If you’re not sure your water is safe, have it tested

Do you really know what you’re drinking? Thousands of people in the U.S. don’t know about the 2,100 toxic chemicals and 80,000 synthetic chemicals in their tap water.

Did you know there is chlorine in your water? If you’re wondering how it got there, look no further than your local water treatment plant. They use this chemical to kill parasites and viruses. In small doses, it can be a good thing and kills dangerous contaminants. Long-term exposure to chlorine is another thing entirely. It can lead to birth defects and even miscarriages. Don’t panic. Here is a tip you can use until you get a water distiller: Let the glass of water sit on the counter for about five minutes before you gulp it down. Chlorine by-products evaporate naturally.

Another not so great thing lurking in your tap water is lead. While most water treatment plants have the ability to wipe out this heavy metal, if you happen to live in a house that was built in 1975, there’s a good chance your water pipes contain lead. Lead from the pipes can leach into your water.

Even trace amounts of lead are bad news, leading to nerve damage, anemia and even irritability. So, how do you get the lead out? There are a couple of ways to do this. The first – which you can do until you get your water distiller in place or have installed a water distillation system for the home – is to run your tap water for two minutes to flush leached lead down the drain. Re-use this waste water on your plants.

There are several other things in the water you really ought to know about; hormones and drug by-products. How did those get into the water? Everything you take by mouth will eventually come out one way or another. Whether it’s Warfarin or Pariet or Tylenol or Valium, it usually ends up in your urine. Unfortunately, scientists have not yet figured out how to remove drug by-products from the water. That’s the bad news. The good news however, is that you can get around drinking water with unwanted junk in it by using a water distiller.

Larry Wardell is with H2olabs.com, a provider of water distiller systems and water distillation systems that provide truly pure distilled water. To learn more, visit H2olabs.com.

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