Toxins in drinking water
Several studies carried out show that drinking water in our homes can still contain various pollutants that were not removed by purification, or some that have been added from treating the water. Other times these pollutants come from substances in the water pipes, such as lead, which, although less common than before, can still happen.
Some of the chemicals which are most frequently found in household water are trihalomethanes and pesticide residues. These substances have been found in several Spanish sources in the investigation carried out by the Organisation for Consumers and Users. This study showed that the levels of trihalomethanes and pesticide residues regularly exceeded the recommended maximum limits.
Trihalomethanes in particular come about due to chemical reactions during the chlorination of water. To help combat this, however, some experts have proposed alternative methods of treating the water.
Numerous scientific studies have linked these by-products with health problems such as: an increased risk of contracting bladder cancer, foetotoxicity (miscarriage or pre-term death), premature births, low birthweights, birth defects, menstrual irregularities, stomach cancer and congenital cardiac anomalies.
Water pipes can add pollutants to the water in our homes, particularly in houses built a while ago that may have functioning lead pipes. There are, however, some researchers who advise against certain plastics (e.g. PVC) and other materials (e.g. epoxy resins) used to support the pipes which can emit dangerous chemicals. Copper can also cause problems in some cases.
According to the results of some scientific studies, bottled water may contain traces of hormonal pollutants such as phthalates or antimony because of some of the plastic materials used in the bottles.