It was only in the early 1900’s that chlorination was introduced to prevent influx of waterborne
diseases like typhoid fever and cholera. However this solution exchanged one problem for another. The chemical
reaction of the disinfectant with organisms in the water created a cancer-causing compound Trihalomethanes
(THMs). The EPA has identified over 600 disinfection by-products but only 11 are regulated.
Chlorine can control most biological contaminants but not all of them like giardia or cryptosporidia. These
chlorine resistant cysts are fatal to people with weak/suppressed immune systems (ie: surgical patients, elderly,
USA has been using fluoride for tooth decay control and water disinfectant. In contrast, it has been banned in 27 countries of European Union and China. US
Congress is only now scrutinizing its effectiveness and health impact.
Minimum “safe levels” of drinking water are established as “safe”. But what if those contaminants are exceeded and
the safe standard is very marginal? The impact may not be great when exposed for short duration but if accumulated
thru time it can cause liver disease, cancer or cardiovascular disease. Today’s safe may be considered tomorrow’s
Well water is not much better off than utility water because of the farming with chemicals, pesticides, herbicides.
All these chemicals make their way into the groundwater.
Bottled water has its set of woes. Deceptive practice as to source of water (ie calling well water as spring fed
water). Contaminants found in bottling such as bacteria, chemicals, dissolved solids, heavy metals etc… Certain
grades of plastic bottles used for water distribution leech out chemicals.
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