How Toxic is Your Water?

How Toxic is Your Water?

America has a problem with contaminated water, and it’s not just in Flint, MI. For decades, water systems serving millions of residents across the US have failed to meet state and federal safety standards—and most people are unaware of the problem. Private water sources aren’t necessarily safer, either. Private wells are not regulated by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and an estimated 20% of private water wells are contaminated at unsafe levels. 

Common health-robbing pollutants, including agricultural chemicals like nitrate fertilizer, along with countless other toxins, enter drinking water systems through agricultural overflow, industrial operations, aging infrastructure and lead pipes, and sewage wastewater treatment, among other sources.  

The problem of contaminated water made international headlines in 2015, when the city of Flint, Michigan made a change in its water sources. This change resulted in over 8,000 children being exposed to unsafe levels of lead—a dangerous neurotoxin linked to brain damage and much more—from aging pipes.1  

The disaster in Flint spurred other communities around the country to investigate their local water sources for contamination and quality—and the findings are dire. Numerous cities, including Washington DC, have since found unsafe levels of lead and other contaminants in their water supplies. As of 2012, roughly 2000 water systems tested across 50 states were found to contain levels of lead well above the EPA’s “action level” of 15 parts per billion (ppb).    

Can Lead Pipes Be Replaced? 

In response to this public water crisis, President Biden recently announced a national infrastructure plan that includes a significant proposal to improve US drinking water systems. Specifically, the plan proposes replacing aging lead pipes with safer solutions, benefiting up to 10 million households and almost half a million schools and daycares.  

These efforts are essential in reducing our exposure to one of the worst contaminants in our water supply. However, there is a significant challenge with this plan: Efficiently finding and replacing the lead pipes. Most cities in the US have endless miles of old underground water lines, but they aren’t well-mapped or tracked in terms of age and condition. A plan to replace them all will require enormous efforts in data collection, underground mapping, and advanced technologies to accurately detect and replace all of these dangerous lead pipes.  

Of course, lead isn’t the only problem when it comes to pollution in our water supplies.  

Other prevalent toxins and pollutants include found in water systems include: Bisphenol-A (BPA), phthalates, PFOA, PDBEs, dioxins, and many others. 

Bisphenol-A (BPA) is a chemical found in plastic and may mimic estrogen in the body, disrupting the endocrine system. Each year in the United States, nearly 90 million plastic bottles are purchased, burdening both the environment and your health. BPAs seep into your beverages during normal use, especially at high temperatures (such as in hot weather).  

Phthalates are chemicals that bind other chemicals together and soften plastics. Sources are shampoo, perfumes, soaps, shower curtains, and vinyl flooring. Phthalates also pose a concern for disturbing the endocrine system.  

PFOAs, or perfluorooctanoic acid, is used in non-stick products. It’s possible that heating non-stick pans and cookware causes the PFOA vaporize, which we then breathe in. PFOA has also been found in many water sources.  

PBDEs, or Polybrominated diphenyl ethers, are flame retardant chemicals. Although they are in many different products, they get into our bodies primarily from the dust in our homes. They’re also present in water systems. 

Dioxins are chemicals produced during combustion, in industrial settings as well as in common incineration and burn processes such as wood fires, backyard waste, diesel exhaust and others.  Dioxins are also made during bleach processes such as paper pulp bleaching, as well as in the manufacturing of chemical pesticide/herbicides.  

Detoxify and Defend 

Safely detoxifying heavy metals and environmental toxins is critical for long term health and wellness. As an integrative practitioner, I have witnessed many people reduce their clinical symptoms and regain their health with a comprehensive, gentle, and long-term detoxification program. My top recommendations for the safe removal of toxins and heavy metals have been well researched and shown to reduce toxic body burden without effecting essential minerals:  

Modified Citrus Pectin and Alginates: These two clinically proven natural binding agents work together to safely remove heavy metals and dangerous toxins from the circulation and digestive tract, as well as providing a wide range of additional cellular health benefits.2-4  

Pesticide Detox Formula: This blend of select natural detox agents targets pesticides and agricultural toxins, including glyphosate and bromide, to safely remove them and prevent their storage in sensitive areas of the body, like the thyroid.  

Medicinal mushrooms:Medicinal mushrooms, in particular Reishi and Cordyceps, can help protect against and repair some toxin-induced damages in the body, boost immunity, detoxify tissues, regulate healthy cell replication, and boost overall health.   

Liver Detoxification and Cellular Protection: High powered antioxidants are very important for protecting against toxin related damage. Antioxidants protect DNA integrity, sooth inflammation from toxins, boost immunity, detoxify the body and promote overall health. Glutathione is one of nature’s most potent antioxidants produced by the body and is known to detoxify and protect against heavy metals and radioactive toxins. The best way to supplement glutathione is to take nutrients and herbs which act as precursors to glutathione, such as cilantro, garlic, milk thistle, dandelion, Lipoic Acid, N-Acetyl cysteine (NAC), whey powder, and others. I recommend an in-depth liver detoxification formula, containing a synergistic blend of glutathione precursors and other botanicals and nutrients specifically shown to remove heavy metals and toxins from deep within the body.    

How Toxic is Your Tap Water? Enter Your Zip code 

The non-profit environmental policy organization, The Environmental Working Group (EWG), offers an online resource for checking pollutant levels in your local tap water. Just enter your zip code via the link below, and an automated search of their national tap water database will identify the worst contaminants in your area’s water supplies. Click here.  

The Benefits of Water Filters 

Various types of water filters can help remove lead including heavy metals and other toxins from tap water. A majority of these water-filtration systems use activated carbon to remove certain chemicals and organic compounds. Reverse osmosis works by applying pressurized force to push water through a selective membrane, effectively removing a large amount of contaminants. When drinking distilled or reverse osmosis water, however, include a few drops of essential mineral concentrates to each gallon to replace the essential  

These detox and defense methods can help protect you from harmful contaminants and heavy metals lurking in your drinking water—and the environment. A regular, gentle cleanse can work to detoxify your organs, tissues and circulatory system, boost immunity, enhance energy and protect long-term vitality.  

Sources:  

  1. Campbell C, Greenberg R, Mankikar D, Ross RD. A Case Study of Environmental Injustice: The Failure in Flint. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2016;13(10):951. Published 2016 Sep 27. doi:10.3390/ijerph13100951 

  1. Eliaz I, Weil E, Wilk B. Integrative medicine and the role of modified citrus pectin/alginates in heavy metal chelation and detoxification–five case reports. Forsch Komplementmed. 2007 Dec;14(6):358-64.  

  1. Zhao ZY, Liang L, Fan X, Yu Z, Hotchkiss AT, Wilk BJ, Eliaz I. The role of modified citrus pectin as an effective chelator of lead in children hospitalized with toxic lead levels. Altern Ther Health Med. 2008 Jul-Aug;14(4):34-8. Erratum in: Altern Ther Health Med. 2008 Nov-Dec;14(6):18.  

  1. Eliaz I, Weil E, Wilk B. Integrative medicine and the role of modified citrus pectin/alginates in heavy metal chelation and detoxification–five case reports. Forsch Komplementmed. 2007 Dec;14(6):358-64.