The Hidden Dangers of Water
An EPA report on the status of the nation's lakes, rivers,
and estuaries says that while water quality is not getting worse
in America, neither is any progress being made. More than one
third of all waterways are reported to be unsuitable for fishing
or swimming because of pollution. Most contaminants are sewage
and bacteria, fertilizer, toxic metals, oil and grease. Typical
sources of the pollution include runoff from farms, industrial
waste, and city sewer discharge.
Newsweek: "Several million Americans are drinking water
that is potentially hazardous due to chemical or bacterial
L.A. Times: "Communities with drinking water
contamination by chemicals are being hit with strange
patterns of illness."
ABC Network News: "U.S. Industries...generate some
88,000,000 pounds of toxic wastes a year, 90 percent of
which, the E.PA. estimates, are improperly disposed."
The New York Times, June 2, 1995: "More than 1 in 5
Americans unknowingly drink tap water polluted with feces,
radiation or other contaminants...Nearly 1,000 deaths each
year and at least 400,000 cases of waterborne illness may be
attributed to contaminated water. ."
Houston Chronicle, June 2, 1995: "The parasite
[cryptosporidium] that killed more than 100 people in
Milwaukee two years ago has been found in drinking water
systems that serve 45 million people..."
USA TODAY, March 30, 1995: "Parasite in water is
widespread...can be dangerous, even fatal, to people with
weakened immune systems."
U.S. News & World Report, June 26, 1995: "Some
individuals, federal officials said last week, should not
drink water straight from the tap because a disease causing
parasite can slip right through many municipal water
The Washington Post, June 2, 1995: "Federal statutes do
not require municipal water authorities to clean
cryptosporidium from water reservoirs."
With over 70,000 chemicals now in use and with the
introduction of a 1,000 more each year, drinking water
contamination is increasing at an alarming rate. According to
a leading citizen lobby, U.S. drinking water has 2,100 toxic
chemicals causing cancer, cell mutation, and nervous
disorders. Existing treatment plants were not designed to
remove the new toxic chemicals, and the government is slow to
regulate the high rate of contamination. Responsible citizens
are left to educate and protect themselves from the
world's greatest environmental threat - chemically
Aluminum and Alzheimer's Disease
If you have ever wondered why there is such an astounding
increase in Alzheimer's disease, the answer may have
finally been found. In the April 1995 issue of the
international science journal, Neurotoxicology, a private
Australian research group reported that the widespread use of
aluminum salts to purify water may lead to brain damage and
may account for the large scale loss of memory experienced by
people suffering from Alzheimer's disease!
The Australia Institute of Biomedical Research, based in
Sydney, reported that experiments with rats showed that tiny
amounts of aluminum consumed in water found its way to their
brains and accumulated there. It has been known for twenty
years that if aluminum accumulated in the brain over a period
of time, it could kill off neurons and cause memory loss.
Institute researcher Judie Walton noted the worldwide massive
increase in Alzheimer's disease over the past 70 years.
She pointed out: "We are drinking it and eating it
throughout our lifetimes, so by the time we are quite old we
have had a lot of exposure to aluminum." Aluminum is
also found in food emulsifiers, anti-perspirant deodorants,
baking powder, some toothpastes, and many of the commonly
used cooking utensils.
The research on rats found measurable amounts of aluminum in
their brains after just one glass of aluminum treated water.
Walton observed: "We really should look seriously at
revisiting this possibility that aluminum addition to foods
and drinking water is a health hazard." Due to the
concerns about a link between aluminum and Alzheimer's
disease, Sydney, Australia's largest city, is already
gradually withdrawing aluminum treatment of water.
Using aluminum to purify water may be even more dangerous
than the use of fluoride and chlorine in our water. It is
believed that the problem is worsened by the action of
fluoride in facilitating the absorption of aluminum.
The Worsening Contamination of Water
It has been estimated that 53 million Americans, about 20
percent of the population, have been drinking water that is
contaminated with feces, radiation, lead, or other poisons.
This is according to data collected by the United States
Environmental Protection Agency in 1993-1994. This was a 7.6
million increase over 1992!
The Environmental Working Group (EWG) reported that it had
tested 29 Midwestern cities and towns and found that all had
herbicides present in the drinking water. In one Illinois
city, they found that the level of the weed killer cyanazine
in the public water supply was 34 times above the federal
standards. The EWG estimated that 20 to 25 million Americans
are now drinking water polluted with herbicides. Research in
laboratories has shown a higher incidence of cancer and birth
defects in animals fed with food containing herbicides .
The EWG conservatively attributed at least 1000 deaths each
year, and about 400,000 cases of waterborne illness, to
contaminated tap water. Besides hazards for the unsuspecting
general population, experts have noted the serious health
consequences that exist for infants and children.
Everywhere--Do We Dare Drink It?
by author Pat Bennett
Water : Our Most Precious Resource
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