Do you know what exactly is in the water you’re drinking? From Lead to Radon, your water supply could be contaminated with a range of chemicals. While we blindly trust the EPA to protect our families from harsh chemicals in our water, take extra steps to ensure the safety of your family’s water supply at Purity Bay. With up-to-date technology for today’s water supply, trust our decades of experience and state-of-the-art 10 step filtration system to ensure your peace of mind. Request a quote today at (813)-709-7873!
The word ARSENIC is all you have to say, and people know it is terrible! The fear is automatic. We have hall heard about it on the news and from our parents as children. The information is engrained. Most of us are aware it is used as a rat poison. It is common sense this is not something anyone wants in the water we drink. We don’t need much education regarding the health effects. Most people trust that government agency, the EPA, takes care of this toxic contaminant from the water. If a Water treatment facility does not comply, the facility will shut down, or at least the residents will be notified.
The EPA was created to protect the health and safety of Americans. Their goal is not to eliminate every contaminant or potential danger to people. This is just not economically feasible. Instead, the EPA regulates the potential of contaminants to cause harm and keeps the number of people harmed to few as possible. There are hundreds of unregulated contaminants.
On January 22, 2001, EPA adopted a new Maximum contaminate standard for arsenic in drinking water at 10 parts per billion (ppb), replacing the old standard of 50 ppb. However, this is not good enough yet. Arsenic is a known carcinogen, increasing the risk of cancer even at very low concentrations.
It is absorbed through the skin in nominal amounts when compared to oral exposure. An animal test showed 0.6–4.4% absorption in monkeys. Recent research with human subjects demonstrated that showering in water containing 100 ppb of arsenic resulted in significantly elevated levels of arsenic in urine for several days following exposure. Ingesting very high levels of arsenic can result in death. Exposure to lower levels can cause nausea and vomiting, decreased production of red and white blood cells, abnormal heart rhythm, damage to blood vessels, and a sensation of “pins and needles” in hands and feet.
Chlorine has been used as a disinfectant in water purification for nearly 100 years. Unfortunately, the adverse side effects from ingesting this common chemical have only become known in recent years. Contact Purity Bay today and learn about our home and commercial water filtration systems if you have been looking for ways to get chlorine out of tap water!
Chlorine is a calcium antagonist, long-term consumption of chlorinated water has been linked to the loss of calcium in bones. Chlorinated tap water has also been linked to childhood and adult asthma and allergies. The EPA allows a higher chlorine level in tap water (4 parts per million/ppm) than the recommended chlorine levels for public swimming pools (1-3 ppm).
Chloramine is mainly used as a secondary disinfectant. Secondary disinfectants are added to water that has already been disinfected with a primary disinfectant, often chlorine (chlorine can be both a primary and a secondary disinfectant.) Secondary disinfectants help protect treated water from recontamination with pathogens as it flows through the distribution network to the consumer.
Hexavalent Chromium is a state-wide concern. Each location tested had more than 0.02 parts per billion. However, all were compliant with maximum contaminant level guidelines.
There are Several Forms of Chromium, One Is Good & One Is Bad.
Chromium occurs in the environment primarily in one of two valences. Chromium(VI) and chromium(III) are used for chrome plating, dyes and pigments, leather tanning, and wood preserving. A less common form used for making steel is metallic chromium(Cr 0). The health hazards associated with exposure to chromium are dependent on its state of oxidation. Nearly 70 million Americans are believed to have hexavalent chromium in their drinking water. A study of U.S. tap water by the Environmental Working Group detected chromium-6 in the drinking water of 31 of 35 cities tested.
Our leaders have weighed the health factors against the costs of removing the Chromium(VI). You can still expect your water bills to increase significantly to meet the currently inadequate guidelines.
The Good: Trivalent Chromium (III)
Trivalent chromium occurs naturally and is an essential nutrient.
According to Web MD, “Drinking hard tap water supplies chromium to the body.” Web MD also states, “Chromium is a mineral our bodies use in small amounts for normal body functions, such as digesting food. It exists in many natural foods including brewer’s yeast, meats, potatoes (especially the skins), cheeses, molasses, spices, whole-grain bread and cereals, and fresh fruits and vegetables.” However, Web MD is referring to Chromium(III).
For most people, eating food that contains chromium(III) is the main route of intake because it occurs naturally in many vegetables, fruits, meats, yeasts, and grains. Chromium(III) is an essential nutrient for humans, and shortages may cause heart conditions, disruptions of metabolisms, and diabetes. However, too much chromium(III) uptake can cause health effects such as skin rashes and other problems.
Chromium (VI)/Hexavalent Chromium: A Danger to Human Health
The most important thing you can do is limit your exposure to contaminated water. Hexavalent Chromium is the same cancer-causing contaminant called the “safe” chromium by PG&E, and a judge ordered a settlement of 333 million dollars in 1993.
How does chromium(VI) get into my water supply?
Chromium(VI) can occur naturally and might be present in some groundwater aquifers. Most Chromium(VI) reaches water supplies from industrial uses such as metal plating, stainless steel production, etc. Chromium compounds have been released into the environment via leakage, poor storage, or improper disposal practices. In short, chromium(VI) occurs in nature, but it’s also a by-product of industry usages, such as chrome-plating.
According to article by ATSDR :
“It can be absorbed by the lungs and gastrointestinal tract, and even to a certain extent by intact skin. Human occupational experience indicates that, when inhaled, chromium compounds are respiratory tract irritants, resulting in airway irritation, airway obstruction, and lung, nasal, or sinus cancer. Dose, exposure duration, and the specific compound involved can determine chromium’s adverse health effects.” Dose, exposure duration, and general sensitivity of the individual involved can determine chromium’s adverse health effects.
Health Risks of Showering/Bathing in Chromium?
What are the health risks from bathing/showering in water contaminated with Chromium(VI)? Skin exposure to high levels of Chromium(VI) may cause skin irritation. In some individuals, skin exposure to Chromium(VI) may cause allergic contact dermatitis. A scientific study showed that a person is not exposed to a significant amount of Chromium(VI) from breathing steam while showering (Finley et al. 1996).
“The respiratory tract is the major target organ for chromium(VI) following inhalation exposure in humans. Shortness of breath, coughing, and wheezing were reported in cases where an individual inhaled very high concentrations of chromium trioxide,” according to the ATSDR. “Other effects noted from acute inhalation exposure to very high concentrations of chromium(VI) include gastrointestinal and neurological effects, while dermal exposure causes skin burns in humans,” also stated by ATSDR.
Chromium can be measured in hair, urine, and blood. If you are experiencing any of the following, inform your doctor!
Chromium Allergic Dermatitis Is Characterized By:
Both bacteria and viruses are microorganisms regulated by EPA’s Maximum Contaminant Levels (MCLs) criteria. Viruses are the smallest form of microorganisms capable of causing disease, particularly those of a fecal origin infectious to humans by waterborne transmission. Bacteria are typically single-celled microorganisms that can also cause health problems in humans, animals, or plants, despite many forms’ abilities to aid in water pollution control. To ensure bacteria removal from your home water supply, invest in a microbial water filter.
Common Waterborne Bacteria & Viruses & Their Health Concerns
Various types of bacteria and viruses are categorized as pathogens or disease-causing organisms found in pre-treated and/or inadequately treated water. Here is a list of EPA regulated bacteria/viruses in drinking water and their health risks:
Bacteria and viruses can also be listed as “indicators,” which at a level outside of identified limits, may reflect “a problem in the treatment process or in the integrity of distribution system,” according to the EPA. Here is a list of EPA regulated viral/bacterial indicators and their potential problems: