We have an overabundance of health-related ailments and diseases today, but the experts continue to scratch their heads as to the source. Maybe, just maybe they really know and cover up the facts for the all-mighty dollar. It now seems a matter of life and death for all of us consumers to take charge and become aware of our surroundings instead of living in a bubble. It’s all about fighting for our rights and that includes standing up for them and going the distance…I mean getting involved with environmental groups, sign petitions, etc., because they do count. Many groups such as Environmental Working Group, Food and Water Watch, and Consumers Union have fought diligently for consumer rights and have won some fights. They cannot do it alone.
I have had a passion for a long time since getting into the water treatment business to help consumers make an informed decision about the water they drink. Much of it is not fit to drink out of the tap, but it is up to them.
One of the contaminants that continues to reek havoc on our bodies is lead. Lead is considered the number one health threat to children, and the effects of lead poisoning can last a lifetime. Not only does lead poisoning stunt a child’s growth, damage the nervous system, and cause learning disabilities, but it is also now linked to crime and anti-social behavior in children.
One study by Environmental Health Perspectives showed that as many as 21 percent of all ADHD children actually have lead poisoning. Several small studies have linked autism symptoms with lead poisoning, and state that recovery from lead-induced autism is possible. Common sources of exposure include dinnerware, artificial food coloring and toys. - See more at: http://www.naturalhealth365.com/autism_news/chemicals.html#sthash.BGT3LbkX.dpuf
According to the U.S. Center for Disease Control, there are approximately 7,500 cases of illness linked to drinking water in the United States each year. This number is much lower than what is generally accepted, because drinking water contaminants are often not considered in the diagnoses of illnesses. Lead is "a highly toxic metal the agency considers a major public health threat", according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The National Centers for Disease Control considers lead to be the country's number-one preventable pediatric health problem. More than 30 Million Americans are drinking water with lead levels in excess of the Maximum Contaminant Level set by the EPA.
According to the recently released lead toxicological profile for lead from the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR), “the adverse health effects of lead range from slight increases in blood pressure at 10 ug/dL to severe retardation and even death at very high blood-lead levels of 100 ug/dL. High lead levels in pregnant women increase the risk of complications in their pregnancies, and damage to the fetuses. High lead in men can cause heart attack, high blood pressure, strokes, and hypertension.”
Over 98% of homes in the U.S. have pipes that contain lead or lead solder. The main sources are lead pipes or copper pipes connected by lead solder, and from brass faucets, which also contain lead ( most chrome plated faucets are made of brass which is 8% lead). The level of lead in tap water should not exceed 5 parts per billion.
Lead, a metal found in natural deposits, is commonly used in household plumbing materials and water service lines. The greatest exposure to lead is swallowing or breathing in lead paint chips and dust. Lead in drinking water can also cause a variety of adverse health effects. Infants, children, pregnant women, and fetuses are more vulnerable to lead exposure than others because the lead is more easily absorbed into the sensitive tissue of actively growing bodies. An equal concentration of lead is more destructive in a child than in an adult. Pregnant women should also be especially cautious about lead exposure, because it can cause premature birth, and reduce the birth weight of babies. In babies and children, exposure to lead in drinking water above the action level can result in delays in physical and mental development, along with slight deficits in attention span and learning abilities. In adults, it can cause increases in blood pressure. Adults who drink this water over many years could develop kidney problems or high blood pressure.
Lead is rarely found in source water, but enters tap water through corrosion of plumbing materials. Homes built before 1986 are more likely to have lead pipes, fixtures and solder. The most common problem is with brass or chrome-plated brass faucets and fixtures which can leach significant amounts of lead into the water, especially hot water.* Even with newer homes, lead contamination can be a problem. Chloramines used to disinfect the majority of our drinking water can cause leaching of lead from lead pipes, lead soldering and from so called “lead free” brass plumbing parts. Lead leached by chloramines can cause lead poisoning. Lead poisoning can cause neurological damage, health problems and even death in young children.
In conclusion we can all do our part as consumers. Be aware of leaded products at home. There are many more non-toxic alternatives today. Be conscious of what you put down the drain, because it will eventually land up somewhere in the water table. If you suspect lead in your water, get it tested. There are inexpensive tests at your local retailers. Use special water filtration to remove toxic lead from your drinking water.
* From the U.S. EPA Drinking Water Contaminants Effects of Lead Contamination: Infants and children: Delays in physical or mental development; children could show slight deficits in attention span and learning abilities