The various contaminants found in water sources are daunting, but this knowledge is vital in order to ensure that one can avoid them and all the problems and illnesses that they can cause.
Contaminants that can be found in water, including in lakes, rivers, drinking water and more, include:
Microbes such as Faecal Coliform and E coli, which are bacteria that can be found in lakes, rivers and dams and cause short-term effects such as headaches, diarrhoea, nausea, and cramps; Cryptosporidium, which is a parasite found in lakes and rivers – it is tolerant to many chlorine disinfectants and causes a mild gastrointestinal disease called cryptosporidiosis which, although mild, can be fatal to those with severely compromised immune systems; and Coliform bacteria which denote a problem with the treatment system or water distribution pipes.
Radionuclides such as Alpha emitters (radioactive minerals that emit a form of radiation known as alpha radiation) that can cause cancer; Beta/photon emitters (radioactive minerals that emit forms of radiation known as photons and beta radiation) which may increase the risk of getting cancer; Combined Radium 226/228, which may increase the risk of getting cancer; and Radon gas which can be found in underground water sources such as wells (it can also accumulate in the air in your home) and is carcinogenic.
Inorganic Contaminants that can be found in drinking water include Arsenic, a highly toxic heavy metal that can damage your lungs, bladder, kidneys, heart and liver as well as your circulatory system and the central & peripheral nervous systems; Fluoride which is often used in drinking water to promote dental health but is carcinogenic; and Lead which can leach into drinking water from old pipes and can cause delays in physical or mental development in children and high blood pressure and kidney problems in adults.
One way to ensure that you do not accidently drink any of these contaminants is to not drink water from rivers, dams or lakes and to buy a water cooler with a filter. Water coolers come in various styles and models to suit all budgets.
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