although the EPA regulates the amount of pesticides in drinking water, they may still be in your drinking water. Check out your local water quality Consumer Confidence Report to find out what levels of pesticides and other contaminants are in your municipality’s water.
PFOS & PFOA
PFOS and PFOA are man-made chemicals that are used to make items heat and water resistant; they can also be used in a concentrated form to put out aircraft fires, which explains their prevalence on and around airports and Air Force bases. When used, these chemicals can seep into the ground and contaminate groundwater, which is a major concern because these chemicals are potential human carcinogens.