4 Major Contaminants in Drinking Water

4 Major Contaminants in Drinking Water

Water is the most essential element of life and something we all need on a daily basis. But what if the water you’re drinking on a daily basis is actually toxic drinking water? Yes, the water you use to fill your glass, add to your recipes, and spray out of your shower may actually be teaming with unsafe chemicals. So, just what’s in your drinking water? Here are the four main classes of unsafe chemicals found in drinking water:

Pesticides and Industrial Byproducts

If you did an analysis of your drinking water, you may be surprised to find it has unacceptable levels of pesticides including atrazine, a weed killer known to cause birth defects in animals as well as liver, kidney, and heart damage. In addition, you might also find byproducts of plastics as well as industrial products such as paint removers in the water you drink on a daily basis. Studies have shown that even trace amounts of these unsafe chemicals have adverse biological effects in animals. It doesn’t give you a great deal of confidence in your local water supply, does it?

Lead and Arsenic

Arsenic may be found in particularly high concentrations if you have groundwater opposed to surface water which comes from a lake or river. Long term exposure to arsenic has been associated with a variety of cancers including cancer of the lungs, kidneys, bladder, and prostate. You probably already know the devastating consequences lead can have on brain development in children. Since lead is found in your water pipes, the best way to reduce your exposure is to flush your pipes by allowing the water to run for two minutes before using it. This should be done when your faucets haven’t been used for six hours or longer. You can also reduce your exposure by using only cold water which contains lower concentrations of lead.

Bacteria and Protozoa

It’s not reassuring to know that many municipal drinking water supplies contain bacteria and protozoa derived from feces. One of the most commonly found fecal bacteria in drinking water is E.Coli. One way to kill these microorganisms is to boil your water for a minute before drinking it.


Chlorine is a common component found in toxic drinking water. The tap water that comes out of the faucet has been disinfected with chlorine to kill germs and bacteria that may be present in the water supply. Unfortunately, chlorine can chemically interact with organic matter in the water resulting in the production of trihalomethanes. Trihalomethanes have been associated with a variety of health risks including an increased risk of miscarriage, various forms of cancer, and damage to the major organ systems. Unfortunately, you can’t avoid it by not drinking water. A ten minute shower produced more absorption of this unsafe chemical through the skin than drinking five glasses of water. It’s not even safe to take a shower!

What can you do if you’re concerned about toxic drinking water? Have your water tested by an independent testing center and find out exactly what your water contains. Follow up by investing in a quality water filter that will filter out these contaminants. Don’t forget about adding a filter to your shower since many unsafe chemicals are absorbed through the skin. By doing this, you can sleep more comfortably at night knowing your family’s water supply is protected.