Drinking water often has impurities in it that when critical levels are reached, can cause a variety of health problems. The United States Environmental Protection Agency, along with each state or tribe if the water source is on a reservation, is responsible for supervising the quality of the consumer drinking water is safe from source to tap. The EPA has developed a multifaceted protection strategy to continuously monitor and test drinking water to ensure safety for consumers.
Arsenic is a tasteless, odorless element that is produced through agricultural and industrial activities. Arsenic into the water supply through natural deposits in the earth or runoff from agricultural and industrial areas, according to the EPA. Drinking water that meets EPA standards can contain arsenic levels greater than 10 parts per billion. Health impacts of arsenic include skin discoloration, blindness, partial paralysis, limb numbness and increased susceptibility to certain cancers.
Lead are most commonly found in natural deposits, paint and water and sewage pipes, but it could also contaminate drinking water. Mostly, pollute the water as it travels from the source through corroded pipes, so it pollutes rarely large amounts of water. Houses built before 1986 are more likely to have lead pipes, although newer pipes may contain up to 8 percent lead, according to the EPA. Lead consumption can cause high blood pressure and kidney problems in adults and stunt mental and physical development in children.
Perchlorate, a synthetic chemical used in explosives and rocket fuel has been found in 4 percent of public water systems in the United States. As of September 2010, the EPA has not yet made a regulatory decision on the amount of perchlorate legally acceptable in public water systems. California and Massachusetts regulate perchlorate, with limits of 6 and 2 micrograms / L, respectively. Some home reverse osmosis remove perchlorate, ensure that reverse osmosis system you choose is equipped to remove perchlorate.