Impurities in our Water
How long can I drink contaminated water before it affects me?
Under sink water filters that remove chemicals are more affordable than ever, but it’s not so easy to tell if your water is contaminated and unfortunately, many people do not have their water tested until they become suspicious due to illness.
In example, water-sources adjacent to farmland might be contaminated with fertilizer and pesticide compounds that go unnoticed and untreated. This is because many life-threatening water contaminants can often be invisible to our sight, smell, and taste, and without proper testing the contaminated water source may remain in use for years before it is detected.
Chemicals from pesticides and fertilizers in water may increase cancer risk and reproductive problems, and can impair eye, liver, kidney, and other body functions. Similar problems can result from exposure to water near industrial plants.
At this time, standards have been set for more than 80 drinking water contaminants that may cause illness and or death when consumed. These dangerous water contaminants are categorized into two main groups and are classified by their impact to the human body.
These are effects from pollutants that occur rapidly upon consumption, often within hours of ingestion.
If exposed to extremely high-levels, an individual can experience Acute health effects from nearly any contaminant. Viruses and bacteria may be the most likely water contaminant to achieve levels adequate to cause acute health effects in people.
Microorganisms can be found in human or animal waste, however they are also everywhere on the planet. People that ingest water contaminated with parasites, bacteria, and or viruses, may suffer infection and various intestinal ailments, which lead to dehydration.
Water sources for drinking water may become contaminated with microorganisms by waste leaks from septic tanks and waste pipes or a heavy rainfall that washes them into a water system.
Although the majority of individuals with a healthy immune system can successfully fight off microbial contaminants similar in how their bodies defend against germs, microorganisms can be very dangerous for individuals with a weak immune system and even prove themselves to be deadly.
These effects may happen over the course of years while consuming contaminants that are above the EPA’s safety standard levels for drinking water.
These often include minerals like arsenic, chemicals like pesticides and solvents, and radionuclides. People that ingest water tainted with these contaminants are at risk of developing liver and kidney complications, delayed puberty in children, and even cancer.
Heavy metals may seep into water supplies via damaged or degraded service lines or because of improperly handled materials in refineries and various industrial operations, or simply be part of a natural mineral formation.
Chemical contaminants will often pass into the water supply via ground water after spills or improper disposal.
Radionuclides are very detrimental to health and can be leaked during certain types of mining operations or as a byproduct of nuclear power. They are toxic and increase the chance of cancer as well as organ failure.