g Text Version
Beauty & Self
Books & Music
Food & Wine
Health & Fitness
Hobbies & Crafts
Home & Garden
News & Politics
Religion & Spirituality
Travel & Culture
TV & Movies

Bored? Games!
Take a Quiz
Rate My Photo

Natural Living
Folklore and Mythology
Distance Learning

All times in EST

Full Schedule
g Public Health Site

BellaOnline's Public Health Editor


Pollution in Your Drinking Water

Guest Author - Anita Grace Simpson

Many people choose to buy bottled water instead of drinking tap water from their local water systems. Others purchase filter systems such as the Brita water pitcher, hoping to remove dangerous chemicals. Water is necessary for life, but today the water we drink often contains substances that are not only unnecessary for life, but even harmful. Chemicals in water supplies can cause many health problems, particularly cancer.

Water from the ground – wells or springs – is generally considered safer than surface water from lakes or rivers. However, research has shown that, due to seepage from landfills and toxic waste disposal sites, well or spring water can be dangerous too. Here is what you need to know about this problem:

Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are chemicals containing carbon that evaporate easily. Some of them degrade quickly, but others stay in the environment for decades. These chemicals are found in many common products including cleaners, deodorizers, paints, adhesives, and refrigerants. Once used, VOCs may remain in the atmosphere or move to soil, surface water, or ground water. Many VOCs are known carcinogens or may seriously affect human health, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

In one study, over 65% of the wells sampled contained one or more VOCs. Chloroform, toluene, trimethylbenzene, and percholoroethene were detected in more than 10% of the samples. Other VOCs occurred less frequently; mixtures were commonly reported (31%). Overall, the VOC concentrations were lower than levels considered to be dangerous to humans. However, according to the National Resources Defense Council, the lower levels can still have adverse effects for pregnant or nursing women, the elderly, individuals with HIV/AIDS or otherwise compromised immune systems, and those with chronic illnesses.

Lead is another potential water contaminant. It may result from old or damaged pipes in the plumbing of your home. The presence of lead in city water, regardless of its source, may also be increased by the use of chloramines as disinfectants (reported in Environmental Health Perspectives). Lead poisoning can occur suddenly, with convulsions, paralysis, or vomiting and diarrhea, or over time, as lead slowly accumulates in the person’s body. This is especially dangerous for children since lead interferes with neurological development.

A lesser known problem is sewage overflow. This can occur during heavy rains, when a pipe breaks, or when a pump malfunctions. Depending on the type of sewage system, the overflow may be diluted or undiluted and may enter ground water, surface waterways, streets, or other areas including playgrounds. Untreated sewage can cause many illnesses, particularly hepatitis and gastroenteritis. Unfortunately, the public is not always notified when a sewage overflow occurs.

Knowledge is your best ally. Contact your local water treatment authority or the EPA for information about the treatment plants in your area. If your water comes from a private well, have the water tested for VOCs, heavy metals, and other contaminants. Although the government is charged with protecting our resources and health, we also must be responsible and pro-active!
This site needs an editor - click to learn more!

Add Pollution+in+Your+Drinking+Water to Twitter Add Pollution+in+Your+Drinking+Water to Facebook Add Pollution+in+Your+Drinking+Water to MySpace Add Pollution+in+Your+Drinking+Water to Del.icio.us Digg Pollution+in+Your+Drinking+Water Add Pollution+in+Your+Drinking+Water to Yahoo My Web Add Pollution+in+Your+Drinking+Water to Google Bookmarks Add Pollution+in+Your+Drinking+Water to Stumbleupon Add Pollution+in+Your+Drinking+Water to Reddit

RSS | Related Articles | Editor's Picks Articles | Top Ten Articles | Previous Features | Site Map

For FREE email updates, subscribe to the Public Health Newsletter

Past Issues

Printer Friendly
tell friend
Tell a Friend
Email Editor

Content copyright © 2015 by Anita Grace Simpson. All rights reserved.
This content was written by Anita Grace Simpson. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact BellaOnline Administration for details.


g features
Aspartame versus Sugar

Bullying and Creating a Healthy Learning Place

Breast Cancer-What's Soy Got To Do With It?

Archives | Site Map


Past Issues

Less than Monthly

BellaOnline on Facebook

| About BellaOnline | Privacy Policy | Advertising | Become an Editor |
Website copyright © 2016 Minerva WebWorks LLC. All rights reserved.

BellaOnline Editor