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Heavy metals in water and risk of bioaccumulation

Dec 16 2022
How heavy metals get into drinking water
Millions of Americans are exposed to heavy metals through drinking water every day. The numbers: Arsenic detected in water utilities serving 108 million Americans. During the same period, cadmium and inorganic mercury were found in water utilities serving 7 million and 6.3 million people, respectively. There have been many other discoveries (too many to list here), but this leaves us with a key question: How did these elements get into drinking water in the first place?


Even if water is free of heavy metals from the source, it can become contaminated on its way to the tap. Household plumbing and service lines, mining operations, oil refineries, electronics manufacturers, municipal waste disposals, cement plants, and natural mineral deposits can leach heavy metals into the water as they transport them to your home. Heavy metals can contaminate private wells through groundwater movement and surface water seepage and runoff.


Heavy metals pose a major health hazard due to their property of bioaccumulating in our bodies. Bioaccumulation is the gradual accumulation of chemicals (in this case metals) in living organisms over time. Essentially, the organism absorbs the chemical faster than the organism can excrete it, or the organism cannot fully metabolize (break down) the substance it ingests.


We are all susceptible to bioaccumulation through consumption of contaminated aquatic organisms or exposure to heavy metals in food, air or water. In addition to being bioaccumulative, heavy metals do not biodegrade, meaning they can persist in our bodies for a long time without breaking down.


Metal is all around us. They are found in the air, soil, food, water, and even our bodies. While many of these metals are essential to our health in small doses, repeated exposure can cause them to build up in our bodies through bioaccumulation.


As dire as these health effects may seem, there are some easy ways to determine if any heavy metals or other contaminants are lurking in your drinking water.


As we mentioned earlier, lead isn't the only heavy metal that tap water can contain. It may also contain other heavy metals such as mercury, arsenic and copper, as well as environmental pollutants such as drugs, herbicides and pesticides. It can also be contaminated with toxic chemicals such as PFAS, chlorine and chloramines.



You can find out what specific pollutants are in your water by searching online for water quality reports in your area or by contacting your local government. You can also purchase a water quality testing kit and have your water assessed for contamination by a certified laboratory. Then, you'll need to find a whirlpool w10295370a filter that removes heavy metals and other contaminants that could negatively affect your health or the taste of your water.


Bioaccumulation of heavy metals in the human body can lead to a variety of adverse health problems, including cancer, diabetes, neurological problems, and neurological damage. Fortunately, it's easy to determine if your tap water contains these contaminants. You can check your water quality report for recent contamination, or send a sample of your tap water to a certified laboratory for testing.


If your water contains heavy metals, we recommend installing a filter 2 w10413645a to remove them and thus protect you and your family from any danger they may pose.


To learn more about how filters can remove heavy metals and other contaminants from water and reduce the risk of bioaccumulation, Purerdrop's team of water experts are here to help.
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