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Five Chemicals That May be Lurking in Your Drinking Water


Water is one of the most basic and fundamental elements necessary to human survival. Most of us here in the United States are fortunate enough not to go a day without it.

unregulated chemicals in drinking water

An EWG study found 141 unregulated chemicals, and 119 regulated ones, in U.S. drinking water supplies.

However, the water that springs forth from your tap may be hiding a surprising array of chemicals, some of them unregulated. In fact, when the Environmental Working Group (EWG) analyzed data from nearly 40,000 water utilities, serving 231 million people, in 2005 they found something disturbing ...

The drinking water contained 141 unregulated chemicals along with 119 chemicals that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) had set health-based limits on. The most common chemicals they found were:

  • Disinfection byproducts

  • Nitrates

  • Chloroform

  • Barium

  • Arsenic

  • Copper

" ... In many communities the water that comes out of the tap could be contaminated with scores of chemicals. People shouldn't be alarmed, but they should be concerned. Our system of public health protections isn't working in this case," Jane Houlihan, EWG's vice president for research, told FOX News.

Which states had the most contaminants in their drinking water?

  1. California

  2. Wisconsin

  3. Arizona

  4. Florida

  5. North Carolina

  6. Texas

  7. New York

  8. Nevada

  9. Pennsylvania

  10. Illinois

Where are all of these contaminants in our drinking water coming from? According to EWG, agriculture, industry, and urban and sprawl developments are the biggest culprits.

What Specific Chemicals May be in Your Drinking Water?

As disturbing as it is to know that there could be hundreds of chemicals lurking in your next glass of water, knowledge is power. And only by learning what the risks may be can you then take action to protect yourself and your family.

1. Radon

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that radon in household water causes 30 to 1,800 deaths per year. You may be exposed to radon in your water via two routes. The first is by breathing in radon vapors from your water while doing everyday tasks such as showering and doing dishes and laundry.

The second way is through actually ingesting the radon in the water. Because radon does evaporate readily into the air, surface waters, such as those from lakes and rivers, are less likely to contain high levels of the substance.

However, groundwater, which is used in wells, has not been exposed to much air, and therefore may contain much higher levels of radon. Wells filled by ground water supply about half the drinking water in the United States.

Because radon is tasteless, odorless and colorless, the only way to find out if high levels are in your water is with a water test. Fortunately, you can easily test your water with our top-recommended Radon-in-Water Test Kit.

2. Chlorine and Chlorine Byproducts

There are numerous studies that link drinking chlorinated water to increased risks of cancer, birth defects, miscarriages, and more. But what you may not realize is that showering or bathing in chlorinated water can be just as dangerous as drinking it, and even more so.

By taking a hot shower you end up absorbing over 600 percent more chlorine and other chemicals than you would from drinking the same un-filtered water all day!

This is because, when you shower, the warm water opens up your skin's pores, making it like a sponge for chlorine. Meanwhile, the steam in your shower, which you readily inhale, is full of chlorine and its byproducts as well. Since your skin is the largest organ of your body, some estimates say that steam can transport into your body up to 100 times the toxic chemicals as you would get from drinking tap water.

The good news is that chlorine and other chemicals can be easily removed from your family's shower with The Wellness Shower Filter.

The Wellness Shower effectively reduces up to 99 percent of chlorine from your shower's water for up to 24 months, which is two or three times longer than any other shower filtration system available. Plus, the filter actually increases hydration of your skin and hair by 115 percent!

3. Trichloroethylene, or TCE

Trichloroethylene, or TCE, a solvent with a fairly sweet odor and taste used in adhesives, paint and spot removers, and also to remove grease from metal airplane parts and clean fuel lines at missile sites, is a widespread pollutant of U.S. drinking water supplies.

TCE is often described as the most pervasive industrial contaminant in drinking water. It has been linked to numerous health risks, such as kidney cancer, reproductive and developmental damage, impaired neurological function, and autoimmune disease.

4. Prescription Drugs

Prescription drugs, along with medications given to livestock, are increasingly showing up in our ground water, soil, waterways and even our drinking water. That's because our conventional sewage treatments may not be looking for drugs, and certainly don't always remove them.

Adding to the problem are prescription drugs that aren't used, then are flushed down the toilet or deposited in landfills -- ultimately ending up in the environment.

This so-called "pharmaceutical pollution" could have major implications on wildlife, agriculture and humans -- yet is only beginning to be studied.

5. Pesticides

According to testing done for the Chicago Sun-Times, DEET, a chemical commonly used in insect repellants, may be present in your drinking water.

Thought the amounts detected were low -- 8.3 parts per trillion -- the testing was done during March, when insect repellant use was still low. And according to some experts, this is still cause for alarm.

bottled water

Anywhere from 25% to 40% of bottled water is actually bottled tap water.

DEET is potentially very toxic, particularly to children. It has been shown to cause nervous-system damage, including:

  • Insomnia

  • Mood changes

  • Disorientation and clumsiness when walking

  • Seizures

  • Coma

  • Even death

Bottled Water is NOT a Safe Alternative

If tap water is potentially contaminated, your first instinct may be to switch to bottled water. This would not be a wise move.

Bottled water is regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which has weaker regulations than the Environmental Protection Agency requires for tap water.

Further, FDA rules exempt waters that are packaged and sold within a single state -- which describes between 60 percent and 70 percent of all U.S. bottled water. About one out of five states don't regulate these waters, either, and carbonated water and seltzer are also exempt.

Even bottled water that is regulated may still be contaminated. The Sierra Club reports that the National Resources Defense Council (NRDC) tested 103 brands of bottled water and found contamination exceeding allowable limits in about one-third of the brands, including toxins such as arsenic, synthetic organics and bacteria.

It may also irk you to know that the NRDC found that about one-fourth of bottled water is actually bottled tap water (some say it's as much as 40 percent).

And this is not even touching on one of the most prominent concerns with bottled water, which, aside from the environmental aspects, is BPA.

The Ultimate Kitchen Filtration and Enhancement System

Ultimate Kitchen FiltrationThe Wellness Kitchen combines the best filtration and enhancement technologies to deliver the purest and most natural tasting water available. It effectively reduces harmful contaminants, while at the same time enhancing the water with delicate ions and minerals.

Find out for yourself why hundreds of thousands of users including physicians, athletes and health-conscious individuals make the Wellness Water Filtration and Enhancement Systems their choice for a lifetime.

Learn More Now!

Bisphenol-A (BPA) is a chemical widely used to manufacture plastic water bottles. The chemical is capable of leaching from the plastic into the water you drink, and it's known that both heat and age increase the leaching of chemicals from the plastic. Why is this concerning?

Because BPA mimics the female hormone estrogen, impacting fertility, reproductive health and potentially promoting cancer. Recent studies also linked BPA to heart disease, diabetes and liver problems. What's worse is that chronic exposure to very low levels of BPA, such as might occur when drinking bottled water, is potentially very harmful.

The Superior Alternative for Safe Water, Right From the Tap

To put your mind at ease and get safe, superior quality water from your own kitchen, highly recommends The Wellness Kitchen Water Filter. It reduces chlorine, chloramines, cysts, VOCs, pesticides, and herbicides -- including DEET -- below detectable levels for the life of the filter.

The Wellness Kitchen combines the best filtration and enhancement technologies to deliver the purest and most natural tasting water available. It effectively reduces harmful contaminants, while at the same time enhancing the water with adding important yet delicate wellness "ions and minerals" that your body needs.

And for times when you're on the go, the staff at Sixwise absolutely loves The Wellness H2.0.

The Wellness H2.O is a personal, reusable water bottle that features a unique filtration system that not only purifies ordinary tap water, but also enhances the water for better absorption and hydration. With this special filtration process you'll have access to high quality water wherever you go.

So instead of worrying about what types of contaminants may be lurking in your drinking water, you can get superior water in your own kitchen with The Wellness Kitchen Filter. And when you're on the go, the Wellness H2.O ensures you and your family will have clean, healthy water no matter where you are.

Recommended Reading

Five Things to be Cautious of Regarding Your Tap Water and the Safer Alternatives

The Water Shortage Crisis in America & the World: A Quick Overview of One of the Most Dangerous Crises Humankind has Ever Faced

Sources December 21, 2005

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