PFAS. Arsenic. Chromium. Other environmental contaminants. The list could go on and on.
Unfortunately, many water sources are contaminated with these pollutants and more, making it necessary to purify water at home before people use it for bathing or drinking. Even in American cities with “thriving” water purification centers, while water may meet government regulations, it still can contain varying levels of arsenic, PFAS, chlorine, and more. Because of the many benefits of drinking water for skin and wellness, we’re diving into how you can guarantee you and your family are drinking good water quality that’s free from effects of water pollution.
Water quality, pollution, and its effect on human health
Water pollution occurs when harmful substances—often chemicals or microorganisms—contaminate a stream, river, lake, ocean, aquifer, or other body of water. There are many sources of pollution, including agricultural runoff, sewage, and industrial waste (a main concern is PFAS, a group known as “forever chemicals”). When water becomes polluted, it seriously threatens our health and the environment.
How does water quality affect human health?
Most toxins in the water are known carcinogens. Some other potential health hazards from drinking water tainted with varying levels of the chemicals include different short-term to long-term effects, depending on your susceptibility and physical response. Known issues include:
- Nervous system and hormonal damage
- Organ damage (like kidneys and bladder)
- Developmental problems (in babies and young children)
- Reproductive issues (infertility)
How to avoid water pollution.
Once you know about the effects of your water quality — and the fact that tap water can be contaminated with levels of these potentially carcinogenic substances — what do you do? Here are the first steps to getting the best water for you and your family.
1. Know what’s in your water.
We love various organizations across the country that support your right to live well and know what you’re consuming. You can check your tap water by the zip code through EWG. If you live on well water, we highly recommend getting it tested now and every 2-3 years, depending on your area.
2. Decide if you need a whole-home filtration system or a drinking filter.
Some water filtration systems work on the counter, some go under the sink like a Reverse Osmosis system, and some are proprietary whole-home filtration solutions that provide quality water for cooking, bathing, and cleaning.
Water filtration systems pass water through a series of filters that remove impurities. The most common type of filter is an activated carbon filter, which effectively removes many contaminants. Reverse osmosis systems use pressure to force water through a semi-permeable membrane, leaving contaminants behind. Whole home water treatment solutions are designed to address various specific contamination problems. For example, iron filters can remove high iron levels from water, while ultraviolet light systems can kill bacteria and viruses. By selecting the right water purification system for their needs, homeowners can ensure that their families can access clean, safe drinking water.
As far as strictly drinking water goes, we recommend the Berkey Water Filter. It will filter various contaminants — and is one of the only filters to remove fluoride.
3. Avoid bottled water, if you can.
It's no secret that plastic water bottles are bad for the environment. They take hundreds of years to break down, polluting our land and water in the meantime. But did you know that plastic water bottles can also harm your health? That's because plastic water bottles contain chemicals that can leach into the water. This plastic can have detrimental health effects on consumers over time. Choose a reusable bottle instead, and help to keep yourself and the planet healthy.
If you do drink spring or mineral water, there’s a top brand we’d like to recommend. We love Mountain Valley Spring Water because it’s clean, captured at the source, packaged in glass bottles, and has been voted the best water four times!
Now that you’re aware of the effects of water quality, be sure to follow up with your home’s water source and have some sort of adequate filtration to help your family stay safe for years to come! Water is vital for your health and your skin’s health — here’s to a cleaner world and environment, protecting the water sources we have for future generations.