It started with Flint, Michigan. A few weeks later, Philadelphia was in the news too for fudging results about how much lead was in its water supply. If anything, these occurrences showed that the local authorities had neglected their duty when it comes to ensuring there is clean water in the cities.
It would later emerge that the Philly and Flint authorities already knew what was happening but couldn’t change the situation because they were saving costs. Since then, thirty-three more cities have been found to have water that is contaminated with lead.
Apart from the systems in 33 cities that were mentioned in the water contamination scandal, water systems in other cities are clean. Proper treatment is usually done to eliminate all toxic substances and there are no lead pipes used in the supply. This is only until the ongoing investigations into water treatment facilities countrywide find no further problems with the water supply in your city.
Health Effects of Water Pollution
Drinking dirty water will definitely make you sick. Unclean water is responsible for vomiting, diarrhea, stomach pains, skin rashes, growth and development problems, reproductive problems, and even cancer, which occurs with prolonged intake of lead-contaminated water.
Patients undergoing chemotherapy and those who are taking steroids have a weaker immune system hence are more likely to be affected by water pollution. If you fall under this category, contact a doctor to advise you about the methods you can use to keep your drinking water clean. This includes boiling and filtration, among other methods. However, you shouldn’t continue taking contaminated water just because you have a stronger immune system. Dirty water can affect anyone, including those who are not under any medication.
Whether inhaled, swallowed, or absorbed through the skin, lead is poisonous and can have hostile effects on young children. There are two categories of lead poisoning: acute toxicity and chronic toxicity. Acute toxicity occurs due to exposure to a high amount of lead over a short period while chronic toxicity occurs due to exposure to small amounts of lead over a long period.
When lead gets into the bloodstream, it is quickly transported to other parts of the body with other minerals. This signifies the beginning of a range of health problems. Wherever lead goes while in your body, it causes problems. When in the red blood cells, lead limits their ability to transport oxygen to the tissues and organs causing anemia.
If you are babysitting, there are a couple of things that you can do to protect the baby from lead poisoning. Boil water and cool it before using it in baby food. If the you are opening the tap for the first time in 6 hours, then let it run for slightly over a minute before you can use the water in the baby’s food. If by any chance you suspect that there could be lead pipes being used to supply water in your home, talk to your doctor about the possible solutions including purchasing bottled water for cooking and drinking.
What About Tap Water in Cities Without Lead Pipes?
Tap water is safe, if you are not a resident of any of the 33 cities that were reported to have contaminated water. This water is normally taken through water treatment facilities that are responsible for elimination of toxic substances and also removal of dirt and sediments. When this process is done correctly, the water that reaches you is purified and readily available for drinking.
However, despite the United States having one of the safest water supplies in the world, some few cases involving dirty water being supplied could occur. For this reason, consider some of the things you can do to protect yourself. One of these would be boiling water before you use.
Bringing water to boil kills germs and also removes impurities. Another way of purifying your water is by installing a water filter. There are many types of water filters in the market, therefore, make an effort to choose one that uses a mechanism that can eliminate a wide range of poisons and other harmful substances.