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Is Tap Water in California Safe to Drink?

According to a study done by Harvard University, the answer is No. If you live in any of California’s cities, chances are good


Tap water in California suffers from serious water quality problems

that your water is contaminated with unsafe levels of polyfluoroalkyl and perfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). The Harvard study revealed that PFAS contamination is at unacceptable levels in 33 states, not just California. However,  PFAS contamination is the worst in California.  PFAS chemicals are potent immunotoxins, so if you’re struggling with immune system disorders, and you live in California, your tap water may slowly be killing you. PFAS isn’t the only serious concern in California, unsafe levels of hexavalent chromium six, disinfection byproducts, radioactive particles, and by far worst of all, perchlorate (rocket fuel) are present in California tap water.

Am I safe from PFAS and other chemicals if I drink bottled water?

No. PFAS and many other chemicals are readily absorbed through the skin. This means that when you bathe, do dishes, or engage in other activities where you come in contact with water, you may be getting exposed to toxic chemicals. According to the Harvard study, contact with drinking water is the main source of human exposure to PFAS.

In recent years, regulations requiring the reduction or substitution of PFAS in manufacturing have led to reduced levels of PFAS being detected in people’s blood, but that is likely going to change. Deregulation efforts in Washington appear set to remove limits on companies ability to dump these chemicals into the environment. That would definitely result in greater concentrations of PFAS in our drinking water, and in our bodies.

Children are especially at risk for PFAS poisoning

EPA provisional safety levels for PFAS should be much lower for children, according to the senior researcher of the Harvard study, Elsie Sunderland: “These compounds are potent immunotoxicants in children and recent work suggests drinking-water safety levels should be much lower than the provisional guidelines established by EPA,”

Immunotoxicants causes damage to part or all of the immune system. Some of the most common problems caused by immunotoxicity are:

  • Allergic contact dermatitis (e.g. Rosacea and other rashes)
  • Allergic sensitization of the respiratory tract (e.g: Asthma, Rhinitis)
  • Gastrointestinal diseases (e.g Celiac disease, Allergy to peanuts)

Children also experience immunosuppression, which leaves them more vulnerable to catching infectious diseases. It should be noted that some of the immune system problems listed above are found at epidemic levels in children. Something is making children suffer immune problems at levels never seen before, PFAS poisoning could be a factor.

What can be done in California and other states about tap water contamination?

You’re on your own. Funding for the infrastructure projects and hazardous waste cleanups needed is being cut. Enforcement by the EPA is practically nonexistent now and expected to get worse. Keep in mind that PFAS isn’t your only problem. Here are other incredibly harmful chemicals found widely in California water supplies and elsewhere:

  • Disinfection byproducts
  • Radioactive Particles
  • Perchlorate (Rocket fuel) – The most severe and widespread threat

Hexavalent chromium 6 is found in drinking water at levels above the state legal limit in all of California’s major cities except San Diego. Additionally, it’s found in nearly all California drinking water at levels below the state legal limit. There is no Federal limit. The state limit is 10 parts per billion. Keep in mind that even levels of hexavalent chromium 6 that are below the state limit may still be harmful. Scientists in California have set a much lower limit as a public health goal of 0.02 parts per billion. That means that scientists consider the safe level of hexavalent chromium 6 in water to be 500 times lower than the legal state limit!

Hexavalent Chromium 6 contamination is worst in:

  • Los Angeles county
  • The Central Valley
  • San Francisco county
  • Riverside county
  • Yolo county

Disinfection byproducts are found in all drinking water supplies. These chemicals can be absorbed through your skin, consumed in drinking water, or inhaled as gases. Disinfection byproducts such as trihalomethanes are potent carcinogens. They are considered a dire threat to your health. So how much of these chemicals are in your water? Nobody knows. Test results for disinfection byproducts in California drinking water are missing, because regional drinking water districts aren’t required to report them. Thus the levels of these dangerous chemicals which are in your water are unknown.

Disinfection byproducts are found in:

  • All drinking water supplies (further info unavailable)

Radioactive particles are found in all California tap water supplies, but some places are much worse than others. The most common radioactive particles found in California drinking water are uranium particles and gross alpha particles. Gross alpha measures how much alpha particle activity is found in water. Uranium particles have been detected at above maximum legal levels in:

  • San Bernardino counties
  • Madera county
  • Kern county
  • Fresno county

Gross alpha particles have been found ina concentration above legal limits in:

  • San Bernardino county
  • Kern county
  • Fresno county

Perchlorate (Rocket Fuel) is an especially toxic chemical. The maximum allowable level of perchlorate in water is 6 parts per trillion. Which would be about one drop per 6,000 Olympic sized swimming pools of water. Perchlorate attacks the thyroid. It causes severe birth defects and low birth weight. In adults, it causes metabolic problems that result in loss of energy and morbid obesity, and brain damage. It is the most toxic chemical that poses the greatest threat to health found in California drinking water.

Perchlorate is found in:

  • Fresno county
  • Kern county
  • Los Angeles county
  • Monterey county
  • Orange county
  • Riverside county
  • San Benito county
  • San Bernardino county
  • San Diego county
  • Santa Barbara county
  • Stanislaus county
  • Sutter county
  • Tulare county

Substantial amounts of perchlorate are found in the Colorado river, which supplies much of California’s tap water. It is absorbed by drinking, through the skin, and in the lungs. Perchlorate has even been found in infant formula in California. If there is any one chemical you should be most concerned about, it’s perchlorate.

What kind of filtration could protect me from all these chemicals?

Wide spectrum whole home filtration combined with a water ionizer is the best possible protection. Here’s why: Wide spectrum whole home filtration stops toxic chemicals before they enter your home. But you are exposed to many toxic chemicals when you are outside of your home. Your thyroid needs special attention, since it is attacked by perchlorate. A water ionizer provides an additional barrier to harmful chemicals. The ionized alkaline water made by a water ionizer helps the body detoxify. Thus a water ionizer will help protect you and detoxify at the same time.

Want to know what toxins are in your water? Call us for a free no obligation water quality report at 877-959-7977. We’ll send you a free copy of the report, and explain your options, right over the phone

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