Recently my nephew shared with me that he is looking into going to school for Geology with a focus on Hydrology. I am fascinated by research in water due to my concern on how we treat water on our Earth. Water is one of the most important liquids we need to survive, and the condition of that water is imperative. Also most tap water is not filtered so rust or rodent poop can contaminate our water supply.
My friends Shelly and Gaston from Africa on mission shared how they strive to assist and observe how villages build water wells so their entire community can obtain fresh water, however if something breaks down in the well, these villages turn back to the way they got water before which is usually from streams, and lakes which are tainted and toxic water sources.
In America we behave in a similar way as we have access to fresh or safely filtered water and yet we turn to other hydration sources thinking this will satisfy the need of our body. These sources could be alcohol, energy drinks, soda pop, sugary juice drinks or bottled water, which is actually from the tap of a possible tainted or toxic source.
Is bottled water safe? Not really, due to chemicals found in some bottle water, which contain phthalates, mold, microbes, benzene, trihalomethanes, even arsenic. And, some bottled water is municipal water that comes out of the faucets and has been treated, processed and disinfected. It is then purified with chlorine and generally has added fluoride.
Do these chemicals and microbes mentioned really have harsh effects on our body if it is only taken in small doses? Phthalates, Mold, Microbes, Benzene, Trihalomethanes, and even Arsenic, can affect our bodies either quickly, depending on sensitivity, or overtime, causing us to become ill with chronic conditions. Below are descriptions of the harsh effects of these often overlooked, chemicals and microbes!
Symptoms of phthalates cause Irritation of the eyes (lacrimation), skin, nose, throat; headache, dizziness, nausea; possible polyneuropathy, vestibular dysfunction, pain, numbness, weakness, exhaustion, spasms in arms and legs. What is Phthalates? This is a group of chemicals used to make plastics more flexible and harder to break often entitled, plasticizers. Some phthalates are used as solvents (dissolving agents) for other materials.
Molds have the potential to cause harmful side effects to humans. Before mold can cause such side effects, mold must first enter the human body and then be distributed to an appropriate site within the body. Once the molds reach a intended site, it will go through a basic metabolic process. It should be noted that the metabolic processes that each mold experiences is typically the same. Molds colonize on an organic food source, consuming it. Within the human body, the byproduct of such process is typically a poison to humans, called mycotoxin.
Mycotoxins are the reason for the adverse health effects in humans. These health effects include inflammations, allergies, and/or infections. Mold spores enter the body through inhalation and ingestion. They can also be absorbed into the body through the skin. Once mold enters the body, it can become harmful depending on the sensitivity of the individual, toxicity of the mold, and susceptibility of the exposed individual. It has been found that mold spores that are inhaled have greater toxicity to humans than those absorbed by the skin or ingested. Molds can also be an antigen to the body.
Harmful microbes can affect the body harshly. There is strong evidence that microbes may contribute to many non–infectious chronic diseases such as some forms of cancer and coronary heart disease. Different diseases are caused by different types of micro-organisms. Microbes that cause disease are often called pathogens.
Benzene is a toxic chemical that occurs naturally in the environment but is also used by man in a wide range of products. Exposure to this chemical can result in a range of side effects, which can be acute or chronic, and can be deadly. Long-term exposure or high-level exposure to benzene can result in a number of ailments, and this chemical has been branded a class A carcinogenic by the Environmental Protection Agency. Some of the effects are both chronic and acute.
Some of the side effects of Benzene exposure include, Fatigue, Malaise, Abnormal bleeding, Excessive bruising, Weakness, Reduced tolerance to exercise, Weight loss, Bone or joint pain, Infection and fever, Abdominal pain or discomfort, Enlarged spleen, lymph nodes, and liver.
Evidence of chloroform’s (trihalomethanes) acute effects on humans has been obtained primarily during its past use as an inhalation anesthetic. In addition to central nervous system effects, chloroform anesthesia was associated with cardiac arrhythmias and abnormalities of the liver and kidneys.
Chronic oral exposure for humans to chloroform at high doses results in adverse effects on the central nervous system, liver, kidneys and heart. In studies of human populations using chlorinated drinking water in which chloroform is the predominant THM, small increases in the incidence of rectal, colon and bladder cancer have been consistently observed, with evidence strongest for bladder cancer.
Results have generally been inconclusive regarding exposure to THMs and adverse developmental or reproductive effects in humans. However, the results of a recent study suggest an increased risk of early-term miscarriage from high levels of THMs in tap water, particularly BDCM. Additional studies are underway to determine the significance of the association found in this study.
What is arsenic? Arsenic is a metalloid – a natural element that is not actually a metal but which has some of the properties of a metal. It is a natural component of the Earth’s crust, generally found in trace quantities in all rock, soil, water and air. Long-term exposure to arsenic in drinking water can cause cacner in the skin, lungs, bladder and kidneys. Arsenic can also cause other skin changes such as thickening and pigmentation.
The likelihood of effects is related to the level of exposure to arsenic and in areas where drinking water is heavily contaminated, these effects can be seen in many individuals in the population. Increased risks of lung and bladder cancer and skin changes have been reported in people ingesting arsenic in drinking water at concentrations of 50 µg/litre, or even lower.
What is Fluoride? Fluoride is a form of the chemical element fluorine. It is mostly used as medicine. Fluoride is said to be safe for most people in the amounts added to public water supplies and used in toothpastes and mouthwashes, and applied by dentists. Low doses (up to 20 mg per day of elemental fluoride) of supplemental fluoride taken by mouth appear to be safe for most people.
Higher doses are unsafe and can weaken bones and ligaments, and cause muscle weakness and nervous system problems. High doses of fluoride in children before their permanent teeth come through the gums can cause tooth discoloration. Since the use of Fluoride is highly controversial, I plan to cover this chemical and how it affects our health in another post.
Well water, Natural spring water, Artesian or spring waters, or mineral water. All of the types of water mentioned have essential minerals and nutrients like magnesium, potassium, and sodium, which are needed for our bodies. When bottled water is processed and purified it can strip minerals from the water. Replacements of these minerals can be added to water. Several mineral and nutrient products are available from natural health stores.
Drinking properly filtered and nutrient rich water can aid weight loss, power our warm-weather and cold-weather exercise, aid in digestion, help fight fatigue, protect against some types of cancer, improve mood, prevent headaches, aids kidneys function, energizes us, helps us stay alert, protects our joints and cartilage, takes the edge off of hangovers, helps clarity, balances our body fluids, aids in heart health, and relieves congestion.
I highly recommend adding nutrients to water! It is very important for us humans to stay hydrated with water throughout our day by drinking eight 8-ounce glasses of water, equaling about 2 liters, or half a gallon. This is called the 8×8 rule and is very easy to remember. Stay clear of alcohol and soda pop as ways to hydrate. Alcohol and soda pop could cause a crash in your body, when your body really needs the health benefits of water.
So to conclude, it is paramount to intake properly filtered and nutrient rich water, so your body can function property in your everyday lifestyle, whether you are very active or lead a more sedentary life. Consider carrying a water safe bottle and/or property filtrating water bottle. Some neighborhoods are taking back the tap in some cities and making water safer to consume!
Thank you for reading!
Neil Saint Angeland
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