What’s Lurking In Your Tap Water?
  • 17 January, 2020
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Here at Direct Water Filters, we understand the importance of filtering your home’s water supply. Numerous contaminants could be lurking inside your water supply ranging from chemicals added to treat the water and kill bacteria, to a whole host of undesirable contaminants that could be lurking on the Victorian underground piping found in some areas of the UK.

For more information or for advice regarding the water filters and water filtration products available from Direct Water Filters, please don’t hesitate to give our team a call on +44 (0) 1604 947 839.

 

What Could Be Lurking In Your Tap Water?

Depending on the area you live in, a wide range of different contaminants could be found in your tap water. Some of the toxic contaminants that could possibly be in your water supply include but are not limited to the following 5 things:

1.Lead
Its important to note that lead in the UK drinking water supply is rare aslead pipes have not been permitted for four decades. However, it is important to note that before 1970 many smaller water pipes were made from lead and as such older properties it’s possible that service pipes may be made from lead, or that some of the original plumbing in your property may be made from lead.

If your water supply is hard, the build-up of scale forms a protective layer against the dissolution of lead, however in soft water areas, there is a risk of lead being present in the water. This is often treated by chemicals to reduce the problem; however this doesn’t remove the risk of the presence of lead in tap water.

The negative health effects of lead are quite well documented as it has been used in a diverse range of different industries. Paint, petrol, water pipes, and much more used to contain lead. Additionally, it’s also worthwhile noting that lead naturally occurs in soil. Lead poisoning has numerous health concerns and risks, with regards to children it can have a serious impact on their mental development, and with both adults and children, lead poisoning can affect all of the body’s organs; this includes the nervous system. 

2.    Fluoride
The health impacts of lead poisoning are severe indeed, however fluoride is actually more toxic than lead, which may be a shock to some as fluoride is a chemical often used in oral hygiene products such as toothpaste and mouthwash; however, it’s important to head the warnings on such products with tell you not to swallow them due to the toxicity of the chemical. In fact, the chemical fluoride is used as a pesticide to kill insects and rats, so it might be shocking to learn that 10% of the UK’s water supply is fluoridated. Additionally, it’s even more shocking as this is despite the fact that fluoridation of water is banned in all other European countries.

Considering that fluoride is more toxic than lead and it’s banned in all other European countries, it’s no surprise to learn that it can cause some very serious ill health effects. For example, “tens of millions of people throughout China and India suffer from serious crippling bone diseases from drinking water with elevated levels of fluoride” [source fluoridealert.org]

3.    Chlorine
Chlorine is used to kill germs and pathogens; it’s commonly used in swimming pools. However, it’s important to note that you swim in the water in a swimming pool, you don’t drink it. So, whilst it may not sound that scary at first, chlorine in your tap water can cause a wide range of ill health effects.

When chlorine mixes with other organic compounds, it can result in the creation of harmful by-products, including chemicals which have been linked to both kidney products and increased cancer risk, trihalomethanes (THMs). However, THMs are not the only harmful product that can be created as a result of chlorine mixing with organic compounds in water. For example, haloacetic acids (HAAs) can also be present which in addition to causing skin irritation, can also cause an increased cancer risk.

The presence of by-products isn’t the only concern of chlorine in drinking water. Whilst it is used to kill germs and pathogens, low levels of chlorine can cause people to be exposed to a parasite called Giardia. This parasite causes health conditions such as diarrhoea, cramps, and nausea.

4.    Perchlorate
Whilst many may have heard of the previous three contaminants in the list, we understand if you’re unaware of Perchlorate. Perchlorate is a chemical used in the production of both fireworks, and missiles; however this chemical used to make rocket fuel can be found in drinking water. In fact 45 of the 50 states in the United States have perchlorate in their drinking water, which is linked to brain development issues, posing a great danger to both children and pregnant women. This is because the rocket fuel chemical prevents the thyroid from absorbing iodine, essential for the production of hormones which are critical for brain development.

5.    Radiation
Whilst not a specific contaminant, numerous different items and situations could cause water supplies to be contaminated with radioactive materials. In fact, high amounts of radium contamination in Texas have contributed to the most widespread water violations in the United States.

Many materials found in nature are radioactive, such as uranium, radium, thorium, and radon; so it’s very important that activities such as mining and construction take extra care to ensure that radioactive isotopes don’t contaminate groundwater sources, as radiation exposure can cause a wide range of health conditions, including a range of cancers including but not limited to bone cancer, lung cancer, skin cancer, liver cancer, and many other cancers.

Find The Water Filtration Product That’s Best For You With Direct Water Filters

With such a diverse selection of different filtration products to choose from, we understand if you’re feeling spoiled for choice and you’re not such which product is the best water filter for your needs. So don’t be afraid to ask for some help, our friendly and dedicated team of experts will be happy to provide advice and assist you with your purchase.

So if you have any questions or if you need help identifying which product is best for you, please give our team a call on +44 (0) 1604 947 839. We are open Mon-Thurs 09:00-17:00 and Fridays 09:00-15:00. Alternatively, you can get in touch with our team online by filling out the enquiry form on our Contact Us page.


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