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Common Water Contaminants

Photo by: Bigstockphoto
Photo by: Bigstockphoto

Did you know that tap water is teeming with contaminants that are hazardous to the health? This is the reason why a water purifier or water filters are important to generate clean drinking water. In today’s post, we are listing down the most common contaminants found in tap water:


Chlorine is a chemical used to kill water-borne microbes. Although this compound is widely used in the west to treat water, it is actually bad for you. For one thing, chlorine enhances the effects of free radical damage, causing accelerated aging and chronic disease. Studies show that drinking chlorinated water could worsen cardiovascular diseases. Hot chlorinated water is equally dangerous. According to research, the water creates a mist that is toxic to the health. Children are the most vulnerable to the negative effects of chlorine. This compound can cause respiratory problems in kids.


Fluoride is added to water supply to keep the teeth healthy. Unfortunately, too much fluoride can lead to serious ailments. Fluoride is a type of halogen that acts as a heavy metal. When ingested, this compound can trigger cellular dysfunction and damage the hormone receptors of the body. It can also destroy cell membranes and disrupt the level of enzymes in the system. Studies show that exposure to fluoride could cause autism or low IQ in children. Fluoride also causes excessive calcification in the arteries, ligaments, and joints. This compound is also linked to bone cancer and hip fractures.


Because pesticides are widely used to keep pests from destroying crops, these chemicals will inevitably end up in the water supply. Some the most common types of pesticides that contaminate water are organochloride, DDT, chlordane, and lindane. All these compounds weaken the immune system and disrupt the endocrine system. Because pesticides are not eliminated in the body easily, they can cause a wide range of health problems including tissue damage, cell dysfunction, and other diseases. In some cases, drinking water tainted with pesticides can worsen a specific condition.


Just like pesticides, fertilizers also end up in drinking water. The most common type of fertilizer that contaminates the water supply is nitrogen. Nitrogen is a form of nitrate, which is extremely toxic to the health. This chemical affects the blood cells’ ability to carry oxygen so less oxygen ends up in the brain. Studies show that nitrogen is linked to “blue baby syndrome.” It can also cause mental and environmental illnesses including cancer.

Heavy Metals

Heavy metals are a byproduct of industrial processes and consumer waste that end up in the ocean. The most common types of heavy metals that taint the water supply are mercury, lead, and cadmium. Apart from being extremely toxic to human beings, heavy metals are not easy to purge from the body. This is the reason why most species of deep-sea fish are high in mercury. Mercury can cause hormonal problems, mental illnesses and nerve damage. Sustained exposure to lead can cause enzymes disruption, brain damage, tissue damage and nervous system damage.  Cadmium, which is a cancer-causing compound, can weaken the immune system and reduce a person’s ability to resist infections.

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