Our main method of water "purification" in the U.S. is chlorine. Yeah, the same stuff that's in household bleach and pool water. You know when you go to the pool and you get the stinging eyes, sore throat, and itchy skin? That's from chlorine and we're drinking it every day! Studies have shown that women with breast cancer have 50-60 percent more chlorine in their breast tissue than women without breast cancer. The US Council of Environmental Quality study says that “cancer risk among people drinking chlorinated water is 93% higher than among those whose water does not contain chlorine.” It also hardens arteries, creates circulatory problems and causes respiratory illnesses. Drinking chlorinated water is not the only way it enters our systems. Two-thirds of the chlorine that we accumulate in our bodies comes from the shower. Not only does our skin absorb water, but we also inhale chlorine from the steam. Today, in spite of so many new technological advances in water purification, we are still adding this bleach to our water. Because it's cheap.
Prescription drugs are another contaminant of the U.S. water supply. An Associated Press investigation found that 24 major metropolitan cities in the U.S. are contaminated with pharmaceuticals. Antidepressants, anti-seizures, antibiotics, birth control, and pain killers were all found in the public water supply. The federal government does not require any testing and has not set safety limits for drugs in water. When we take medicine we excrete them through our urine. That urine then makes its way to the water treatment plant. Many microscopic particles, like pharmaceuticals, are not removed from the water when treated. Even bacteria are not actually removed; they are just killed.
One of the absolute worst contaminants in our water supply is fluoride. I attempted to write about fluoride but it ended up being way too much information to share in a blog. Entire books have been written about fluoride. My favorite is Fluoride, Teeth, and the Atomic Bomb. You should also watch this video. There are three parts, and this is the first. The first part is boring but it is essential to get background info. It gets better in the 2nd, 3rd and 4th parts. Dr. Phyllis Mullenix is the doctor who first discovered the harmful effects of fluoride. She discusses the government conspiracy related to fluoride. It's very interesting! Even if you are not interested in health but are interested in history or conspiracies, you should watch!
We will never be able to drink completely pure, uncontaminated water. But we can try to find the next best solution. Spring water is a much better choice than tap water because it is not treated with chemicals. But it still may be polluted if the area uphill is used for manufacturing, agriculture, or other sources of contamination. A whole-house reverse-osmosis filtration system would be a wonderful option. Reverse Osmosis filters water by squeezing it through a semi-permeable membrane, equal to 0.00000004 inch! Non-Reverse Osmosis water filters are less effective because the pore size on these filters are much bigger. A whole house system can be expensive, but there are also single reverse-osmosis filters, which are more economical ($150-300), and can be installed right under your sink. Another option would be to buy spring, distilled, or reverse-osmosis drinking water in jugs at the grocery store. Reverse Osmosis and Distillation are both capable of removing chemicals and fluoride. And if none of the options above are feasible then at least a simple carbon filter, which can be purchased at Walmart, would be one step closer to purer water. They reduce some of the chlorine, but not fluoride.