The Value of Toxin-Free Water
Water is the most abundant nutrient in the body, comprising two-thirds of the body’s mass. Some people make a real effort to obtain unadulterated food but neglect to seek water of similar quality. When a person is deficient, has a weak immune system or a degenerative condition, water free from toxic residue is important. In some cases, it actually seems to be the decisive factor between recovery and further degeneration.
Every type of water has a unique quality. Rain water tastes lighter; well water is more mineralized; river, lake and spring water each bear qualities encountered in their journey. If a river has rapids or a waterfall, its water is enlivened. Spring water may filter through thousands of feet of clay or mineral beds. Water can have a greater or lesser intrinsic energy (qi), just as we do.
Once water is polluted with chemicals or combined with various other wastes, its life energy is diminished. Finding a high-quality source of water is becoming a difficult task in the modern world. As rain water falls through the atmosphere, it encounters the thick band of pollution that now encircles the Earth. It picks up smoke, dust, germs, lead, strontium 90, minerals and a host of chemicals. A generation or two ago, rain water was considered a good source of drinking water. Now we can no longer recommend drinking unfiltered rain or snow water. This suggestion is based, not only on scientific data about atmospheric pollution but on the testimonials of many who have had adverse reactions (Pitchford, 2002
Out of the tap, choline evaporates; many people draw chlorinated water and let it stand at least thirty minutes. Unfortunately, chlorine combines with any organic substances that may be in the water to form chloroform, a poisonous cancer-causing chemical which does not evaporate; also chloramines are used.
Chloramines are most commonly formed when ammonia is added to chlorine to treat drinking water. The typical purpose of chloramines is to provide longer-lasting water treatment as the water moves through pipes to consumers.
How Your City adds Chloramines to Your Tap Water
By Richard Mesquita, AquaMD
Recently, two unrelated children ages 2 and 4, living in Greenville, N.C., were found to have extremely high levels of lead in their blood. One child had lead levels in his blood that were 200 percent higher than the medical safety standard. And the other child’s lead level was about 150 percent higher than the so-called safe limit.
What were these children exposed to that caused them to absorb so much lead into their bodies? All signs point to the public water supply!
It turns out the water company’s water was leaching lead from lead solder used to connect water pipes in the homes’ plumbing systems.
In fact, the tap water tested at the home of one of these children contained lead levels of 400 parts per billion (ppb). To put that number in perspective, even the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) says lead levels in water exceeding 15 ppb are very dangerous and must be acted upon.
The local water company’s own water tests also showed 25 percent of all samples collected at various homes in their coverage area were contaminated with lead at levels starting at 15 ppb, if not more. No doubt, many more water samples showed levels of lead that were also dangerous, but since they were below the EPA’s action level, the water utility did not have to report them.
How did Lead Leach Into the Water Supply?
The water company started treating the public water supply with chloramines. Chloramines are formed by combining chlorine and small amounts of ammonia. That combination yields three known varieties:
Chloramines eat away at the lead contained in the solder used to connect pipes, as well as actual lead service lines, and deposits lead into the water supply. So why did this North Carolina water company start adding chloramines to the public water supply in the first place?
Believe it or not, they did it to reduce the levels of harmful trihalomethanes (TTHMs) they were finding in their water. As you may recall, TTHMs are types of disinfection byproducts that have been linked to liver, kidney and central nervous system damage as well as cancer. They are very widespread in public water supplies.
The water company could have selected another water treatment option that would have reduced TTHMs in the water supply and kept it bacteria-free, but adding chloramines to the water was the low-cost option.
Adding chloramines to the public water supply isn’t limited to this North Carolina water company either. More and more, water companies across the United States have switched to chloramines in an attempt to keep bacteria from growing in their water. In fact, 25 percent of water companies now use them as their primary disinfection chemical of choice.
Just so you know, reports of high lead levels in public water supplies aren’t limited to North Carolina. Within the past year, the water company serving the Washington, D.C. area switched to chloramines and soon found lead levels 3,200 times greater than the EPA’s action level. Things were so bad, according to the Washington Post, the water companywithheld reporting some of their water test results and simply told their customers their water was fine.
That same newspaper reported, “Cities across the country are manipulating the results of tests used to detect lead in water, violating federal law, and putting millions of Americans at risk.”
Health Effects of Chloramines
The lead that is leached into the water supply by chloramines has been linked to kidney damage, miscarriages, nervous system damage, anemia, high blood pressure, brain damage and reproductive difficulties, as well as learning and behavioral problems in children. Plus, chloramines leach copper into public water supplies. And long-term exposure to high levels of copper can cause liver damage, kidney damage, headaches, stomach problems and dizziness, among others.
In addition, scientists have discovered chloramines can create their own disinfection byproducts, such as N-nitrosodimethylamine. And this specific disinfection byproduct is a human carcinogen.
Some research links chloramines to bladder cancer. It’s also believed the ammonia used to create chloramines in water can cause nitrate levels to rise and hurt young children.
Can Chloramines be Removed From the Water?
Chloramines are very difficult to remove from water by using reverse-osmosis systems or water softeners. Distilling water also won’t remove them. But they can typically be removed with the right granular-activated carbon filter.
The problem: Public water supplies typically also contain other toxic substances that may not be removed by granular-activated carbon. No water filter exists that treats all problems.
That’s why you should find out which toxins are in your water, then install the right treatment system to deal with your specific problem.
I also encourage you to meet with your health practitioner Jto reverse any damage these contaminants may have done to your health.
Dr. Mercola’s Comments
Please don’t fool yourself into thinking that you can tell your water is safe by the way it looks, tastes or smells.
Some contaminants in water are so harmful that they are measured in “parts per million” or “parts per billion.” In other words, just a drop of these poisons added to gallons and gallons of water can be very harmful.
Just installing a filter to purify your drinking water may not be enough. You could still be exposed to contaminated water when you:
- Shower or bathe
- Wash your hands
- Wash laundry
- Rinse fruits and vegetables
- Wash dishes, glasses and other utensils