The Truth About Tap Water

Water is the most essential element of human life and it makes up about 60% of our bodies. While we can survive for weeks without food, we can only last few days without water. And so we are told to drink a minimum of 0.033L of water per every kilogram of body weight per day, which is minimum of 1.65L for a person my size. But did you know that just 1% of the world’s water is safe to drink?  And that the average cost of the most popular bottled water in Australia is $2.75 per litre, which is nearly the double of fuel price?

Our water is not pure!

You might want to take a closer look at what’s coming out of your tap.

Tap water is treated with various chemicals in order to kill bacteria and other microorganisms and to supposedly improve our dental health. It can also contain other environmental pollutants such as toxic metal salts, hormones, and pesticides, or it may become contaminated by chemicals or microbes within pipes (e.g. lead, bacteria, protozoa). Even the NSW government website states that there is no such thing as naturally pure water!

Typical Tap Water Contaminants include

  • Chlorine
  • Fluoride
  • Trihalomethanes (THMs)
  • Arsenic, Radium, Aluminum, Copper, Lead, Mercury, Cadmium, and Barium
  • Hormones and Pharmaceuticals
  • Nitrates
  • Pesticides (endocrine disruptors)

Although these contaminants often found in Australian water don’t occur in amounts large enough to kill you or make you feel violently ill just after one glass, you wouldn’t call it healthy to keep sipping on harmful chemicals all day every day. Not to mention the older or more sensitive you are, the more important it is to reduce your toxic load wherever possible.

In this day and age, we are exposed to harmful toxins in our environment on a daily basis and in many cases we can’t control it. What we can control, however, is what we put in our mouth, on our skin and what we use in our household. The toxins in our body accumulate in our tissues causing various health impairments. This is why I choose to avoid ingesting anything artificially enhanced or smearing my face and body with harmful chemicals. I’m lucky that my workplace has a water filter but I’m tired of carrying around large containers of water to use at home and so I’ve decided to get a reverse osmosis alkalizing water filter for my house.

The main reasons behind getting a water filter are to improve the taste and to get rid of fluoride, chlorine and heavy metals. Everything else is a bonus.

So what, you may ask, is the science behind my decision?


Chlorine – The Baby with the Bath Water.

Chlorine is used to disinfect water and get rid of harmful bacteria. It actually eliminates most pathogens from the water we drink. But, according to scientists, daily intake of chlorine itself is harmful… plus it makes the water taste terrible.

Chlorine interacts with organic compounds and creates trihalomethanes (THMs), which produce free radicals in the body. Excessive free radicals can cause cell damage and even cancer in some cases.  That’s why drinking chlorine-treated water is linked to tissue damage throughout the body, including the bladder and the rectum. Furthermore, chlorinated water is thought to be one of the causes of the rise in food allergies in the Western world and also appears to increase the risk of gastrointestinal cancer over a person’s lifetime by over 50%.

Scariest of all, however, is the impact chlorinated water has on our gut health. The gut is often called the second brain because most of our feel-good neurotransmitters such as serotonin, dopamine and GABA are produced in the gut as well as 70% of our immune cells. A poorly functioning gut has a huge impact on our mental and physical wellbeing! Chlorine is added to water to kill pathogenic bacteria and other such living organisms – but your gut is part of a living organism too! Tissues aside, chlorine destroys our beneficial gut bacteria alongside destroying the bad.

Lead and other heavy metals

Copper pipes are used extensively in plumbing systems both in Australia and internationally. According to the NSW government website, tap water can contain elevated metals such as copper and sometimes lead when left standing in pipes for extended periods.

What’s the problem with this? Lead, for example, is a cumulative toxicant that affects various body systems and is very harmful to our central nervous system, especially in young children. It is distributed to the brain, liver, kidney and bones and it accumulates in teeth and bones.

Fluoride

Fluoride is added to our water to prevent dental carries even though the research shows benefits from applying fluoride topically, not from ingesting it. On a contrary, drinking fluoride is toxic to the human body and can cause cognitive impairment, hypothyroidism, dental and skeletal fluorosis, enzyme and electrolyte derangement, and uterine cancer, especially in sensitive individuals. Once again, you won’t get all the damage from drinking one glass but what happens if you drink 2L of fluoridated water every day for the rest of your life? I know I don’t want to take my chances. When it comes to dental cavities, I opt for not consuming excessive amounts of sugar and especially not drinking sugary drinks. Problem solved!

These are only three out of the many health-based reasons I choose to filter my water.

But the reasons don’t stop with my health! Filtering my tap water is more cost effective and environmentally friendly than buying bottled water. A study comparing tap, bottled and filtered tap water found that treating water by domestic reverse osmosis equipment was the most environmentally friendly solution for the improvement of tap water taste and purity. In addition, an economic analysis indicated that this solution was between 8 and 19 times cheaper than bottled water.

I got my filter from https://watershop.com.au/ because they are experts in the field with over 30-years in the water game. They provide various filtration systems from the most simple and portable ones to the most high tech filtration devices in Australia. They were generous enough to offer a discount to any of my followers. Email me to find out how 

Chlorination, chlorination by-products, and cancer: a meta-analysis.

R D MorrisA M AudetI F AngelilloT C Chalmers, and F Mosteller; 1992; https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1694065/

Drinking Water and Public Health; NSW Government

https://www.health.nsw.gov.au/environment/water/Pages/Drinking-Water-and-Public-Health.aspx#:~:text=Most%20people%20in%20NSW%20receive,that%20is%20safe%20to%20drink.&text=The%20Public%20Health%20Act%202010,in%20NSW%20are%20routinely%20monitored.

Influence of Household Water Filters on Bacteria Growth and Trace Metals in Tap Water of Doha, Qatar; Jerome Nriagu Chuanwu Xi Azhar Siddique Annette Vincent , Basem Somar; 2018

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29844504/

Life cycle assessment of drinking water: Comparing conventional water treatment, reverse osmosis and mineral water in glass and plastic bottles; MariannaGarfía,ErasmoCadena,DavidSanchez-Ramos,IvetFerrer; 2016

https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jclepro.2016.07.218

POU water filters effectively reduce lead in drinking water: a demonstration field study in flint, Michigan; Valerie BosscherDarren A LytleMichael R SchockAndrea Porter, Miguel Del Toral; 2019;

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31074704/

The Negative Health Effects of Chlorine

Joseph G. Hattersley; 2000;

http://orthomolecular.org/library/jom/2000/articles/2000-v15n02-p089.shtml#:~:text=Long%2Dterm%20risks%20of%20consuming,and%20promotes%20hardening%20of%20arteries.

Water Fluoridation: A Critical Review of the Physiological Effects of Ingested Fluoride as a Public Health Intervention; Stephen Peckham and Niyi Awofeso; 26 Feb 2014

https://www.hindawi.com/journals/tswj/2014/293019/

TOP 5 SIMPLE TIPS TO STRENGTHEN YOUR IMMUNE SYSTEM THAT DON’T COST A THING (EXCEPT FOR THE VEGGIES ☺)

Good sleep

Lack of sleep makes you more prone to catching a virus and it also slows down your recovery from any illness. Aim for 7-8 hours of good quality sleep every night. Regular exercise, good bedtime routine, meditation, cold shower before bed and above all, avoiding alcohol, stimulants and sugary treats in the afternoon and evening, are some of the best strategies to improve quality of your sleep.


Meditation and other stress-management techniques

Chronic stress creates a state of chronic inflammation in your body, which down regulates your body’s ability to defend itself against a disease. Daily meditation, guided relaxation and other stress management techniques are scientifically proved methods for boosting your immune system simply by preventing or lowering stress-induced inflammation.

Taking care of your gut health by eating fresh quality produce, especially wide variety of veggies

Hippocrates said that all disease begins in the gut. It’s because that’s where 70-80% of body’s immune cells are found. So if your gut is not in a good condition, your immune system is compromised. For most of us, there’s no need to splurge on expensive gut supplements. Start with ‘cleaning up’ your diet. Fresh good quality produce is in, processed foods, junk food, alcohol and other toxins are out. For good gut microbiota diversity, eat a wide variety of fresh vegetables and fruits. 

Regular exercise 

Consistency is the key when it comes to exercise. Regular exercise will lower inflammation in your body and increase your immune response by enhancing circulation of immunoglobulins, anti-inflammatory cytokines and neutrophils. Overtraining, on the other hand, will increase inflammation and weaken your immune system. What you need is a daily dose of physical activity all year around with some easy/recovery days. Not training for months then smashing HIIT sessions at the gym every day without resting is not a way to go. 


A daily dose of vitamin D 

Vitamin D is a key nutrient for your bones, skin and hair as well immune and nervous system. Deficiency in vitamin D will lower your immune response and increase your susceptibility to infection. A daily sun exposure is the best way to get your dose of vitamin D. However, baking yourself in the midday sun will be more damaging than beneficial because of all the free radicals and collagen damage from excessive UV rays so keep that in mind. The best is to get out in the morning without sunscreen and sunglasses and expose your face and arms. The time you need to spend in the sun depends on the colour of your skin and on the season of the year. If you are planning g to stay in the sun after your morning walk, definitely apply sunscreen then. 

Spending time in the nature 

Sea and mountain air is denser and has more oxygen in an active electrical state in comparison to cities and inland places.  The sea air also contains lots of salts beneficial to your immune system (i.e. iodine) and the forest air has healing properties due to the particles released by the trees.  The so-called forest bathing originated in Japan and has been prescribed as a post-operative therapy to boost immune system and healing via reducing inflammation.