When you ask people if their tap water is safe to drink, the common answer, “Yes,” is “yes.” But the truth is, the fine line between “safe” and “dreadful” is a very narrow one indeed.
You may not realize it, but just about anything that flows through your home’s plumbing may not be exactly as it should be for your health. Small amounts of a chemical called disinfection byproducts (DBPs) may be present. At levels far lower than the state standards, your water may be less than safe.
What are DBPs?
Do you know anything about disinfection byproducts? They are produced during the disinfection process. Likelipid soluble hummus and hydrogen sulfide can dissolve in water. At higher levels, DBPs can cause cancer. Examples areottedilazide, which causes liver and kidney damage at levels far above the allowable limits, andercalcin, another antibiotic that can come with a ” beckoning” case of cancer. Atrazine, a weed killer, has been found in some homes in metrology testing as high as 100 times higher than what would be tolerated. Because of concerns about carcinogens, the Environmental Protection Agency has sought to reduce allowable levels of atrazine.
DBPs can be removed with granular activated carbon, a relatively inexpensive and effective filtering media. Other types of filtering media that can be used for on-going exposure to DBPs include submicron filters, carbon block filters, and carbon concentrators. Some of these can be installed under the kitchen sink and are obvious. Others can only be installed on the kitchen counter.
How Do DBPs Get Into Your Water?
DBPs are seldom mentioned by the media, which means they are not affected by advertising campaigns, their rate of contamination, or any other of the usual dynamics of public water supplies. Nor do they make the news. In simple terms, DBPs get into your water because when cleaning the pipes, a certain amount of chlorine is used. The chlorine breaks down the furniture, seasonings, and personal care products that wash down the pipes, and during the clean-out, some of the chlorine seeps into the baseboards and tanks. There is a certain amount of chlorine in the public water, although the levels are so low that they are rarely mentioned.
The “Smart” Approach
There is actually a way to avoid the occurrence of DBPs. We know that some chemicals can break down into the same kind of DBPs that are produced during chemical disinfection. If the public water supply were disinfected by using chlorine at a higher level then would result in greater levels of DBPs being present. The smarter approach for fighting waterborne disease is to limit the exposure of the public to DBPs.
The public water system also has other risks. Because of disinfection, all bodies of water, regardless of their location, must be treated at a potable level. If the disinfectant used causes the innate pH to drop too low, the bacteria will be unable to survive.
Adding chlorine to kill bacteria produce irritable bowel syndrome or IBS may have other health risks. I doubt whether gynecologists today will recommend that women take anything for IBS. But, one needs to remember that gynecologists were rarely called for tackling by the family doctor either. Today, women everywhere know to take birth control, especially for IBS.
In most public restrooms, it is not necessary to wipe the walls with anti-bacterial spray, and germs will be spread by air and touch. It is one of the best things to do daily to not expose yourself to these terms. Take an extra change of clothes whenever you finish a restroom. Think about wearing your seat belt.
Now pay close attention to your nose. If you can’t stop there, blow your nose with your elbow, and see what happens. Most people are infected by anaerobic bacteria, the bacteria that causes disease and death on infrequent, moist, and warm surfaces such as the floor, garbage bags, door handles, and animal pens.