The headlines regarding drinking water paint a dire picture – not only for the citizens of Flint Michigan but also for many communities nationwide with similar ticking time bombs. “Flint poisoned by policy!” “Kids face permanent brain damage!” “EPA stayed silent on tainted water!” “Cost of lead fix could reach $1.5 billion!” As the scope of Flint’s water crisis becomes increasingly clear, an even greater water predicament has suddenly bubbled to the surface.
For a generation, the U.S. has irresponsibly swept a disastrous, crumbling-infrastructure problem under the rug. Sure … the obvious visibility of our decaying roads and bridges are attracting some attention. But our buried water pipes? Not so much.
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There are literally tens of thousands of miles of old and rotting water main pipes throughout the country – antiquated access ways that millions of Americans are blindly trusting to deliver reasonably safe, drinkable water! The situation in Flint just pulled the plug on public trust. Some of these pipes are anywhere from 75 to over 100-year-old relics. Most are made of pure lead, concrete, or iron, and, as they erode, corrode, and disintegrate, residual toxins are leaching into the water that we drink, cook with, and bathe in.
Lead, in particular, is the most troubling culprit. Although it’s just one of many toxic contaminants found in most drinking water systems, it poses the greatest health risk – particularly to children. The pervasive nature of lead in public water systems is well documented, and has existed nationally in municipal supplies, at elevated levels, since the mid-90’s.
Even more troubling is the reality that lead-based contaminants top a growing list of toxic, waterborne, and potentially lethal impurities. Chloramine, for example, which has replaced chlorine as the preferred water disinfectant in municipal systems, is toxic to fish, and has been linked to kidney disease. Consider the enormous amounts of pharmaceuticals being passed into the water supply, not to mention the Teflon-like chemicals (PFOA) and harmful gasoline additives that are prevalent toxic health risks throughout the system. Unfortunately, the list goes on and on.
The Flint, Michigan crisis points to the reality that the population of the U.S. is consuming a toxic cocktail every time water is consumed from the tap. By drinking the recommended daily amount of raw tap water, your body will accumulate toxic substances that damage cells and increase your risk for many diseases.
If Michigan is any indication, our legislators seem to have their economic priorities misappropriated. The bottom line is that government spent more money on rebuilding the Iraqi infrastructure than they’ve spent during the last decade for the replacement of crumbling water mains – pipes that now carry lethal toxins along with our drinking water.
Is there a solution? Of course, Congress now seems prepared to allocate billions of dollars to replace the decaying water-delivery system throughout the U.S. The grim reality is that rough estimates have put the actual cost at well over $300 billion. So … the likely scenario is that we are destined to continue drinking toxic water for decades, unless we take matters into our own hands. Consider a water filter.
The bottom line is that you need to have pure water; you cannot continue drinking contaminated water. The best solution is to install an effective water filtration unit, either at your sink, or at your home main water pipe, for clean, safe water … and peace of mind.
Dr. Roy Speiseris a water quality specialist and health care practitioner with 35 years experience on environmental health issues. He has published numerous scientific articles and developed personal protection products geared towards protecting our health.
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