What Chemicals Are in Tap Water? Is it Safe to Drink Tap Water?

Published: 11th November 2008
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Is it safe to drink tap water?

Compared to the drinking water in much of the world, tap water in the US, Canada and Europe is a miracle of purity. By that I mean, the chemicals in tap water are often scary to read about, but our tap water isn't likely to infect us with deadly diseases like cholera, which can cause disease within days, sometimes hours, and kills thousands every year.

Still, reports keep coming in that make us doubt it's safe to drink tap water straight from the faucet, day in and day out.

Synthetic organic chemicals, meaning man-made chemicals as opposed to those found in nature, are in nearly every public water supply. That's because any chemical we make and use will eventually wind up in our tap water.

The earth recycles water endlessly, the same water over and over. Earth's natural filtering processes are wonderful, but they aren't effective at removing toxic chemicals in tap water when those chemicals have only existed in the last few decades. Unfortunately, municipal water treatment plants aren't very effective with these chemicals, either.

Dr. David Ozonoff of the Boston University School of Public Health said, "The risk of disease associated with public drinking water has passed from the theoretical to the real." Dr. Ozonoff is a leading authority on water contamination.

Add to this another fact raised in a hard-hitting and widely published investigative report by the Associated Press this past spring:

You may well have prescription drugs in your tap water. Many recent studies have found traces of sex hormones, antidepressants, painkillers, anti-seizure compounds, and many more in public water supplies.

Drugs you may ingest when you drink tap water also include many over-the-counter drugs, like aspirin, Tylenol and antihistamines, and compounds from personal care items like shampoos, detergents and deodorants.

That's why home water filters are increasingly popular.

The best home water filters are moderate in cost, easy to install, and do an excellent job of filtering out the hazardous chemicals in tap water, plus bad odors and tastes. They are much more reliable than bottled water, which is often just bottled tap water, and the cost per gallon of clean, pure water is much lower.

For more specific information on home water filters that make it safe and enjoyable to drink tap water, check out my website.

For specific filter recommendations, check my website for ways to avoid chemicals in tap water.

Robert Tell is a health and nutrition researcher currently specializing in drinking water purity and home water filtration systems. Check his website: http://www.filtered-safe-water.com/

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