There are different kinds of contaminants that can make their way into the municipal water supply. Listed below are six of the most common contaminants.
Arsenic can be found in the Earth’s crust and it can make its way into the water supply through a variety of channels.
Prolonged exposure to arsenic-laced drinking water can lead to a variety of problems, including changes in the skin. Lesions and patches may start to appear and pigmentation may occur as well.
If the presence of arsenic in the drinking water is not addressed, it can cause long-term health problems such as skin, lung, and bladder cancer.
Chlorine is often added to water as a disinfectant, but it can have other effects too.
A background document from the World Health Organization offers some insight into the potential adverse effects that heavily chlorinated water can have on the human body.
Per the document, “it has been reported that asthma can be triggered by exposure to chlorinated water.”
Other health issues that have been associated with exposure to chlorine include dermatitis and bladder cancer.
Since copper is a material often used to create tubing, it can end up falling into the water if the water passing through is acidic enough.
Individuals who consume a lower dose of copper may suffer from headaches and vomiting. Gastrointestinal bleeding and acute renal failure are other concerns related to copper consumption.
Added as something that can help teeth, fluoride can be problematic in high doses.
Consuming too much fluoride via your drinking water can lead to dental fluorosis – a condition that leads to discoloration and even damage being dealt to teeth. Skeletal fluorosis is yet another potential side effect of excessive fluoride consumption and developing that condition can lead to your bones being damaged significantly.
Older pipes made from lead must be replaced right away. They could end up bringing lead-laced water into your home.
Lead is particularly harmful to younger individuals. It can reach the brain and cause convulsions and even death. Younger individuals who survive lead poisoning may suffer from behavioral disorders and experience mental retardation.
Water sources located next to industrial plants can end up contaminated with traces of mercury. Coal processing plants in particular can produce significant amounts of mercury.
Chronic exposure to mercury can have severe adverse effects on different parts of the body, including the nervous and immune systems. Inhaling mercury vapor can cause numerous ailments as well as death.