Three Reasons to Invest In Water Testing
By Megan Glover, CEO of 120WaterAudit
Water is resource we often take for granted. Having access to a local water supply, not to mention running water at our fingertips, is certainly something we can all be grateful for. Something many families might not consider, however, is the quality of their tap water and the dangers that might be lurking beneath the faucet.
Despite tap water's convenience, it has some risks that all families should be educated about in order to stay safe and create a healthy living environment. Here are three water risks that might be hiding in your home and what you can do to prevent them from harming you and your family.
Risk #1: Developmental deficiencies caused by lead
Lead is a toxic material with many health risks. It has the ability to change how signals are passed within the brain, possibly resulting in learning disabilities, behavior problems and lowered IQs. If lead makes its way into the still-developing brains of young children, these effects have the potential to be permanent.
Lead enters drinking water through corrosion of plumbing materials. While home built before 1986 are more likely to have lead pipes, fixtures and solder, new homes are also at risk. Even legally "lead free" plumbing may contain up to 8% lead.
Risk #2: Internal damage due to chlorine
Chlorine is poisonous to the body. Many water municipalities add chlorine to water supplies in order to get rid of microbes and other bacteria, but this chemical treatment can have an extremely dangerous effect on those who ingest it.
Chlorine has been associated with causes of bladder, rectal and breast cancers. In addition, chlorine can create higher levels of free radicals in the body, which leads to the damage of vital, healthy cells in the body. Because most of the water we drink heads toward the bladder and rectum, these organs are most at risk.
Risk #3: Oral health issues from fluoride
You might hear fluoride and immediately think it's healthy, based on your previous fluoride treatments at the dentist. Despite what we know about fluoride's toxicity, it's found in nearly every brand of toothpaste and up until a few years ago, was put into all municipal water supplies.
The issue of water fluoridation is starting to be challenged in local communities after studies have revealed links between fluoride and arthritis, reduced intelligence and brain development defects. Fluoride is not meant to be ingested and therefore, should not be present in drinking water.
While the risks of tap water are very real, there are preventative measures you and your family can take to keep your water safe and drinkable. Invest in a filtered faucet or pitcher to ensure your tap water is as clean as possible. Make sure you change the filter frequently, especially if you go through a lot of water everyday.
But don't stop there, a filter isn't enough. Once you've found a filter you like, invest in an at-home water testing kit to ensure even your filtered water is clean, drinkable and safe. This is a tool that can provide you with the knowledge and feedback you need to make informed decisions for you and your family's water -- something we feel that in the long run, is priceless.