Post by:

The Truth About Water


What’s in Your Water – And What Can You Do About It?

We are passionate about water here at VV TV . We ask Roddy McDonald, who has been in the water industry for over 20 years to tell us more about water, what is in our water and what can we do about it.  

It’s common knowledge that on average we need to drink around 2 litres of water a day, otherwise our bodies will be dehydrated. 

Being dehydrated can lead to serious health challenges, your body will not be able to perform its natural functions including having a lack of attention and even memory loss.

You can feel tired, have dry skin, suffer from liver, kidney and bowl dysfunction. You can have a dry mouth, bad breath and even over eat.

But it is a double edged sword - we have the need to drink more water, yet there are concerns that the water coming out of our taps, although compliant with regulatory requirements, could contain trace levels of contaminants which have the potential to have a detrimental effect on human health. Many of us were shocked to learn in recent years that microplastic particles were making their way into our water supply. 

While plastic pollution was a well documented problem prior to this startling discovery, few suspected that their tap water could contain tiny microplastic fibres. 

Roddy McDonald has been in the water industry for over 20 years and set up Water for Health because of a passionate belief in the benefits of proper hydration; 

“To briefly summarise the findings, water samples from more than a dozen nations were analysed and 83% were shown to be contaminated with microplastics – the sort used in industries such as cosmetics and biotechnology. 

Believe it or not, the highest rate of contamination, an astonishing 94%, was in the US while the UK rate was 72%. 

Analyses by Orb Media detected particles of more than 2.5 microns in size, 2,500 times bigger than a nanometer.”

With a subsequent review finding microplastics in more than 90% of the world’s most popular bottled water brands, a creeping sense of dread began to take hold. 

Plastic was already poisoning our oceans and waterways… is it now poisoning us?

While the researchers concluded that “further research is required to better understand the potential chronic effects of microplastic exposure on animal health,” the scale of this problem is highly alarming, and the dangers of ingesting nano-scale plastic particles throughout one’s lifetime – both from drinking water and eating seafood – warrant closer attention.

However potentially pathogenic bacteria is only one concern people may have about drinking plastic-laced water. 

Plastic is composed of major toxic compounds known to cause illness, including the dreaded endocrine disruptor BPA. What’s more, microplastics absorb toxic chemicals from the environment which are linked to cancer and other diseases. 

With the aforementioned Orb Media study showing that microplastic particles can migrate through the intestinal wall, travel to lymph nodes and other organs, and penetrate cells, no-one should be cavalier about the risks associated with drinking tap water

Especially given that, to date, there have been no studies of the effects of microplastic consumption by humans.

Of course, there are other contaminants we may be concerned about. 

Lead piping still carries water to the tap in older properties throughout many areas of the country, with two-thirds of homeowners said to be unaware of whether their supply is affected [1]. Lead can bioaccumulate in the body and cause symptoms such as stomach pain, constipation, memory problems and infertility. Children and unborn babies can develop learning difficulties from prolonged lead exposure.

Pesticides and herbicides widely used in agriculture also have the potential to befoul our tap water, by making their way into ground or surface water systems that feed drinking water supplies. 

A 2015 study by the World Health Organisation’s IARC cancer agency found that one such herbicide, Glyphosate, was “probably carcinogenic to humans.” We are exposed to Glyphosate via the food chain so it makes sense to filter every possible remnant of it from our water supply.

Traces of pharmaceutical drugs, meanwhile, can leach into our water systems via lakes, streams and rivers, the result of improper disposal or excretion. 

Believe it or not, water treatment plants are not legally required to test for, nor filter, pharmaceuticals and researchers are unaware of the consequences of ingesting a cocktail that could include antibiotics, hormonal drugs, antidepressants, painkillers, heart medication, contraceptives and muscle relaxants, particularly over the course of one’s lifetime. 

It’s possible that this cocktail could have a harmful compound effect. Unfortunately, this area of research is in its infancy.

None of these contaminants should be showing up in our water at all: no-one expects plastic, Glyphosate, lead and medication to be a byproduct of hydration. 

However, there are other elements which can be considered dangerous or potentially dangerous. 

Chlorine, for example, is a disinfectant used by water companies to maintain hygienic conditions within the pipe network. However, when combined with certain organic materials it may form harmful disinfection byproducts (DBPs) such as trihalomethanes (THMs) and volatile organic compounds (VOCs). 

The adverse health effects of such byproducts are no secret, with many known for their carcinogenic, mutagenic, genotoxic and cytotoxic effects. 

Chlorine itself can aggravate respiratory conditions and in 2012, chlorine in tap water was linked to an increase in the number of people developing food allergies. [2] There are also concerns about the effect of chlorinated water on beneficial bacteria within the gut.

It should be noted that water companies aim to keep the chlorine level below 1 mg/litre, however many elect to filter chlorine from their tap water entirely.

Chloramination is yet another method of water treatment widely used in Great Britain. A combination of chlorine and ammonia, this chemical compound lasts longer in the water system than chlorine but has been shown to corrode ageing lead and copper pipes, causing metals to leach into tap water. 

What’s more, there are fears over the toxic byproducts it may produce, including carcinogens. 

Many European nations, including France and Germany, have rejected the process, as have some states in the US. [3]

It would be remiss to omit fluoride from our water safety considerations. It, too, has been banned by many countries throughout Europe, including Germany, Sweden and Switzerland. Indeed, less than 2% of Europe’s population receive fluoridated water via the tap. 

However, 11% of the UK population continues to receive artificially fluoridated water, ostensibly for its beneficial effect on teeth. The long-held concern of anti-fluoride campaigners, meanwhile, is that such water could heighten one’s risk of other diseases including cancer. If fluoride is entirely safe, we have to ask why it has been phased out in most of Europe, with new fluoridation schemes regularly met with fierce opprobrium.

The manifold concerns outlined above compel many people to filter their tap water as a matter of course – and who can blame them? 

Ultimately, the possible threat posed by the pollutants highlighted in this article merit further investigation and outdated treatment technologies must be upgraded to protect public health. 

In the western world, we expect our drinking water to be safe, at the very least. At present, the only way of assuring a high level of contaminant removal is by using an independent filter system at the point of use.

Many thanks to Roddy McDonald at Water For Health.


Uploaded by:
Veggie Vision

Veggie Vision's Other Posts

View All

Events that Veggie Vision is hosting

No items found.

Events that Veggie Vision is attending

No items found.
Join the Conversation

Add a comment and let Veggie Vision know what you think about their recipe!

No Name
No Name
This is the actual comment. It's can be long or short. And must contain only text information.
4 years ago
No Name
This is the actual comment. It's can be long or short. And must contain only text information.
2 years ago
Load More
Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
Load More