3 Surprising Health Dangers of Water
Is the water you are drinking safe?
When it comes to water, there are a lot of myths that need to be overturned. In today’s article you’ll discover what water is safe and what water is not.
The results might surprise you.
When Tap Water Isn’t Safe
All municipal drinking water supplies in the United States are very safe when it comes to bacteria. And that’s a good thing, as anyone who’s suffered Montezuma’s revenge can tell you!
But there are other possible concerns beyond bacteria. And unfortunately, two of those concerns are real problems for many men in America.
Those concerns are pesticides and fluoride.
Pesticide Levels Dangerously High
According to the U.S. Geological Survey - the agency responsible for monitoring water supplies in the United States - the majority of drinking water supplies across the country contain dangerous levels of pesticides.
While levels are typically low enough that they don’t cause acute effects, the U.S.G.S. reports that levels are almost always above acceptable levels. What that means is that there is a danger of long term effects.
Fortunately, the solution is simple. An inexpensive carbon filter will remove almost all of the pesticide residues from water.
Added Fluoride Not Safe
As I’ve reported to you before, fluoride added to water is not the same as naturally-occurring fluoride. Water fluoridation uses forms of fluoride that are 43 times as toxic as naturally-occurring forms.
While many are still in denial about the dangers of water fluoridation, scientific evidence is mounting. Recent studies have shown that hypothyroidism is extremely common in communities with fluoridated water. And the effects of hypothyroidism can be devastating.
Unfortunately, if your water supply is fluoridated, filtering it out is not so simple. Carbon filters won’t do it. Instead, you’ll need a pricier filter such as a reverse osmosis system.
Many people opt for natural spring water in bottles for drinking as an alternative to fluoridated water.
Is Bottled Water Safe?
When it comes to bottled water, not all are created equal.
If you are purchasing bottled water to avoid fluoride, you’ll want to be sure that you are purchasing natural spring water.
Unfortunately, many bottled water products are simply expensive city water! For example, the popular water products Dasani and Aquafina are just that - bottled city water. That means that those products contain fluoride when bottled in locations that have added fluoride - not a good choice.
There are no legal requirements for labeling on bottled water. So don’t be deceived by labels that have images of natural springs. Instead, check to see what the source of the water is. You want to find water that is sourced from natural springs, not municipal supplies.
Are Plastic Water Containers Safe?
Plastic water bottles have been around for decades. But lately they’ve been demonized in the media and online like never before. So is the bad rap they’ve been getting deserved or not?
It turns out most of it is entirely undeserved. Almost all plastic water bottles you buy in the US are “single-use” plastic bottles made out of PET. This is a lightweight, inexpensive plastic, and it is non-leaching.
That means, any plastic water bottle made from PET is safe. You don’t have to worry about PET leaching dangerous BPA, phthalates, or other harmful chemicals found in other types of plastic.
All plastic bottles in the U.S. have a recycling code embossed on the bottom, found inside a triangle of arrows (the recycling symbol). The code number for water-carrying plastic PET bottles is 1. So if you see a 1 inside that little triangle, you’re safe.
Recent scientific studies bear this out. Dr. Michael Moore, Professor of Toxicology at the University of Queensland, weighed in. He said PET is not a plastic that has been found to cause any kind of health problem.
Where does All The Hype Come From?
Hoax emails have been floating around for several years touting the health dangers of plastic bottles. They claim that reusing, freezing, or heating the bottles discharges cancer-causing chemicals like dioxins.
Some of the emails claim the warnings about plastic water bottles come directly from Johns Hopkins University. But the University’s website says these emails are false and the University does not endorse their content.
Other emails say the cancer claims are coming directly from Walter Reed Army Medical Center. Once again, these emails are bogus and have no scientific basis for their claims.
Can You Freeze or Reuse Plastic Water Bottles?
Some of the claims suggest that reusing or freezing PET bottles releases unsafe amounts of cancer causing chemicals. This is incorrect.
Dr. Rolf Halden, of Johns Hopkins School of Public Health, says freezing plastic bottles works against chemical leaching. He says there is nothing to suggest that storing water in PET code 1 plastic bottles is unsafe. He goes on to say that the types of plastic bottles that contain drinking water are safe to reuse provided they have not deteriorated.
In reality, the big health risk in reusing plastic water bottles is bacteria, not carcinogens. So if you’re planning on re-using a plastic water bottle, simply wash it out with warm, soapy water and you should be fine.
Other Kinds of Plastic Bottles
There are several other kinds of plastic bottles besides the safe PET code 1 bottles mentioned above. Bottles with codes 2, 4, or 5 are considered safe. However, codes 3 and 6 are a health risk and should not be used. Code 7 bottles are polycarbonate and contain BPA. BPA is estrogenic, and men should avoid it.
I do not recommend that you microwave any of these bottles or put very hot liquids into them, including PET. There is just not enough science available saying this a safe practice.
The Bottom Line
If your water supply is not fluoridated - whether you have a well or you use municipal water - I suggest filtering your drinking water using a simple carbon filter. That will remove most of the pesticide residues.
If your water is fluoridated, things are a bit trickier. You can either filter your water through a reverse osmosis filter or you can rely on bottled water for drinking.
Bottled water should come only from natural spring sources.