Saturday, January 25, 2014

Do Public Water Treatment Systems Increase Your Risk of Developing Cancer and Other Health Problems?

The best water treatment system in use by public facilities is sadly not effective enough to protect your health. In fact, some of the steps that they use to improve your safety increase your risk of developing cancer and other health problems.

Before the age of chlorination, there were numerous epidemics of waterborne illnesses in the United States and all over the world. But, many scientists believe that the widespread use of chlorine caused different kinds of epidemics.

According to Joseph Price, PHD, twenty years after the start of regular chlorination, the current "epidemic" of heart disease and cancer began. It takes ten to twenty years before symptoms become evident in humans, but by using chickens, Price was able to show that chlorine is a cause of atherosclerosis.

Atherosclerosis is the medical term for what we usually call "hardening of the arteries". The interior walls of the arteries leading to the heart become coated with cholesterol, which causes them to become less flexible and eventually can block the blood-flow entirely.

Price didn't explain exactly how the chlorine leads to atherosclerosis. It was an observational study. When chickens were given chlorinated water, 95% developed atherosclerosis within just a few months.

The best water treatment system for the home is one that removes chlorine, but there is another problem, a byproduct of the chlorination process called trihalomethanes or THMs. They are known to cause cancer in humans, but the Environmental Protection Agency believes that a certain amount of exposure is "safe".

One problem with this idea is that at even the best water treatment system facilities, testing is only performed on a quarterly basis and the average level is "extrapolated" from those results. The testing procedure is known to be inaccurate, as it is difficult to detect the presence of the gases and some researchers are working on new and improved methods of testing.

But, even with the old testing there were always a number of facilities that exceeded EPA safe limits. Studies conducted over twenty years ago showed that cities with the highest levels of THMs also had the highest levels of cancer in the populations.

The best water treatment system for the home includes a process called adsorption to trap THMs, before you can be exposed to them. Exposure can occur through drinking and also through showering in chlorinated water, so showerhead filters are another worthwhile investment.

You do have to compare product performance data, because not all systems that remove chlorine will remove THMs. It seems illogical to remove one threat and leave the other that always accompanies it, but the technology to remove THMs is a little more expensive and so it is not included in the cheap chlorine filters.

According to Dr. Herbert Schwartz, "chlorine is so dangerous, it should be banned." He believes that it causes cancer, heart trouble and senility. All that I know, for sure, is that it smells bad, tastes bad and can't be good for my health.

I believe the reports about THMs, because the studies are numerous and have been conducted repeatedly over the years, all with the same conclusion. I am also convinced because countries with public health care are now concerned about how much the new cancer cases are costing them every year. To the governments it's all about cost.

The best water treatment system for the home is not a costly device and I think of it as another type of health insurance. Make the right choices and protect your health, today.