America is blessed with an abundance of clean water. Not all of it is where we would like it to be, and not all of it is unaffected by our industrial and agricultural industries. Not all of us have treated our water with respect.
In the southwest we have over-used our water supplies, in the middle of America we have contaminated our aquifers and rivers with run-off herbicides, pesticides and the animal waste from contained area feeding cattle farms.
In the east, generations of industrial water effluent has added chemical wastes to our water supplies.
Throughout the nation drinking water contains contaminants derived from chlorine added to our water by treatment plants. Naturally occurring and man-induced arsenic joins lead, mercury and cadmium as unwanted metallic ingredients in the elixir we drink, cook and use to wash ourselves and our clothes.
America's drinking water is relatively healthy. To keep it that way, we have had to add chlorine. Chlorine kills bacteria and prevents its build-up in distribution pipes.
Chlorine can easily be removed from your water by leaving it in a jug for a few hours before drinking. Aerating water by rapidly pouring from one glass to another adds to its flavor. You do not need to invest in a filtration device to have clean, chlorine free water.
We use because it is the cheapest means of disinfection. Essentially we pour bleach in our water before we drink it.
The long term effects of chlorinated drinking
water have recently been recognized. According to the U.S. Council Of Environmental
Quality, cancer risk among people drinking chlorinated water is 93% higher than among
those whose water does not contain chlorine.
Breathe the Water !
Up to two-thirds of our harmful exposure to chlorine may be from inhalation of steam and skin absorption while showering.
A warm shower opens up the pores of the skin and allows for accelerated absorption of chlorine and other chemicals in water. The steam we inhale while showering can contain up to 50 times the level of chemicals than tap water because chlorine and other volatile contaminants vaporize much faster at lower temperatures. Inhalation is a much more harmful means of exposure because it goes directly into our blood stream.
When we drink contaminated water the toxins are
partially filtered out by our kidneys and digestive system. Chlorine vapors are
known to be a strong irritant to the sensitive tissue and bronchial passages inside
our lungs was used as a chemical weapon in World War II. The inhalation of chlorine
is a suspected cause of asthma and bronchitis, especially in children.
Efforts to tighten the federal requirement
gained momentum after a National Academy of Sciences report in 1999 found arsenic in
drinking water causes bladder, lung and skin cancer, and might cause kidney and liver