Report Finds “Probable Carcinogens” in Municipal Water

mp post picFrom – August 21, 6:51 PM

The Environmental Working Group (EWG) releases a report finding "probable human carcinogens" in all municipal water samples tested.

Sandi Cornez's insight:

Environmental Working Group (EWG), a trusted resource for all things environmental released a report finding "probable human carcinogens" in all water samples from 201 municipal water systems from 43 states. Does this grab your attention or are you hiding under a rock believing that your water system is 100% safe?

EWG and many others want the government to clean up those sources of public drinking water, thereby reducing the need for chemical treatment. The report, "Water Treatment Contaminants: Toxic Trash in Drinking Water" was sparked by concerns about water contamination in the wake of SuperStorm Sandy (no relation to me) which spilled tens of millions of gallons of sewage into waterways along the East Coast.The results of their analysis reveal a far more widespread and concerning problem that superstorms merely inflame. The problem is that chlorine and other water treatment chemicals, in addition to being toxic themselves, react with ordinary organic particles in the water (waste from farm animals, fallen leaves, dead animals) to create hundreds of extremely toxic byproducts, which aren't regulated or monitored at all.

These toxic byproducts have been labeled "Disinfection Byproducts" DBP's. 600 are known and hundreds more have yet to be identified. Most people are not even aware that DBP's exist, let alone that they are actually 1000 times more toxic than chlorine. Just like with "ionizing radiation" and mercury, any exposure at all is concerning and potentially toxic. There is no safe level.

Chlorine is the only disinfectant that has been extremely studied. Today many water treatment plants are also adding chloramine, another disinfectant of which being exposed to that the health effects are not known.

Chloramine is a combination of chlorine and ammonia. More than one in five Americans are drinking tap water treated with chloramine.

Chloramine stays in the water system longer than chlorine and is harder to remove. It can't be removed by boiling, distilling, or by standing uncovered. Its vapors can accumulate in indoor air and concentrate in an enclosed area, such as shower stall, kitchen, bathroom, or apartment.

Chloramines combine with organic matter in water supplies to create two very toxic substances: iodoacids and nitrosamines says David Sedlak of UC Berkley.

There are three main types of chlorination byproducts, known to produce dangerous health effects: Trihalomethanes (THMs) which are associated with bladder cancer, gestational and developmental problems; Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) which lead to central nervous system depression and drowsiness and can irritate your skin and mucous membranes; Haloacetic Acids which is a Class B2 probable human carcinogen associated with neurological problems, growth retardation, low birth weight, and sperm toxicity.

Both Dr Mercola and myself recommend filtering your tub and shower water and I recommend filtering your kitchen as well for these reasons:

Scientists suspect that THMs in your tap water may be responsible for thousands of cases of bladder cancer each year, base on mounting evidence from multiple studies. The risk to pregnant women and their unborn babies is very concerning. .THMs are associated with numerous developmental and reproductive abnormalities, including stillbirth, miscarriage, low birth weight, and neural tube defects. The neural tube refers to the structure that develops into your baby's brain and spinal cord.

Just showering in this treated water, in which you have absorption through both your skin and lungs, may pose a significant health risk to you and to your unborn child, if you are pregnant. Numerous studies have shown that showering and bathing are important routes of exposure for THMs and may actually represent MORE of your total exposure than the water you drink.

Analysts have found that THMs levels in public water systems vary throughout the year, depending on factors such as farming cycles. The EPA regulates chemicals based on an annual average, which means that spikes in the disinfection byproducts may go unnoticed.

And the EPA regulated chemicals are just the tip of the iceberg. There are hundreds of other chemicals finding their way into your water supply. The EPA regulates only nine (9) pollutants generated by chlorine or chloramine treatment. These nine represent less than two (2%) of the more than 600 unwanted chemicals created by the interaction of water of water treatment disinfectants and pollutants in source water.

There are more than 116,000 human made chemicals now detected in public water systems according to William Marks, author of "Water Voices From Around the World". 

Then there's other chemicals you can't see or taste that is found in public water systems. Some of the most common contaminants: Pharmaceutical drugs, Atrazine – according to the documentry FLOW, this U.S. herbicide is banned in the EU. Atrazine is an endocrine disrupter and is linked to numerous reproductive problems, breast and prostate cancer, and impaired immune function. MTBE – a chemical added to fuel to raise octane numbers is a potential human carcinogen. Glyphosate (Roundup), Hexavalent Chromium (Chromium 6), known as the Erin Brockovich chemical and a probable carcinogen.

And then there's bottled water – read Sandi's insights on the film TAPPED.

The best water is natural spring water which isn't always available for most people. I recommend  Multipure Water Filtration Systems as does EWG and Consumer Reports. Multipure has been filtering water for over 40 years and is certifed by NSF, the highest rating certification program in the country. The best solution is a whole house water filtration system.

This Scoop It site Water For Your Great Health is curated by Sandi Cornez. Follow Sandi for more great health tips and wisdom

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