For over a century, the United States has had problems with keeping our drinking water clean and purified. This issue has been an ongoing problem for so long, that now the effects of our contaminated water have come to show in us and in our children. The fact that we use water daily in everything we do, eat, or drink, should move this concern up to one of the nation’s highest priorities.
Link to Water Pollution Facts video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lgLIMaZAJj0
The contaminated water that we believe is clean and useable is actually rank with many diverse and toxic chemicals that are harsh to our bodies and cause damage to us over time, as well as cause the spread of diseases and viruses.
We’ll start by naming off some of the most common chemicals and harmful substances that are in our water, and discuss them one by one. Soon you’ll be able to connect the dots, and wonder how this issue has remained silent for so long.
The most commonly found substances in our water are Lead, Fluoride, Arsenic, Sulfur Dioxide, and Nitrogen Dioxide. If this short list is already beginning to sound alarming, when you find out just what these chemicals can do to your body and our environment, you’ll probably think twice about where your water comes from, and how it is processed before it reaches your mouth.
A study done by the UCLA’s Department of Environmental Health Sciences shows us the level of Lead poisoning in children, and its decrease from 1965 to 2005. However, the level of Lead from 2005 and on has remained predominantly the same.
Link to UCLA Southern California Environmental Report Card (2009): http://www.environment.ucla.edu/reportcard/article3772.html
Even though the Lead in our water can be as low as 0.06ppm (parts per millimeter), the fact remains that it is still there, and it gathers together after a long period of time. This is especially true for young children who’s immune systems are not fully developed, and as such, they have a higher risk of Lead poisoning, and exposure to its effects. the report card in the link above, summarizes the health concerns pertaining to Lead in our drinking water. Take a look at the pictures below, and study what parts of the body Lead and Arsenic both affect, and what damage they can cause.
In the first picture, you can see what parts of the body Lead and Arsenic affect first, or most. High levels of Lead can cause intellectual and developmental disabilities (mental retardation), coma, convulsion due to the high toxicity of Lead, and eventually death.
Low levels of Lead aren’t any better off, as even low levels can cause significant, permanent damage such as reduced IQ, lack of attention span which leads to ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder), impaired growth, reading and learning disabilities, even hearing loss, and the list goes on to affect other parts of behavior and health.
The second picture shows the varying levels of Arsenic in U.S. soil, ranging from as low as 0.6ppm, to as high as 15.1ppm to 717.1ppm. Our crops are planted on this soil, harvested, then are delivered to our grocery stores, and eventually end up on our tables and consumed by us. Arsenic poisoning causes severe nerve damage, circulatory problems among joints, and skin peeling, a condition known as Hyperkeratosis. Furthermore, Arsenic is a leading factor in lung, liver, kidney and bladder cancers found in thousands of patients around the United States.
In Northern, Central, and Southern California alone, this chart shows that anywhere from 6.0ppm to 717.1ppm of Arsenic is found in our surface soil. That says a lot about us, our food, industries, and the water we drink. The two links below provide the insight of NRDC (Natural Recourses Defense Counsel) and Produce Green Home, and talk about the pathogens, Lead and Arsenic levels in our water, and what causes these effects, as well as what cities are most at imminent risk to major health concerns.
Link to NRDC.org: http://www.nrdc.org/water/drinking/uscities.asp
Link to ProduceGreenHome.com: http://www.proudgreenhome.com/news/more-than-49-million-americans-drink-arsenic-in-their-tap-water/
Do you still think your drinking water is safe to consume?
Acid rain is a product of two chemicals our industries give off: Sulfur Dioxide and Nitrogen Dioxide. These two substances rise, mixing with the clouds and air, then react with other particles and chemicals, causing Acid rain, which then falls down in or near the designated area it was formed, becoming a hazardous pollutant to cross paths with.
The chart picture above shows the process of the formation of Acid rain, and it’s effects on the environment around it.
Probably the most prevalent chemical in our water by far, is seen as the least concerning, and is as of recently, been increasing in our water source. Fluoride. What is fluoride? Fluoride is a salt with a weak base. But in large amounts, Fluoride is corrosive and can damage skin. Have you ever taken a nice, hot shower and noticed how wrinkly and prune-like your fingers look afterwards? That is the visible effect of Fluoride (salt), dehydrating your body of water essentials. Ironic how you could be drenched with water, yet your body is being dehydrated. That is one of the effects that Fluoride has on our bodies.
Fluoride is the most prevalent chemical in our water today, and it is significantly being increased as well. However, Fluoride is a leading cause of child brain damage, highly effecting pregnant women. While tap water has a much higher amount of loose Fluoride in it, filtered and bottled water can be just as dangerous. The picture below, illustrates several popular brands of water bottle companies that use extensive amounts of Fluoride in their water purification process. Take a look…
You might probably recognize some of these brands, and even use them daily. While the amounts of Fluoride in these bottled waters are as low as 0.01ppm (rounded to the nearest one hundredth), they can go as high as 0.29ppm (rounded 0.30ppm), which is a destructively high amount for one bottle of water.
Link to Fluoride Documentary: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7aTfyo0Xz_c#t=765
Ultimately, the problem with our water goes on, and we have yet to change it majorly. But together, we can change our environment and the world we live in. One is strong, but many, are an unstoppable force. Think twice before consuming from another water bottle, and find our what source(s) your water comes from, before it reaches you.
Post by: Roxy Frone