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Water Quality & Health


Water covers 71% of the Earth's surface and is vital to all known forms of life. Access to safe drinking water has improved over the last century, but more than one billion people still lack access to clean, safe water. Some estimate that by 2025 more than half the world's population will be facing "water-based vulnerability”.

Those of us who live within urban areas in the United States usually get our water from municipal water systems. These facilities take water from lakes and rivers, filter and disinfect it, pump it to our homes, and tell us that it is generally safe to drink. But is it? Millions of Americans are drinking water with unsafe levels of industrial chemicals.

The EPA regulates over 80 different potential water contaminants that may pose health risks. Some of these substances may cause acute illness, such as what might occur from bacteria or other microbes, like E. Coli, or even death. Other contaminants, including lead, pesticides and radioactive elements, build up in the body over time and may cause organ failure, birth defects, developmental issues in children, or cancer.

Other chemicals that may be in municipal water are known as polyfluoroalkyl and perfluoroalkyl substances or PFASs. These chemicals have been linked to obesity, hormone suppression, and cancer. The problem with PFASs is that they remain in the body for a long time. Though other chemicals can be excreted within hours, it takes several years for your body to get rid of just half of whatever amount you ingest. Introduced more than 60 years ago, PFASs are a category of man-made chemicals that degrade very slowly, if at all, in the environment.

The most common additives to our drinking water are chlorine, chloramines, and fluoride, all of which are toxic. Fluoride is probably the most toxic and concerning of these additives.

In terms of acute toxicity (i.e., the dose that can cause immediate toxic consequences), fluoride is more toxic than lead, but slightly less toxic than arsenic. This is why fluoride has long been used in rodenticides and pesticides to kill pests such as rats and insects. It is also why accidents involving over-ingestion of fluoridated dental products, including fluoride gels, fluoride supplements, and fluoridated water, can cause serious poisoning, including death. The debate today, however, is not about fluoride’s acute toxicity, but its chronic toxicity (i.e., the dose of fluoride that if regularly consumed over an extended period can cause adverse effects).

Removing fluoride is more difficult than removing other contaminants. Reverse osmosis is a good option, but expensive for the average homeowner. One can also filter out fluoride through deionization in some water softeners and activated alumina filtration.

Not only are there toxic additives in our drinking water, but after conventional treatment, water remains energetically dead, lifeless and laced with harmful information. Beneficial trace minerals have also been removed. The conventional transportation of water through straight pipes and its delivery in highly pressurized systems further diminish water’s energetic quality.

Water handled in these conventional ways creates an environment for pathogenic bacteria to breed, and is also responsible for the phenomena of mineral deposits in pipes, appliances and water equipment.

People who obtain their water from wells do not necessarily have to deal with chemicals from other sources, but they must be just as concerned about their water quality. Well water may have high levels of dissolved minerals and chemicals leached from surrounding soils, agricultural runoff, and naturally-occurring but unsafe microbes.

Arsenic is one of the biggest dangers lurking in well water. It is a toxin that can leach from natural deposits or enter ground water from sources as varied as mining, oil and gas extraction, pesticide use, and treated wood. It is both tasteless and colorless, so regular chemical analysis is necessary.

Pesticides - as well as nitrates and nitrites from fertilizers, animal waste and septic tanks - present other common well water hazards.

Problems with water are expected to grow even worse in the coming decades, with water scarcity occurring worldwide - even in regions currently considered water-rich.

Global water quality degradation raises the specter of species survival. As of today, some 1.1 billion planetary inhabitants do not have access to clean drinking water, and 2.6 billion do not have sanitation services. Water pollution transmits numerous debilitating diseases to populations forced to drink contaminated water - and is a leading cause of death worldwide.

Addressing these problems calls out for a tremendous amount of needed research to identify robust new methods of purifying water at lower cost and requiring less energy, while at the same time minimizing the use of chemicals and impact on the environment. It is increasingly important to devise water purification systems that not only filter and sanitize, but also create structured water.

For more on structured water, the energetic qualities of water, water memory, and the 4th phase of water, click here.


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© 2017-2020 Dr. James Odell, ND, OMD, L.Ac. 

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