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What Contaminants Can Be Found In Drinking Water?

· THMs and Chlorine-Many municipal water systems use chlorine to eliminate bacteria, but recent studies show that chlorine can react with organic material in water to form chemicals called Trihalomethanes (THMs). One of these THMs is chloroform, a suspected cancer-causing agent. 

· Lead-The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) says that lead in drinking water can cause serious health problems. At low levels, reduced birth weight and premature birth, delayed mental and physical development, and impaired mental abilities in children in general, may result. At high levels of exposure, anemia, kidney damage, and mental retardation can occur. 

· Radon-Radon is a naturally occurring radioactive gas that has no taste, odor, or color. Waterborne radon released into the air from showers, washing machines, etc. Can be inhaled and increase the risk of lung cancer. There also is accumulating evidence of a relationship between the ingestion of radon in drinking water and increased risk of stomach cancer. 

· Cysts-Protozoan parasites, such as Cryptosporidium oocysts and Giardia lamblia cysts in drinking water, can cause vomiting, diarrhea, an other flu like symptoms that are longer-lasting and more debilitating than most cases of flu. 

· Pesticides and Herbicides-Many agricultural chemicals like atrazine and alachlor have found their way into groundwater sources. Many pesticides are toxic and are associated with a variety of health problems. 

· Industrial Chemicals-Though necessary in manufacturing, many industrial chemicals, if ingested, may cause increased risk of cancer and others illnesses. Some of the industrial chemicals that now threaten the purity and safeness of our drinking water include polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), polynuclear aromatics (PNAs), and volatile organic chemicals (VOCs), such as TCE, benzene, and carbon tetrachloride. 

· Other Particulate Contaminants- Small fibers of asbestos, dirt, and other particles often can be found in drinking water. 

Note: No information exists to show that the examples described above pertain to your specific water system or supply.


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