Drinking Tap Water – The Potential Health Hazards for your Children

Although we usually encourage our children to drink water instead of sugary drinks and beverages, we need to be extra cautious about the source of this water. The immune system in children would still be in a developmental stage, thereby placing them at increased vulnerability affected by carcinogens. It also increases their chances of being affected by other toxicants and contaminants that would have a different effect on their body when compared to adults. Some of the more dangerous chemicals you need to be wary of include:

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Chlorine:

Chlorine is a gaseous compound that is extremely poisonous. Normally used as a disinfecting agent in swimming pools and toilets, and as a bleaching agent while washing clothes, chlorine is usually added to tap water for disinfection purposes. Although this dosage would be low, ingesting it would cause several health problems like skin irritation and rectal, breast and bladder cancer. Inhaling chlorine gas would also cause problems like bronchitis and asthma.

 

Lead:

Lead is a poisonous contaminant that can enter tap water via rubber products, lead batteries, paint and glass, etc. The first flow of water in the morning (for about 30 seconds) would usually contain a very high concentration of lead. Ingesting it can cause severe health problems like impaired brain development and stunted growth. High levels of lead in the blood can also cause behavioral problems in children.

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Parasitic Infections:

It can be caused by parasites called cryptosporidium and giardia. These parasites can enter the body via contaminated tap water and would attach to the gut wall in large numbers. This would hinder the natural absorption power of the body, thereby depriving it of essential nutrients. These parasites can lead to problems like dehydration, diarrhea, weight loss, malnutrition, fever, stomach cramps, malaise, nausea, vomiting, belching, bloating, and in the worst-case scenario, eventual death without proper treatment.

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Pesticides:

It can enter the body via contaminated tap water as well. When ingested, these pesticides would start attacking the nervous system. High concentration of pesticides in the body can lead to inhibited neurodevelopment in children.

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Other harmful chemicals

Some of the other contaminants commonly found in tap water include PCBs, heavy metal, furans, plasticizers, wood preservatives, surfactants and dioxin benzopyrene. These can cause issues like hormonal imbalances which in turn can cause conditions like delay in puberty in girls, inhibited development of reproductive organs, and inhibited brain development, etc.

The only way to stay safe from all these issues would be to install a water filter in the home to purify drinking water. This way, children and adults alike would be protected from the potential hazards of tap water.

Summary

Regular tap water can contain many contaminants and toxicants. The chemicals mentioned above are commonly present in tap water. Installing a water filter system at home would therefore, help adults and children stay safe from the health hazards caused by these chemicals.

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