Wait Becky, we have the cleanest water here in Aus...
Australians often brag that they have one of the cleanest drinking water supplies in the world.
Yes, this is correct if you drink from the protected forest catchment area.
Which we don't get to.
The chemicals that are consequently added to ‘purify’ the water and the hundreds of kilometres of pipes it must travel through, affect the quality of water that ultimately comes out of your tap. These chemicals are not tested in our waterways on a regular basis for safe amounts for us to ingest.
Purified water, does not mean healthy for consumption...
Before I go any further, I will have to let you know that everything written in this blog post has been completely backed up from clinical studies! I couldn't make this up even if I tried!
Here is a list of chemicals identified in our tap water:
Aluminium, alum, aluminium sulphate and aluminium potassium sulphate
Chlorine and it's by-products
Fluoride, fluoride slurry and aluminium fluoride
I'm cringing just typing these out!
These chemicals get stored in the cells of your body. It takes work to eliminate them out of the body, even when you live a healthy lifestyle.
Lets break down what these have all been scientifically linked to - the hard truth:
Gut - Aluminium disrupts the flora balance in the gut, leading to leaky gut syndrome and has even been linked to inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).
Brain - you don't want aluminium stored in your brain - it has been long linked to the progression of Alzheimers and dementia.
If your hot water is derived from a hot water tank, an aluminium anode rod will most likely be used to prolong the life of the tank. Aluminium ions may be present in your hot water which is why you should never cook or drink with hot water from the tap - these levels are not regulated by any authority.
We know that chlorine is universally used to chemically disinfect water. It kills germs, bacteria and other living organisms. If you grew up with a backyard pool like me, you would have seen that white powder frequently poured into the pool (I hope you wore a mask dad!). But here is how it affects our body.
Gut - alters the flora balance in the gut by stripping good and bad bacteria in the gut - has been linked to colon cancer.
Cancer - linked to an increased risk of kidney, bladder, rectal and breast cancer. One study found that women with breast cancer have 50% – 60% higher levels of chlorination byproducts in their breast tissue than women without breast cancer - wow!
Chlorine lowers the pH of the water (acidifies), to kill bacteria, but what it also does is increase the leaching of heavy metals such as copper and lead - we'll get to these guys in a moment.
It also combines with organic matter, such as leaf litter in the river, and creates trihalomethanes (THMs) - linked to cancer. Boiling water reduces chlorine amounts, but not THMs.
Read my blog on how chlorine coming through the shower head affects your skin, hair and lungs here.
Most European countries don't chlorinate their water supply - so you have to question why we do?
Heavy stuff. Take a break and admire this cute GIF guy eating ice-cream before I get into some more important heavy stuff.
Where do I even begin?
The 'fluoride is great for reducing tooth decay' has been completely debunked. Who even taught us that fluoride is good four our teeth? Whoever they were, they're fired! Its ability to reduce tooth decay is unfounded given that there were similar declines in tooth decay in every western country most of whom did not fluoridate their water supplies. If you really want to check this out, than a list of tooth decay trends in fluoridated versus unfluoridated countries is available at www.fluoridealert.org.
One of the biggest issues and well known dangers of fluoride is that it's neurotoxic - in simple terms - destroys brain cells and is known to reduce IQ levels.
Read that again. And again!
It accumulates in the pineal gland - a gland in the brain that controls mood, behaviour, immune system, sleep cycle (melatonin) and body temperature.
Fluoride displaces calcium in the bone, making them more brittle, causing osteoporosis and hip fractures - you may be taking calcium tablets and downing it with fluoridated tap water - this is a big no no! It also causes dental fluorosis. Fluoride also competes with absorption with magnesium, so if you're taking magnesium supplements with tap water, you won't be absorbing it all.
97% of countries around the world don't fluoridate their water supply, so again I ask the question, why do we?
Lead affects almost every organ in the body. Children and pregnant women are most at risk with lead exposure. There has been extensive research associating it with a reduced IQ, impaired hearing, anti-social behaviour, learning and behavioural disorders such as Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, as well as increased aggressive behaviour and criminal tendencies - just to name a few.
In 2008, 292 schools in NSW were found to have up to 12 times the maximum level of lead in their drinking water - those poor children!
Have you noticed a bluey-green colour for the first few seconds when you turn the tap on on a stain around the bath tub ring? Then you have copper pipes.
Copper in low doses may cause fatigue, irritability, headache, as well as muscle twitches and joint pains. High levels may cause stomach cramps, nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea, as well as liver and kidney damage.
Long term exposure to copper has been linked to the progression of diabetes, Parkinson's and Alzheimers disease.
Although there are thousands of pesticides currently registered for use in Australia, very few of these are tested in our waterways on a regular basis - why? Because they're too expensive to test.
Wow Becky, ok then I'll just drink bottled water...
Bottled water comes from either a natural source - a spring or well or from an approved potable municipal supply (tap water). Natural sources, however, are susceptible to periodical contamination from pollutants generated from agriculture (pesticides, fertilisers, and nitrates), industrial contaminants, algae blooms and bacterial issues - ew! In addition, bottled water companies are not obliged to regularly test or disclose these contaminants to consumers - yeah thanks guys!
Then there's the environmental aspect. Disposable plastic water bottles are derived from a non-renewable source (oil), and have a high embodied energy as the fossil fuels required to produce, recycle and transport them is enormous. Despite manufacturer’s assurances that their bottles are biodegradable, the reality is that more than 90% ends up in landfill or in our waterways. In fact bottled water accounts for almost 38% of general waste! Furthermore these ‘biodegradable” bottles can take hundreds of years to breakdown.
Ditch the bottles. Ditch the tap. Get a water filter
Getting a water filter is a must. No, not a bench-top jug, they're not enough for eliminating the above disturbingly harmful chemicals.
There are just too many benefits of having a water filter - you'll notice the difference in taste - less chemically and it'll quench your thirst because of all the minerals.
Here is an affordable, simple, easy, effective and no plumbing necessary bench-top water filter I recommend to all my patients.
If you really want to see if there's a build of these harmful chemicals in your body, then the most effective way of checking this is to do a hair mineral analysis from Mediscan - they're the most accurate and thorough lab in Australia - you can even send your own hair sample and find my name as the practitioner and I'll analyse the results with you and work through eliminating these harmful chemicals out the body safely - very important to do this carefully and under a practitioner's guidance! You don't have to have long luscious hair like this GIF woman, if you have short hair, then a sample from any part of the body is just fine.
Enjoy your new filter! Let me know how you go with it.
Bec is obsessed with your gut...in more of an enthusiastic-than-creepy way! Book online for a consultation with Bec or contact us to learn more about how Natural Medicine and Colon Hydrotherapy can help you say good-bye to your gut issues!
*This blog is for educational purposes only. The content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always consult your doctor or other qualified health practitioners before acting on information on this article, particularly if you have a medical condition, taking medication or if you are pregnant.