The effect of drinking contaminated water are almost never ending, with contaminants such as chlorine recently found to be a strong link to the cause of cancer.
Contamination causes of tap water are vast and range from agricultural runoff to improper use of household chemicals such as; dishing washing liquids, detergents, cleaning products, aerosol products and everything in between. Before the occurrence of chlorine, pesticides, herbicides and the hundreds of thousands of other chemicals that we are exposed to every day, commonly the average person had a 1 in 50 chance of getting cancer, today one out of three people can expect to get cancer in their lifetime.
As we rely on these products which expose us to toxic chemical more and more everyday, its only natural that the chances of getting cancer or other illnesses that are linked to such poisons is increasing. Creating a more wholesome and organic lifestyle will reduce the chances of catching these types of illnesses drastically, one way to take the first step in creating a healthier, more natural lifestyle is to remove contaminants from the water you drink with a quality water filter.
The most common contaminants found in municipal water reservoirs in Australia include:
Alachlor: Alachlor is an odorless, colorless solid, used as an herbicide for grasses and other broadleaf plants. Ingestion of Alachlor in drinking water can increase risk of cancer and cause liver and/or kidney damage.
Atrizine: Atrizine is a white, solid crystalline compound. It is currently the most widely used pesticide chemical. Ingestion of Atrizine can cause cancer and damage the cardiovascular system.
Benzene: Benzene is a colorless, aromatic liquid that is widely used in producing rubber, plastics, and other synthetic materials. Ingestion of Benzene can lead to cancer and/or chromosome aberrations.
Chlorine: Chlorine is a yellowish, poisonous gas with a pungent odor, widely used as a disinfectant in drinking water. Ingestion of chlorine can lead to bladder, rectal, and/or breast cancer.
Cryptosporidium: Cryptosporidium parvum (also known as "Crypto") is a parasite that is far too small to be seen by the naked eye. It is found throughout municipal drinking water reservoirs in Australia. This dangerous parasite is highly resistant to the levels of chlorine normally found in drinking water reservoirs.
Cysts: Cysts are chlorine-resistant microorganisms. When ingested in drinking water, they most commonly cause gastrointestinal illness, accompanied by vomiting, diarrhea, and cramps. Such cysts include Giardia lamblia (aslo know as Lamblia intestinalis and Giardia duodenalis). Giardia is a parasite that colonises and reproduces in the small intestine and is passed in feces, causing giardiasis. the parasite is protected by an outer shell and can survive outside the body and in the environment for long periods of time (e.g months).
Lead: Lead is a metal contaminant that occurs in drinking water as a result of the corrosion of pipes in a plumbing system. Ingestion of lead can cause severe developmental delays in children and kidney failure and/or stroke in adults.
Lindane: Lindane is a white, crystalline powder that is commonly used as a chemical in pesticides. Ingestion of Lindane can result in liver and/or kidney damage.
MCLG: MCLG stands for the maximum contaminant level goal, as set by the EPA. The MCLG is the amount of a particular contaminant that may be present in drinking water before any adverse health effects will occur.
MTBE: MTBE is a chemical compound, typically used as a fuel oxygenate or additive to unleaded gasoline. The specific health risks of MTBE are currently pending EPA investigation.
pH: pH is the measure of the general acidity or alkalinity of a substance. The pH scale ranges from 0 to 14, with a pH of 7 being neutral.
Phthalate: Phthalate is a chemical typically used in the production of plastic materials. When ingested in water, phthalate can lead to cancer, miscarriage, premature birth, and asthma.
Redox: Redox, or reduction-oxidation, is a process in which an exchange of electrons occurs between two chemical elements. Reduction refers to the loss of an electron while oxidation is the acquisition of an electron.
SOCs: Synthetic organic chemicals (SOCs) are man-made chemicals that can make their way into drinking water. Ingestion of SOCs in drinking water has been linked to at least four types of cancer.
TCE: TCE is a liquid chemical, similar to chloroform, that is often used as a degreasing agent. Ingestion of TCE in drinking water can lead to problems with the liver and increased risk of cancer.
THMs: THMs are chemicals that occur in drinking water as a byproduct of water chlorination. They are highly carcinogenic and can affect nervous system, kidney, and liver functioning.
VOCs: Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) refer to a large number of chemicals that can occur in drinking water as a result of human industry. These chemicals can cause cancer and affect liver and kidney functioning when ingested in drinking water.