Water Safety for Healthy Life
Water is the most important and life sustaining drink for humans and is essential for the survival of all organisms.
Water composes approximately 70% of the human body by mass after excluding fat. Water is a crucial component of metabolic processes and serves as a solvent for many bodily solutes.
The quality of water and its ingredients play a vital role for our well being. Drinking quality water having the required ingredients is a vital step towards leading a healthy life. Lets understand vital points with respect to water safety here.
Is the drinking water supplied by the government in developed countries safe for drinking purpose?Water supplied for drinking purpose in the developed countries is mostly safe for drinking.
But most of the government pipes could be old and water passing through old corroded pipes can be contaminated with heavy metals, pesticides, volatile organic chemicals,minerals, parasites or bacteria which could sometimes make the water unsafe.
Why are governments encouraging people to use Home Water Filteration Systems?Governments are encouraging people to use home water filteration systems to protect against water-borne diseases.
Usage of home water filteration systems provide quality drinking water by filtering out poisonous carcinogens and unwanted chemicals currently found in tap water.
How can drinking water gets contaminated?Drinking water gets contaminated either due to the presence of microbes(Microbial contamination) or harmful chemicals(Chemical contamination).
Chemical contamination is due to high levels of lead, arsenic etc.
Microbial contamination is due to the presence of microbes, including viruses, bacteria, and parasites, such as cryptosporidium and giardia.
What are the effects of contaminated water consumption on Human life?Contaminated water poses a serious health risk to human life. The most widespread problems with water cause devastating health problems.
* High levels of lead in water have been linked to lower IQs in children.
* Prsence of the poison arsenic in the water drawn from wells harms nerves, heart, blood vessels, and the skin. It has also been linked to several cancers.
* Trihalomethanes (THMs) - including chloroform - are byproducts of chlorination that are suspected of causing several cancers, including bladder cancer.
* The presence of E. coli in water is a strong indication of recent sewage or animal waste contamination. Sewage may contain many types of disease-causing organisms.
* Cryptosporidium is a parasite that causes a sometimes severe and life-threatening diarrheal disease. It is one of the most common causes of waterborne disease.
What are the effects of contaminated water consumption on Preganant Women?Preganant women consuming contaminated water have higher rate of birth abnormalities due to the fetus getting exposed to harmful chemicals. These chemicals can result in abnormalities affecting the heart, skeleton and nervous system of the child.
Which water can be considered safe for drinking purpose?Tap water tested free from contaminants is considered safe for drinking.
If any contaminants are detected in tap water it should be filtered thoroughly and freed from carcinogens like hexavalent chromium, herbicides, pesticides, chemicals likes artrazine, arsenic, perchlorate, cadmium can be considered unsafe for drinking purpose.
What are the steps required for ensuring water safety at home?* Drinking water should be tested for contaminents at regular intervals or when ever we suspect contamination and take appropriate measures to ensure water safety.
* If water is contaminated home water purification/filtration systems should be used for improving the quality and taste of water.
How can boiling water help in the removal of contaminants?Boiling the water unfortunatley won't remove contaminants, but boiling can kill some kind of virus and bacteria. In fact, it may make the water more concentrated with contaminants. It's the water that gets boiled off, while the contaminants remain.
Is bottled water safe and free from contaminants?Bottled water isn't necessarily safer than tap water. The water that goes into the bottles isn't regulated just as tap water. The source of bottled water and what's been filtered out of it is often not reported.
Also, the plastic bottles in which the water is stored may leave unhealthy residues in the water. Bottled water is also more expensive and less convenient than treating your water.
What are the advantages of consuming safe drinking water?Improved water quality can improve health in general and can help those with extremely compromised immune system, such as those with HIV or who are on chemotherapy.
How to test drinking water for contaminants?Water can be home tested for contaminants by using Home testing kits or by sending water for lab testing. We can easily test drinking water contamination at home at our convenience through various home water testing procedures.
Home water testing kits usually come with package of strips that contain reactants that change color to indicate the presence of various contaminants in your water.
How accurate are home water testing kits?Home water testing kits are not terribly accurate, and they dont test for all harmful contaminants. Home water testing kits might flag high levels of contaminants in water very well.
The advantage of using home water testing kits is to immediately identify high level contaminations in case of emergency.
The best way to analyze the quality of water is to find a reputable, independent lab and get your drinking water tested.
Which home water testing kits are available for self testing water at home?There are various home water testing kits available to report the presence of bacteria, lead, pesticides, nitrites/nitrates, chlorine, hardness, pH and Total dissolved solids. Some of the basic home water testing kits are shown below:
What are the health effects of consuming lead contaminated drinking water and How to test water for lead contamination?Lead is a toxic metal and the primary source of lead exposure for most children is lead-based paint in older homes. Even low levels of lead may cause a range of health effects including behavioral problems and learning disabilities. Children six years old and under are most at risk because this is when the brain is developing. Lead in drinking water can add to that exposure.
Infants and children who drink water containing lead in excess of the action level could experience delays in their physical or mental development. Children could show slight deficits in attention span and learning abilities. Adults who drink this water over many years could develop kidney problems or high blood pressure.
Lead is a poisonous element and water contaminated with lead can cause cancer. Water can be tested for lead contamination through home lead testing devices.
Home Water testing devices for lead are:
What are the health effects of consuming radon contaminated drinking water How to test Water for Radon contamination?Drinking water containing radon presents the risk of developing internal organ cancers, primarily stomach cancer.
Not all drinking water contains radon. If the drinking water comes from a surface water source, such as a river, lake, or reservoir, most radon that might be in the water will be released into the air before reaching your water supplier or home.
Radon is only a concern if your drinking water comes from underground, such as a well that pumps water from an aquifer, though not all water from underground sources contains radon. Water can be tested for radon through home radon testing devices.
Home Water testing device for radon:
What is TDS(Total Dissolved Solids) with respect to water testing?Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) are the total amount of mobile charged ions, including minerals, salts or metals dissolved in a given volume of water, expressed in units of mg per unit volume of water (mg/L), also referred to as parts per million (ppm). TDS is directly related to the purity of water.
The total dissolved solids concentration is the sum of the cations (positively charged) and anions (negatively charged) ions in the water. Parts per Million (ppm) is the weight-to-weight ratio of any ion to water.
How is TDS calculated during water testing?A TDS meter is based on the electrical conductivity (EC) of water. Pure H20 has virtually zero conductivity. Conductivity is usually about 100 times the total cations or anions expressed as equivalents. TDS is calculated by converting the EC by a factor of 0.5 to 1.0 times the EC, depending upon the levels.
Which TDS levels are fit for drinking water?Water regulations advise a maximum contamination level (MCL) of 500mg/liter (500 parts per million (ppm)) for TDS. Numerous water supplies exceed this level.
When TDS levels exceed 1000mg/L it is generally considered unfit for human consumption. A high level of TDS is an indicator of potential concerns.
Most often, high levels of TDS are caused by the presence of potassium, chlorides and sodium. These ions have little or no short-term effects, but toxic ions (lead arsenic, cadmium, nitrate and others) may also be dissolved in the water.
Various TDS water quality testers for home testing :
What is the need of Water Filteration system at home?Water filteration is required for treating drinking water for removing all kinds of contaminants.
Drinking water contaminated with carcinogens like hexavalent chromium, herbicides, pesticides, chemicals likes artrazine, arsenic, perchlorate, cadmium is harmful and can cause various diseases.
Water filteration system can purify drinking water there by protecting us from the above mentioned contaminents and associated diseases.
Which water filteration system should be purchased?When purchasing a water filteration system
* NSF/ANSI certified drinking water filteration system should be considered. One should find out which contaminants it claims to remove and then check NSF to see if those statements are actually true.
* Be sure to find one that reduces herbicides, pesticides and many other agricultural pollutants in addition to tons of other contaminants that find their way into our water.
* Choose water filter offering the widest range of contaminanat removal.
Health is best protected when you use a water filter for every day drinking water use.