How You Can Protect Yourself from Groundwater Contamination
Groundwater contamination occurs when pollutants are released to the ground and make their way down into groundwater. It can also occur naturally due to the presence of an unwanted impurity in the groundwater, in which case it is more likely referred to as contamination rather than pollution.
Contamination can occur through on-site sanitation systems, landfills, effluence from wastewater treatment plants, leaking sewers, petrol stations or from over application of fertilisers in agriculture. It can also occur from naturally occurring contaminants, such arsenic or fluoride. Using polluted groundwater with inorganic contaminants can lead to illness and makes you susceptible to liver damage, cancer and other long-term health conditions. Organic contaminants such as bacteria, disease-carrying micro-organisms, rotten plants and animal droppings are also likely to affect water sources. We have arguably, reached the point where all sources of our drinking water contain some level of contamination.
Volatile Organic Compounds
Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are a dangerous contaminant of groundwater. They are generally introduced to the environment through careless industrial practices. VOCs are responsible for a number of adverse health effects especially in nursing and pregnant mothers. Many of these compounds were not known to be harmful until the late 1960s and it was some time before regular testing of groundwater identified these substances in drinking water sources. Organic pollutants include – insecticides, herbicides, a range of organohalides and other chemical compounds, petroleum hydrocarbons, chemical compounds found in personal hygiene products, cosmetic products, pharmaceutical drugs and their metabolites.
Inorganic pollutants include – ammonia, nitrate, phosphate, heavy metals and radionuclides.
Types of VOCs:
Tetrachloroethylene (PCE) – Used in metal degreasing and dry cleaning. It is suspected to cause cancer and a host of other health problems.
Trichloroethylene (TCE) – Used in cleaning metal parts and was widely believed to be harmless before being linked to birth defects. It is a suspected cause of cancer and a host of other health problems.
Toluene – Toluene is an organic compound which is mostly harmless to adults and is sometimes abused as an inhalant. It is known to cause Fetal Toluene Syndrome which resembles Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. The resultant birth defects include facial features of micrognathia, large anterior fontanel, down-turned mouth corners, hair patterning abnormalities, bifrontal narrowing of the face and ear abnormalities.
Petrochemicals (Herbicides, Pesticides, Detergents, VOCS, Carcinogens, etc.)
Petroleum-based chemicals are also called ‘organic’ contaminants. Many have been linked to long-term health problems including many forms of cancer. Most have unknown long-term health effects.
As with all pollutants, the extent and nature of the health effect will depend on many factors including level of exposure and length of time exposed. Eye and respiratory tract irritation, headaches, dizziness, visual disorders, and memory impairment are among the immediate symptoms that some people have experienced soon after exposure to some organics. At present, not much is known about what health effects occur from the levels of organics usually found in homes. Many organic compounds are known to cause cancer in animals; some are suspected of causing, or are known to cause, cancer in humans. Even though our household’s water is now treated, contamination may accidently happen from piping system. Therefore, a reliable POU (Point-Of-Use) or home water filter plays a very important role in protecting you and your family.
The HomePure filter is tested and certified by NSF for removing 97% of chlorine, 99% of turbidity, 99% of the total 46 types of VOCs (volatile organic compounds). It covers VOCs such as atrazine, carbofuran, lindane, simazine and toluene; as well as heavy metals (Hg, Pb, Cr, Fe, Al, Cu), herbicides, pesticides and trihalomethanes. HomePure’s reduction of heavy metals is also evaluated and supported by an independent laboratory KEWWI (Korea).
Your and your family’s health is priceless. You deserve nothing but a top class internationally certified water filtration system.
SEE ALSO: Why Should I Drink Filtered Water?
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