Heavy Metals in Water: What You Need to Know

Heavy metals are dense metals associated with toxicity at low levels — most are hazardous to human health in any quantity.

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Lead is the most common example.

Yet drinking water routinely contains at least 7 common and many more uncommon heavy metals you should know about.

Join us as we discuss what they are, where they come from, and how to remove them from your water supply.

What Are Heavy Metals?

There is no universal definition for heavy metals.

Yet scientists consider them heavy metals because of their industrial applications and health effects.

It’s not meant to be confusing, but rather to identify potentially toxic metals in an easy-to-understand way.

How Do Heavy Metals Get into Drinking Water?

Heavy metals are natural.

Present in the Earth’s crust, they’re used in a broad range of human activities from mining to electronics manufacturing.

They get into drinking water through:

Burning fossil fuels spews toxic substances into the air.

A common cause of metal pollution, the rain cycle returns airborne contaminants to the Earth where it falls into surface water supplies.

Heavy metals have extraordinary properties that once made them ideal for plumbing materials.

Strong and flexible, they were widely used in homes and underground service lines before researchers discovered some were toxic.

Today, aging pipes are a primary source of metal pollutants in tap water.

Industrial wastewater is a primary source of heavy metal contamination.

Heavy metal contamination is unfortunately ubiquitous in aquatic ecosystems and also affects human health through the aquatic life we eat.

Fish from tuna to rainbow trout have high metal concentrations in their tissue.

Who Regulates Heavy Metals in Tap Water?

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), a department of the United States government, sets enforceable maximum contaminant levels (MCL) for health hazards in the water supply, including heavy metals.

They also set non-enforceable goals (MCLG) to guide states and water treatment officials as they hammer out their own rules.

All-encompassing regulations at the federal level make little sense because not all contaminants are present in all areas — it depends on your geography and geology.

Arsenic, for example, is prevalent in the northeast while mercury is more common in the mid-Atlantic states.

Common Heavy Metals in Drinking Water

These heavy metals are most water in low concentrations.

But some are quick to cause metal toxicity.

Mercury occurs naturally in rock.

Elemental mercury is the shiny silver metal called quicksilver.

In solid form, it’s stable and still used in dental fillings.Exposure occurs when things with liquid mercury break.

It combines readily with sulfur, chlorine and other elements to form inorganic salts that enter into the air and water.

Air and waterborne, it’s highly toxic.

Most people are exposed through drinking water or by eating fish.

The neurological effects of mercury can be devastating to the human body.

Though rare, a single exposure at high concentrations can cause death.

Chronic exposure at work, through tap water and contaminated food, however, is regrettably common.

Symptoms of chronic toxicity include:

Impaired coordination

Changes in vision, hearing or speech

There’s a significant positive correlation between drinking water with elevated levels of mercury and developmental disabilities in children.

The EPA and local authorities have issued advisories related to the consumption of certain types of fish.

The MCL for tap water is 2 parts per billion (ppb).

Cadmium is a lesser-known heavy metal used in the production of batteries, metallic coatings, paint pigments, plastic stabilizers, solar cells, electronics and more.

Critical for the manufacture of quantum dot nanoparticles, it’s both a present and merging risk.

Few human studies have been conducted, but chronic exposure is linked to reproductive and kidney disorders.

We do know, however, that cadmium affects aquatic life nationwide, and therefore, anyone higher up on the food chain.

Arsenic is a gray metal found in the bedrock where there was a history of volcanic activity.

A known carcinogen, it’s also used in rat poisons and manufacturing.Arsenic is so common and so deadly that it’s heavily regulated in public drinking water.

One in ten Maine households, for example, drinks arsenic-contaminated water.

Chromium is a tasteless, odorless metallic element found in two forms.

It, too, occurs naturally as rainwater erodes chromium deposits, but it’s also used in factories.

Poor industrial wastewater management practices pose a significant threat of chromium contamination.

Research suggests it destabilizes aquatic systems, but the jury is out on whether it causes harm to humans.

Associated with high blood pressure and atopic dermatitis in humans, chromium is less toxic than most heavy metals— but more studies are needed.

Though present in the soil but uncommon in the water supply, your greatest risk of exposure comes from the copper pipes and plumbing fixtures within your home.

Regulated by the EPA’s Lead and Copper Rule, part of the Safe Drinking Water Act, copper is an essential nutrient, but high levels can cause nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.

Chemically, iron is a heavy metal, but it’s rarely toxic.

The EPA hasn’t set recommended limits for iron, but it’s grouped with more hazardous metals because of the conditions it creates in your plumbing system.

An essential nutrient, the human body uses iron to transport oxygen.

But microorganisms, called iron bacteria also use iron for food, colonizing your well and pipes in the presence of an ample supply.

Manganese, another heavy metal common in well water with high concentrations of iron, causes a similar problem.

Alone, iron bacteria can cause stomach aches but not diseases.

Lead is perhaps the most dangerous heavy metal in drinking water because it’s common.

Lead is used in manufacturing, but most contamination comes from pipes.

If you live in an older community, chances are your water travels through a lead service line.

Further reading: What does lead look like in water

High lead levels in adults causes:

Lead poisoning in children causes:

Hearing loss

More common in developing countries, the toxic effects in children may be irreversible even with treatment.

No level in drinking water is safe, but it will take decades and billions to remove lead from the public water supply.

Should I Have My Water Tested for Heavy Metal Contamination?

Heavy metal contamination is so serious that regulatory authorities from the EPA to the CDC and the USGS are all actively involved in tracking environmental pollution.

If you drink well water, you can log on to these sites to see maps of your area that show heavy metal concentrations.

If you drink from a public water supply, your greatest risk of metal poisoning comes from your home.

But your local water company is required to share the results of water testing.

Some metal contaminants, however, are difficult or cost-prohibitive to detect with home testing.

We recommend using only certified drinking water laboratories because heavy metal contamination is a serious health risk.

We recommend SimpleLab’s Tap Score test kits because they use the latest in concentrated nitric acid and hydrogen peroxide testing to ensure your heavy metal analysis is laser-accurate.

Send them water samples, and you’ll get a comprehensive report including guidance on water filters.

When it comes to contaminants you can’t see, smell or taste, like lead, you can’t be too careful.

How Can I Reduce My Exposure to Toxic Metals in Tap Water?

The best way to limit exposure to heavy metals is to avoid contaminated drinking water and the foods made with it.

But bottled water is costly, so we recommend a drinking water filter as a more convenient, cost-effective and ecologically friendly alternative.

Filters that remove toxic metals include:

Activated Carbon Filters

Activated carbon filters target heavy metals through adsorption — a chemical process by which contaminants cling to substances with expansive surface area.

Activated carbon filtration removes some but not all heavy metals depending on the type and quality of the filter used.

Whole-house carbon filters range in price from hundreds to thousands.

But you can get a quality faucet filter or water filtration pitcher for less than $40.

Reverse osmosis filters force water through a semi-permeable membrane that excludes most molecules larger than water.

When combined with carbon and sediment prefilters that remove substances that can damage the membrane, RO filters fit under your kitchen sink and remove up to 99.9% of heavy metals from drinking water.

Ion exchange filters use electrically charged resin to trap contaminants of the opposite electrical charge to binding sites.

The best example is a water softener, but iron and manganese filters also rely on this technology.

Whole-house filters, ion exchangers purify the water throughout your home starting at around $700.

Boiling water concentrates contaminants, but distillation removes them by capturing clean steam and condensing it back into liquid form.

Performance rivals reverse osmosis filters.

We don’t want you to lose sleep over your water quality, but heavy metal contamination is an ever-present threat.

Until our infrastructure is upgraded, and the many sources of contamination identified, you and especially your children are at risk.

So, filter your water today and rest easier tonight.

Of all the tap water contaminants, heavy metals are some of the most concerning.

Heavy metals are metallic elements with a high density.

Even trace amounts of heavy metals in water can be harmful to your health.

This article will look at the most common types of heavy metals found in water, their effects on human health, and how to remove them from tap water.

By the end of this article, you should have a better understanding of the metals your drinking water may contain, and how you can protect yourself against them.

Let’s take a look at the most common metallic elements in drinking water:

Cardiovascular problems.Corrosion of pipes, industrial pollution

MercuryNeurotoxin; brain & nervous system damage.Industrial pollution, acid rain, some agricultural practices

CopperStomach cramps, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, kidney disease & liver damage.Naturally occurring, corrosion of pipes, mining activities

ArsenicCirculatory system damage, cardiovascular disease, increased risk of cancers.Naturally occurring, burning of fossil fuels

CadmiumKidney damage, lung damage, anemia, high blood pressure, and weakening of bones.Naturally occurring, leaching from pipes, industrial waste

Table of Contents🪨 Lead🌑 Mercury🪙 Copper💀 Arsenic🔋Cadmium🚰 How to Remove Heavy Metals from Water

Lead is a cumulative contaminant that is dangerous even in tiny amounts.

There is no safe level of lead exposure, and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has set a maximum contaminant level for lead at 0.

This means that no amount of lead should be found in drinking water – but many of us still drink lead every day.

The Health Effects of Lead

Lead interferes with proper development and function of the nervous system, kidneys, and blood cells.

Because it takes a very long time for the human body to eliminate lead once a person has been exposed, even small amounts can build up to dangerous levels over time.

Lead poisoning is a serious type of metal poisoning that has harmful effects on the brain and the body, especially in children and developing fetuses.

How Lead Gets Into Water

Lead is most commonly found in drinking water as a result of corrosion from lead pipes or household plumbing containing lead.

Hundreds of pipes in the U.S. still contain lead – you can view a map highlighting the risk of lead exposure across the country here.

This type of heavy metal contamination can also occur as a result of industrial pollution.

Exposure to lead occurs primarily through ingestion, but may also occur through inhalation or skin contact.

👉 See the best water filters for lead removal in 2023.

👉 See the best water filters for lead removal in 2023.

Mercury is a heavy metal that is liquid at room temperature.

Aside from drinking water, eating fish is one of the main sources of ingestion of mercury.

The Health Effects of Mercury

Mercury is a neurotoxin and can cause long-term damage to the brain and nervous system even at low levels of exposure.

In high amounts, mercury can have dangerous effects on the human body, including an increased risk of cancerous tumors, according to the EPA.

How Mercury Gets Into Water

Mercury doesn’t occur naturally in water, but can end up in water through industrial wastewater contamination, industrial pollution (such as coal burning power plants), and acid rain.

Some agricultural practices may also contribute to mercury contamination in water.

Mercury builds up in the environment over time, and this type of metal pollution poses a serious risk to aquatic organisms in natural waters and aquatic systems all over the world.

Copper is a heavy metal that, in its pure form, is a reddish-brown color.

Copper can be found naturally in many rocks and soils, but it is also used widely by humans for manufacturing items such as electrical wiring.

The Health Effects of Copper

Copper is an essential nutrient for human health for most living organisms, and a tiny amount of copper in your drinking water isn’t dangerous.

However, in very high doses, copper in a water supply can cause metal toxicity, resulting in nausea, vomiting, liver damage, and kidney disease.

How Copper Gets Into Water

Copper can get into groundwater from runoff from human activities such as mining, and by corrosion of copper pipes.

Typically, the presence of copper in tap water is due to plumbing materials such as brass or chrome-plated brass fittings.

Arsenic is a naturally-occurring element that can be found in the soil and water.

The high toxicity of arsenic presents a serious health risk to humans even at low levels of exposure.

The Health Effects of Arsenic

Even in very small doses, arsenic causes nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, and diarrhea.

Long-term exposure to low levels of arsenic in contaminated water can damage the circulatory system and has been linked to cardiovascular disease, including stroke and coronary heart disease.

High concentrations of arsenic are also known to cause cancer in humans.

How Arsenic Gets Into Water

Arsenic occurs naturally in rocks, and is often present in drinking water as a result of natural processes such as geological disturbances.

Volcanic eruptions or erosion can cause arsenic and other metals to leach into water.

Arsenic is also produced as a byproduct of burning fossil fuels, along with other inorganic pollutants.

👉 Check out the best water filters for arsenic removal.

Cadmium is a naturally-occurring element used in the production of batteries, plastics, and metal coatings.

The primary exposure to cadmium is through food or a public water supply.

The Health Effects of Cadmium

The potential risks of exposure to low levels of cadmium include kidney damage, lung damage, anemia, high blood pressure, and weakening of bones.

Drinking large quantities of cadmium can have harmful effects on all the organs in the body and can even cause death.

How Cadmium Gets Into Water

As a result of the natural process of erosion, cadmium can get into groundwater that is used for drinking water.

This heavy metal contamination in water also occurs due to leaching from galvanized metal pipes, and from industrial waste.

🚰 How to Remove Heavy Metals from Water

Public water suppliers simply don’t have the funds to purify water on a large scale, which means that the water we drink contains trace contaminants, including metal pollutants.

Luckily, you can remove heavy metal concentrations from your drinking water at home at an affordable long-term cost.

First of all, get your water tested to see which metals it contains.

You can then look at the best means of removing heavy metals from your water supply.

There are several methods of removing toxic heavy metals from water:

Reverse osmosis is one of the most common techniques to filter out heavy metals from water.

A Reverse osmosis filter contains a semi-permeable membrane that only allows water molecules to pass through it, leaving larger particles on the other side.

This type of filtration technique uses activated carbon to remove heavy metals.

Activated carbon is porous, allowing water to pass through it.

The activated carbon traps the metals that are present in water.

Distillation involves boiling water into vapor and then collecting this vapor as it condenses back into liquid form.

Water vaporizes, then condenses back into liquid, leaving the metals behind as a solid residue in the boiling chamber.

Let’s discuss today the controversial topic of heavy metals in water, with a bit of extra focus on lead in water.

Who hasn’t heard of heavy metal poisoning, especially after the Flint water crisis?

The Invisible (Potentially Deadly) Enemy: Heavy Metals in Water

Heavy metals represent a global concern because of their effects on human health and the environment.

Do they occur naturally?

Are we, as a society, encourage the presence of heavy metals in drinking water?

What methods do we have to test for heavy metals in tap water?

Let’s get to the bottom of this heavy metals in water issue, shall we?

What Are Heavy Metals in Water (And in General)?

To some extent, trace amounts of heavy metals are always present in our drinking water.

In general, they are not harmful to our health.

Just as we discussed when we approached the Total Dissolved Solids issue, some elements in our water are safe, even healthy, as long as they do not cross certain thresholds.

Not all heavy metals are equal, unfortunately.

For instance, iron and zinc are nutrients that are essential for your health.

Iron allows your red blood cells to bind oxygen molecules;

However, too much of either one would result in heavy metal poisoning symptoms.

Luckily, we generally do not get exposed to dangerous levels of such metals, which is probably why we do not hear about such issues very often.

Nevertheless, when such exposure occurs, the case of the Flint crisis comes to mind.

The reality is, nevertheless, that many heavy metals in our drinking water are dangerous.

When they leak in our drinking water, we become vulnerable to some health risks.

Here is why it is crucial to discuss the presence of heavy metals in our drinking water:

Heavy metals are usually present in trace amounts in natural waters but many of them are toxic even at very low concentrations.

Metals such as arsenic, lead, cadmium, nickel, mercury, chromium, cobalt, zinc and selenium are highly toxic even in minor quantity.

The increasing quantity of heavy metals in our resources is currently an area of greater concern, especially since a large number of industries are discharging their metal containing effluents into freshwater without any adequate treatment.

Why Do We Have Such Heavy Metals in Our Water?

As stated so far, while there are trace amounts of metals occurring naturally in our water streams, most heavy metals contaminate waters through industrial and consumer waste (mining, vehicle emissions, batteries, fertilizers, paint, microplastics, as well as aging plumbing).

Heavy metals also come from acidic rain breaking down soils and releasing heavy metals into streams, lakes, rivers, and groundwater.

Read More about Water Pollution Types!

What are the Most Common Heavy Metals in Water?

According to the Water Quality Association, we drink plenty of metals and heavy metals with each cup of water.

As we said, some such elements are critical to life – iron and anemia prevention come to mind.

You should know, however, some of the best water filtration systems on the market come with special features meant to remove the excess levels of metals and heavy metals from your water.

Iron occurs naturally in soil, rocks, and plants.

Small amounts for iron are not harmful, as iron is a critical metal for our health.

However, larger quantities of iron are dangerous, as they may cause liver, heart, pancreatic damage, and diabetes.

The best way to learn if you get enough or too much iron is to check with your doctor and have some blood tests.

We already covered the issue of iron in water, but let’s resume:

According to the EPA, iron is a secondary water contaminant, and its safety standard level is 0.3 mg/L.

While it takes a lot of iron in water to lead to fatalities, the prolonged consumption of high iron levels has correlated with stomach problems and other health conditions.

How to Remove Iron from Water

The best solution for iron removal is the installation of a whole house water filter – a device capable of removing not only iron but other impurities and contaminants from your water.

Alternatively, if you rely on well water, you should look into iron filters for well water.

Check Out the Best Iron Filters for Well Water!

This heavy metal lies in natural deposits as ores containing other elements.

Mercury poisoning is not unheard of – by accident or as an element of a crime.

Sizeable quantities of mercury (mercury toxicity) may cause the following symptoms:

speech and hear impairments;

vision impairments;

motor impairments;

loss of appetite;

Mercury poisoning is lethal, however, and depends on the type, dose, method, and duration of exposure.

Luckily, it takes a lot of mercury to trigger a toxic reaction or death.

The problem with mercury in the water is that it accumulates in the body and can cause long-term health issues.

The EPA has set the Maximum Contaminant Level Goal (MCLG) and the Maximum Contaminant Level of 0.002 mg/l (ppm) for mercury in water.

The advice here is to combine multiple types of filters if you want mercury-free drinking water.

How to Remove Mercury from Water

Mercury is not easy to get rid of, but you do have some solutions at hand.

If you learn that you have some levels of mercury in your tap water, you should mix at least two of the most efficient filtration systems: whole house water filters with activated carbon and reverse osmosis systems.

Made famous by crime novels (especially Agatha Christie’s ones), arsenic can be found in pretty much everything, so it is a challenging heavy metal to avoid.

One of the biggest problems with arsenic in the water is that it is tasteless and odorless, so you might be exposed to it without even knowing or suspecting.

Arsenic makes its way into our drinking water from paints, dyes, metals, drugs, soaps, and semi-conductors, agricultural applications, industrial applications, manufacturing, and mining.

Arsenic also occurs naturally in rocks, soils, plants, and animals.

Too much arsenic in the body may cause skin changes like thickening and pigmentation as well as cancer in the skin, lungs, bladder, and kidneys.

Long-term exposure to arsenic tends to occur at the skin level first.

The United States, India, China, and Mexico are among the countries featuring high levels of arsenic-containing groundwater due to heavy industrialization.

Symptoms of arsenic toxicity usually include:

You can become suspicious of arsenic toxicity if you live near industrial zones, use a private well for drinking water, you are exposed to landfills or waste sites, etc.

The EPA’s Maximum Contaminant Level threshold when it comes to arsenic in water is 0.010 mg/L (or ppm).

How to Remove Arsenic from Water

One of the surest ways to remove arsenic from your water is to install either a whole house reverse osmosis water filter.

Most trace cadmium comes from corrosion of galvanized pipes, hazardous and industrial sites, discharge from metal refineries, runoff from waste batteries and paints, etc.

Once cadmium enters the air, it spreads with the wind and settles into soil and water like dust.

Short-term exposure to cadmium can cause stomach pains, bone fractures, severe vomiting and diarrhea, muscle cramps, sensory disturbances, liver injury, convulsions, shock, and renal failure.

Long-term exposure can correlate with cancer and damages to the reproduction system, the central nervous system, and the immune system.

The EPA’s Maximum Contaminant Level threshold for cadmium in drinking water is 0.005 mg/L (ppm).

How to Remove Cadmium from Water

A combination of distillation, ion exchange, and reverse osmosis seems to be the surest way to eliminate cadmium from your drinking water.

If you remember how water filtration works, you know ion exchange is the fundamental process powering home water softeners.

The best combination to remove cadmium from water is a whole house reverse osmosis water filter together with a water softener.

Check Out the Best Water Softeners!

If you are familiar with the Erin Brockovich case, then you might have heard of chromium, heavy metal with disastrous consequences upon your health.

We find chromium in natural deposits.

It also occurs in manufacturing and industrial processes, such as paint/pigment production and electroplating.

Chromium can leak into groundwater via industrial and mining waste or erosion.

The chromium occurring naturally in the waters of our environment can take two forms: trivalent chromium, an essential nutrient, and hexavalent chromium, a powerful human carcinogen and the reason why we (and Erin) show concern when it comes to chromium in drinking water.

Our bodies can absorb Chromium VI via the lungs and gastrointestinal tract, and to a certain extent, through intact skin.

Long-term exposure to Chromium VI – according to the CDC – can lead to pulmonary problems, severe dermatitis, nasal septum, and eardrum, respiratory system cancers, nasal and sinus cancers, severe renal, hepatic, and gastrointestinal effects, among others.

The EPA currently limits total chromium at 100 PPB.

The problem with this number is that the EPA takes into account the total chromium for its national drinking water standard.

Chromium can change its state from III to VI in the water and in the human body, depending on environmental factors.

How to Remove Chromium from Water

Since chromium 6 is a problem many don’t even know they have until water testing, or worse – toxicity symptoms – it is better to prevent than feel sorry.

We recommend a mix of reverse osmosis whole house water filters and reverse osmosis under sink water filters.

The latter is useful because they keep your drinking water clean and safe from all contaminants.

If you rely on well water or live in an industrialized or agricultural area, it’s better to take extra measures, because Chromium 6 poisoning is dangerous and irreversible in some cases.

Check Out the Best Under-Sink Water Filters!

Lead is toxic to animals, humans, and other lifeforms you can think of.

While lead-based paint is a thing of the past, lead-ridden water is not, unfortunately.

How Does Lead Get Into Your Water?

Lead can reach your drinking water in three ways:

The corrosion of your water pipes and plumbing leads to lead leaks in your water;

Natural lead deposits erode into your source of water;

Industrial and manufacturing processes leak lead into your water.

The most common sources of residential lead leaking in water are lead pipes, faucets, and fixtures.

How to Test for Lead in Water

Just like most heavy metals in your water, lead is also tasteless and odorless.

You can use a water testing kit for lead to try at home, but since Flint, you should also ask for a second opinion, and, if possible, a professional one.

Most experts recommend you to ask your local water provider and authorities for the lead levels in your water.

But, the looming American water crisis we deal with today comes from both an environmental side and a bureaucratic/political one.

The Health Dangers of Lead in Water Exposure

Lead accumulates in the bones and teeth and affects the brain, kidneys, and liver.

Young children and fetuses are more vulnerable to lead exposure.

Long-term health effects of lead toxicity are:

Minor consequences are abdominal pains, decreased appetite, constipation, fatigue, etc.

According to the EPA, water utilities need to take immediate action when the concentration of lead in the drinking water go over the threshold of 0.015mg/L (or ppm).

However, health researchers consider that no amount of lead is reasonable for human consumption.

In their opinion, lead levels in water should be zero.

Lead in water can be soluble or insoluble, so if you consider you need water filtration, you should consider combining different methods, including water distillation.

Removing lead from water is easily achievable with the right water filter.

In case the laboratory test showed you have to show concern regarding the amount of trace lead in your water, you can combine multiple water filtration systems.

When it comes to lead, you cannot be too careful, so experts recommend a combination of one whole house and more under sink reverse osmosis systems.

The water fluoridation controversy is a long-standing debate.

On the one side, dental associations support the safety and effectiveness of water fluoridation, while on the other side, opposition groups say this violates medical ethics and the rights of individuals.

Furthermore, some scientists have challenged the health benefits of fluoride in our drinking water.

One of the problems opposition groups point to is that fluoride contains metal contaminants like hexafluorosilicic acid that is used as a fluoridation chemical.

This chemical is a byproduct of fertilizer and aluminum manufacturing and, therefore, when fluoride is added, water will simply contain even more heavy metals.

Some conspiracy theories circulate the notion that the fluoride in our drinking water is a plot concocted by the communists to undermine American health.

Conspiracy aside, the EPA’s Maximum Contaminant Level threshold for fluoride is 4.0mg/L (or ppm).

Long-term consumption at > 4 mg/L of fluoride can lead to Skeletal fluorosis – a severe bone disorder, similar to osteoporosis.

You may agree with fluoride present in your water, but if you want to remove it, the surefire way to achieve fluoride and also contaminants-free water is reverse osmosis.

Check Out the Best Reverse Osmosis Systems!

Check Out the Best Reverse Osmosis Systems!

Check Out the Best Reverse Osmosis Systems!

Check Out the Best Reverse Osmosis Systems!

The Health Consequences of the Exposure to Heavy Metals in Water: Conclusion

The health consequences of heavy metal exposure are real and represent a threat to human health.

Smaller amounts of heavy metals get filtered out through urine, but they do tend to accumulate in various tissues in the body, bones, and blood.

The significant accumulation of heavy metals in the body is known as bioaccumulation, which means an increase in the concentration of chemicals in a biological organism over time.

Too many heavy metals in water or coming from various other sources will disrupt functions in vital organs and glands such as the heart, brain, kidneys, bone, and liver.

A Few More Words on Heavy Metals Poisoning

Heavy metal poisoning can affect the functioning of the brain, lungs, kidney, liver, blood composition, and other essential organs.

Exposure can cause gradual progressing physical, muscular, and neurological degenerative processes and lead to diseases such as multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and muscular dystrophy.

It may even cause some types of cancer.

Humans are not the only ones affected by heavy metals in drinking water.

High concentrations of heavy metals can lead to toxic consequences for pets and wildlife.

Although heavy metals naturally occur in the environment, research suggests we severely pollute ecosystems with large quantities of heavy metals that affect nature’s ability to foster life.

How to Test for Heavy Metals in Water

These days, you have plenty of solutions to test for heavy metals in water.

Water Testing Kits

Affordable and easy to find in dedicated shops, on water filters’ manufacturers’ stores, or online retailers, water testing kits give you a pretty good idea of what you need to deal with if you have heavy metals in water.

Just make sure you get reliable water tests for home from reputable brands.

Many of them check only for hard water, chlorine, and other contaminants.

You need a water-testing kit dedicated to testing for heavy metals or a test kit for a great number of contaminants.

Check Out the Best Water Testing Kits!

Sure, many water suppliers display the levels of contaminants in your water on their websites.

One of the safest and speediest ways to test for heavy metals in water is to send water samples to a certified laboratory.

How to Remove Heavy Metal Removal from Water: Conclusion

Although it is next to impossible to avoid all heavy metals in water, there are ways to reduce them with the help of some of the aforementioned water filtration systems.

1. Whole house water filters

Whole house water filters remove impurities and contaminants of city or well water before the water reaches kitchens or bathrooms.

The best whole house water filters provide safer, healthier water for drinking, using, and cooking.

The advanced models are capable of removing a broad range of heavy metals in your drinking water.

RO systems are highly effective at removing almost all contaminants, impurities, and sediment from your water.

If you know how the technology works, you know such filters also add critical elements back to the water to offer you the minerals you need for a healthy life.

Reverse osmosis filters can remove lead, mercury, and other pollutants without any effort.

3. Distilled Water

Distilled water is a type of sanitized water, but instead of filtering it, we boil it through a complicated multi-step process.

During the distillation process, we remove essential minerals like magnesium and calcium.

In other words, the main risk of drinking distilled water is that it lacks these critical minerals, which we cannot do without for a long time.

4. Activated Charcoal Filters

Don’t let this straightforward solution fool you; active charcoal is more potent than it looks when it comes to water purification.

Most water filters feature activated charcoal that acts as an adsorbent for heavy metals.

Keep in mind that large quantities of heavy metals in water mean you need to combine multiple types of filters and especially different technologies, as you cannot rely solely on activated charcoal filters to do all the work.

Other Quick Facts about Heavy Metals in Water

Studies show that environmental toxins like lead and mercury are associated with the risk of ADHD;

Heavy metals damage the DNA in humans and animals research suggests;

Lead is naturally found in rocks and soil, BUT it is more prevalent in human-made materials;

Higher levels of heavy metals in water also hurt aquatic life to the point of endangerment;

Heavy metals cannot be degraded or destroyed, but they become less harmful by being absorbed or trapped with the help of water filters;

Water treatment facilities do not remove all heavy metals from your tap water; for this reason, more and more people invest in water filtration systems for the home;

Since the Earth’s crust is made out of heavy metals, it is not possible to avoid trace metals.

However, we should make sure our drinking water is as clean and pure as possible;

Plastic waste management releases lead and mercury that leaks into our drinking water.

Heavy metal pollution is a serious problem nowadays.

Heavy metals enter our bodies via food, drinking water, and air.

Higher concentrations of such elements can lead to acute or chronic health damages, not to mention poisoning.

Being aware and mindful of the presence of heavy metals in tap water and taking extra steps in protecting your loved ones, yourself, and the environment from heavy metals is essential.

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