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Top 10 Contaminants in Drinking Water


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You need 8 glasses a day, but do you know what is in your water? This slideshow takes a look at the top 10 contaminants commonly found in drinking water in the United States and what you can do to keep your family healthy.

Is tap water safe to drink? The United States has some of the cleanest tap water in the world, treated by municipalities and governed by the EPA before arriving at your kitchen faucet. However, the municipal water treatment process is not perfect and water may pick up a variety of contaminants on its journey to your home. Watch this slideshow to find out what health risks you and your family could be facing.

Published in: Health & Medicine
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Top 10 Contaminants in Drinking Water

  1. 1. Culligan
  2. 2. • You need 8 glasses a of water aday, but do you know what is inyour water?• This presentation takes a lookat the top 10 contaminantscommonly found in drinkingwater in the United States andwhat you can do to keep yourfamily healthy.
  3. 3. • Chlorine is used to kill bacteria in drinking water and isadded to tap water by municipalities as a means ofsterilizing water.• While typically safe in the levels added bymunicipalities, chlorine in higher quantities can causeeye and nose irritation, along with stomach discomfort.• Chlorine in water can also cause problems in anyquantity for people with certain health conditions orsensitivities to chlorine.
  4. 4. • Legionella is a harmful bacteria that causesLegionnaires Disease, an acute respiratory infection.• It likes to live and breed in water heating systems,which is why you should never drink hot water straightfrom the tap.
  5. 5. • Lead contamination is more likely to be a problem forthose living in older buildings and some cities wherelead pipes are used to carry water into homes.• Lead can leak into groundwater through natural oredeposits in the environment or through corroded pipescarrying the water.• Exposure to high levels of lead in water can causedevelopmental problems in young children.
  6. 6. • Discharge from petroleum, metal refineries andmining operations can result in trace amounts ofselenium in drinking water.• Long term exposure to selenium can result in hair loss,skin problems, and brittle nails.
  7. 7. • Some water sources may containhigher levels of iron. Its seldomenough to cause health problems,but can give water an unpleasantlook and taste.
  8. 8. • If you live in an agricultural area, you may be at greaterrisk for exposure to nitrates.• Nitrates commonly contaminate drinking waterthrough fertilizer runoff.• Excessive levels of nitrates in water can causeshortness of breath and blue-baby syndrome in bottlefed infants.
  9. 9. • Mercury is a common component in the manufacturingof light bulbs, batteries and other household goods.• Refinery discharges and runoff from landfills can leadto increased levels of mercury in groundwater.• Long term exposure to excessive amounts of mercuryhas been known to cause kidney damage.
  10. 10. • Runoff from farmland may include bacteria fromanimal droppings, which can sometimes find their wayinto drinking water.• These bacteria can cause a variety of stomach ailmentsif ingested.
  11. 11. • A variety of industrial solvents and chemical compounds havemade the news for contaminating drinking water andresulting in negative health effects (think Erin Brockovich).• Perc, a dry-cleaning solvent, has been associated withdevelopmental problems in young children.• You may also be ingesting a variety of harmfulpharmaceuticals.• Prescriptions and over the counter medicines have beenfound in trace amounts in city water.
  12. 12. • Arsenic is a very common component of toxic wasteand is allowed to be present in water in certainamounts.• Arsenic is a carcinogen and has been linked withperipheral vascular disease and hyperkeratosis (anunpleasant skin condition).
  13. 13. For assistance selecting a home water filter,visit:• Home water filters are essential toensuring water contaminants are notingested by you or your family.• For additional information oncontaminants in drinking water, visit:
  14. 14. Culligan Water offers a variety of water softeners and waterfiltration systems in a range of sizes to fit your water needs.www.CulliganWater.com6030 Culligan Way, Minnetonka, MN 55345