Drink up your heavy metals and pharmaceutical drugs, kiddies! Ahhhh, refreshing!
Or not. What’s in our tap water? Isn’t it just… water?? This isn’t a third world country! There are rules about such things, right? The government makes sure it’s safe and clean, of course.
Contamination in Your Drinking Water
Oh, dear sweet innocent self from a decade ago. You are darling, but also completely wrong. You see, your tap water has become increasingly polluted with a variety of toxins. Water is no longer pure and unadulterated, mostly due to environmental contamination.
Instead of filtering all of the yuck out of the public water supply properly, it is simply treated with chemicals to an “acceptable level” of contaminants, and then treated with chlorine to “sanitize” the most harmful germs. So they don’t remove the contaminants – they just use decontamination methods that end up leaving behind other by-products and residues.
Isn’t that sort of disturbing? It is to me. In fact, according to the Environmental Working Group, water utilities testing has found over 300 different contaminants in the tap water that Americans drink.
Lab tests have detected contaminants such as…
- Heavy metals like mercury, lead, copper, aluminum, chromium
- Pharmaceuticals that are flushed down the toilet (both directly and in urine)
- Viruses, pathogenic bacteria, and parasites
- Man-made toxic chemicals like pesticides and herbicides
- VOC’s and organic solvents
- Sewage sediment
Get this — when I fill up our water filter reservoir with a strong flow of tap water, the smell of chlorine makes my eyes and nose burn. I have to turn away. Don’t you wonder what the long-term effects of that might be for those who drink it every single day?
Dangers of Fluoride
Fluoride is another addition to the water supply that you want to filter out. Unfortunately, most municipalities add it in intentionally! Due to a belief that it aids in dental health, it has been used for years in this way.
But recent studies are showing serious concerns and a myriad of negative health effect risks from fluoride, such as lowered IQ in children (a result that was reached in 43 separate scientific studies! source), and thyroid dysfunction (source).
The talk of thyroid dysfunction especially piqued my own interest — due mainly to the fact that I’m dealing with serious adrenal fatigue, part of which is manifested as thyroid dysfunction.
More excellent info on the dangers of fluoride can be found on this natural dentistry site.
Long-Term Health Effects?
Now most of the time, your tap water won’t kill you right away, of course (except when it has, like the infamous e-coli tragedy in Ontario in 2000.) But the cumulative, long-term health effects of these various contaminants, both the unintentional and the intentional ones, have never been adequately studied.
Proponents of fluoride use this fact as a promotion tactic: they say things like, “studies have shown no long-term health effects”. This is very misleading. As I have come to learn in my health & wellness research over the years, that ‘party line’ is not only a huge red flag, but also a call for caution and further digging.
Despite the fact that health officials do not all agree on the fluoride issue, I believe that there is already enough evidence to warrant concern over regularly drinking tap water, in the same way that I know that high-fructose corn syrup, MSG, and polyunsaturated vegetable oils are detrimental to my health.
The Filter We Use and Love
I came to the above conclusion several years ago after doing hours of research on the topic, and that’s when my family bought our own Berkey water filter.
Prior to that, I only knew about the Brita fridge pitcher, or the super-expensive reverse-osmosis systems that a salesperson once tried to pitch to us in our home. I didn’t really believe that there was anything to worry about in my tap water.
How My Cat Convinced Me
That salesman somehow convinced us to invite him in to our little basement apartment to give a demonstration. We didn’t buy a reverse osmosis system that day (or ever), but his demonstration was compelling. As it turned out, our cat did most of the convincing…
Sales dude told us all about the contaminants in our tap water, and we were somewhat skeptical, so he used our cat, Sophie, as Exhibit A. He took a bowl of tap water, and a bowl of toilet water, and placed them side-by-side on the kitchen floor. He said that animals can tell that the toilet water is cleaner (because the porcelain toilet bowl helps to absorb some of the contaminants).
The cat came over, sniffed both bowls a few times, then started lapping up the toilet water, leaving the tap water untouched. We left it for the rest of the day, but she didn’t touch the bowl of tap water even once.
That little demonstration has stuck in my memory all of these years as I’ve done my research into the facts.
Why Not Reverse Osmosis Water?
Reverse osmosis systems strip out the beneficial, natural minerals along with the yucky stuff, making the water an acidic “hypo-tonic” solution.
Why is that a problem, you ask?
A chemist will tell you that any time a hypo-tonic (de-mineralized) solution comes into contact with a “Hyper-tonic” (Mineralized) solution, the minerals within the hyper-tonic solution will transfer out of hyper-tonic solution and into the hypo-tonic solution until equilibrium is achieved. What this means is simply that when one drinks hypo-tonic water, the minerals in the blood and lymphatic system, which are hyper-tonic, transfer into the hypo-tonic RO or Distilled water that is consumed and the minerals are flushed out of the body upon urination.
In an effort to re-mineralize, the blood and lymphatic systems then begin to scavenge for minerals from other parts of the body, such as bones and other organs, and this process repeats itself every time de-mineralized hypo-tonic water is re-consumed. Several studies suggest that people who drink de-mineralized water (hypo-tonic) over a long period of time tend to be more prone to degenerative diseases such as osteoporosis.” (source)
Berkey: The Best System in Existence
Do you filter your water?
I'm Beth. I created Red & Honey because I'm obsessed with the wild art of wellness.