Knowing that when we pass on, our bodies go back to the EARTH, as it should, I know that recently reported in National Geographic, our bodies hold hundreds of toxins collected in our everyday lives. From the dozens of chemicals in body soap, the chemicals in our clothing, the cooking pans that we use, the plastics and coloring holding our food fresh, the artificial and bio-generated ingredients within our food, the exhausts from cars, buses, planes, and the list can go on. With the announcement of pharmaceuticals in our drinking water; tap and bottled, the theme, “THE POISONING AMERICA” even more real.
Just in April of 2006 we had a public report of Benzene in Soft Drinks and how the EPA’s response was simply that the amounts within were acceptable. According to the properties of Benzene and its long-term affects, we find that this chemical in soft drinks is “an organic chemical compound that is a colorless and flammable liquid. The US Department of Health and Human Services classifies benzene as a human carcinogen. Long-term exposure to high levels of benzene in the air can cause leukemia. It can also damage the bone marrow and can cause a decrease in red blood cells, leading to anemia. It can also cause excessive bleeding and depress the immune system.”
Also, the EPA’s public response was the following:
Benzene in our drinking water should not exceed 5 parts per billion.
If the levels of benzene exceed 5 ppb, the applicable water company has to notify the public via newspapers, radio, TV and other means. Additional actions, such as providing alternative drinking water supplies, may be required to prevent serious risks to public health.
In 1990, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) learned that certain soft drinks marketed to children contain two ingredients that can mix in the soda to form the toxic carcinogen benzene. The Agency didn't tell the public, but instead merely asked companies to voluntarily change their formulas to eliminate the problem.
So this much we know so far. Fast-forward to today and the Breaking News, more chemicals in the water system to add with the Benzene we just got kicked in the head with. These new additives in our tap water are pharmaceutical residue from medicines and medicine cabinets with body aches, infections, anti-biotics, mood stabilizers, seizures, high blood pressure; hormones for menopause; the active ingredient in a popular sedative, depression and caffeine flowing freely. The problem is, it isn’t medical facilities and chemical processing plants doing the dumping, it would seem we are dropping the muck into the sewage systems that we purge from our systems. The most common drugs we are excreting are:
- Caffeine - considered the most commonly used psychoactive drug in the world
- Carbamazepine - used to treat seizures and nerve pain such as trigeminal neuralgia
- Codeine - relief of moderate pain, cough suppression, sedation, respiratory depression
- Cotinine - metabolite (byproduct) of nicotine
- Dehydronifedipine – residual byproducts and their metabolites in the body found in (such as plasma, serum or urine)
- Diphenhydramine - an antihistamine, relieves red, irritated, itchy, watery eyes; sneezing; and runny nose caused by hay fever, allergies, and the common cold
- Sulfathiazole - used to be a common oral and topical antimicrobial also as an effective and safe treatment for many bacterial, fungal and protozoan infestations in the aquarium
- Amoxicilin - used to treat infections caused by bacteria, ear infections, bladder infections
- Azithromycin - used to treat certain infections caused by bacteria, such as bronchitis; pneumonia; sexually transmitted diseases (STD)
- Diclofenac - used for the treatment of inflammation and pain caused by arthritis
- Prednisone - used to treat allergic disorders, ulcerative colitis, psoriasis and arthritis
- Tetracycline - used for infections including respiratory tract infections due to Hemophilus influenzae, Streptococcus pneumoniae, or Mycoplasma pneumoniae.
- Acetaminophen – Tylenol; a drug used to relieve pain and reduce fever.
- Meprobamate - used in the treatment of anxiety
- Sulfamethoxazole - used for the treatment of malaria, conjunctivitis, toxoplasmosis and urinary tract infections
- Phenytoin - an anticonvulsant drug which can be useful in the treatment of epilepsy
- Ibuprofen - (Advil, Motrin, Nuprin, Medipren) a drug used for the management of mild to moderate pain, fever, and inflammation
- Estradiol - a drug prescribed for the treatment of symptoms associated with menopause
- Monensin - The Food and Drug Administration approved drug for increased milk production in dairy cows
- Naproxen - (Aleve, Naprosyn, Anaprox, Naprelan) a drug used for the management of mild to moderate pain, fever, and inflammation
People, these are the most common of the drugs found across America. In the State of Pennsylvania, the total count, SO FAR, is 56 different drugs within drinking water and household taps. To build upon this reality, the same water that we think we avoid because of this, is found in our store bought BOTTLED WATER. Yes Ladies and Gentlemen, you can’t avoid drinking SECOND HAND DRUGS even if you purchase it at the local supermarket. So what do you do?
This is the SPIN:
“As in other cities, human health risks from trace pharmaceuticals are uncertain, since concentrations in New York source waters are way below medical doses and undergo dilution as they mix with fresh water en route to the city”
Now that might sound like the politically correct thing to say BUT didn’t Heath Ledger just die from a combination of drug? I mean the interaction of drugs in his system did contribute to his Overdose/Death. So what would a long drown out, low-level build of these drugs do to our body functions in combination? Low levels of cyanide or lead will still kill just as a full does would; its all a principle of time.
There are too many questions to ask and far too many people to point to for answers and blame. This goes far beyond the actions of demanding CLEANER WATER STANDARD. It goes beyond politics and accountability. This goes beyond becoming more knowledgeable and conscious of what we put in out bodies. Although you can put a spiritual SPIN on this by infusing it into a Newer, more modern 10 Commandments for a People, the truth and causality still isn't clear as to where the problem of over-abundance of medical toxins lies. The truth is, these contaminates are the residuals of a Drug Addicted Nation, a sickly nation tied to those medicines manufactured in labs, the FDA and the lack of SERIOUS oversight from the EPA. We can also blame out perpetual ignorance to exercise our Common Sense on things that matter about our health and environment.
Our dependency on the Government (ERA and FDA) dictating to a sleeping country what is the “required minimum” of requirements and what is safe thus quelling our nervousness about that we put into our bodies or should know. How can people who work out, eat right, get plenty of sleep and declare they are healthy when daily he or she is consuming 56 or more residual drugs over the years? Add that to whatever toxins already within the air and the skin’s contact with the physical world and you still wonder why or how a person can get cancers or unique ailments that would normally be reserved for an elderly person or someone living in a Third World Country?
So let me leave you with this bit of information, since we know that America’s Tap Water is tainted as much as our Bottled Water that comes from many of our Tap Water Sources, there are other water sources that can be looked upon as alternatives. Just to also drop KNOWLEDGE, some of these sources can be just as tainted, if they are close areas near civilization, dumping, high altitude pollutions, and under group seepage. So before you decide to jump ship and swear off water for LIFE, you need to know what other water sources are out there for an informed decision and better health.
Types of waters
Bottled water is regulated as a food product by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Bottled water companies must adhere to the FDA's Quality Standards, Standards of Identity (Labeling Regulations) and Good Manufacturing Practices and requires beverage companies to label their waters to define where the water came from and if it's been purified or carbonated. Bottled water can be classified with terms such as “purified,” “spring,” “sterile” and “artesian” (or “artesian well” water). All bottled water sold in the United States (whether imported or domestic) must meet all of the same regulations. Here are the classifications:
Artesian well, Bottled water from a well that taps a confined aquifer (a water-bearing underground layer of rock or sand) in which the water level stands at some height above the top of the aquifer.
Drinking water is another name for bottled water. Accordingly, drinking water is water that is sold for human consumption in sanitary containers and contains no added sweeteners or chemical additives (other than flavors, extracts or essences). It must be calorie-free and sugar-free. Flavors, extracts or essences (such as lemon-lime) may be added to drinking water, but they must comprise less than one-percent-by-weight of the final product or the product will be considered a soft drink. Drinking water may be sodium-free or contain very low amounts of sodium.
Water that has been produced by distillation, de-ionization, reverse osmosis or other suitable processes and that meets the definition of purified water in the United States Pharmacopoeia (pharmacological code) may be labeled as purified bottled water. Other suitable product names for bottled water treated by one of the above processes may include "distilled water" if it is produced by distillation, "de-ionized water" if the water is produced by de-ionization, or "reverse osmosis water" if the process used is reverse osmosis. Alternatively "_____________ drinking water" can be used with the blank being filled in with one of the terms defined in this paragraph (e.g. "purified drinking water" or "distilled drinking water"). These waters are taken primarily from metropolitan water sources, run through mammoth commercial filters, and purified with chlorine, detritus, and other items inappropriate for drinking water. You may have seen vending machines outside of your supermarket that allows you to fill your own bottle for 25 or 50 cents; this is the water and process that is used and is from metropolitan sources or even the tap adjacent to the machine’s location. They are excellent to cook with when tap water quality is an issue.
Waters containing not less than 250 parts per million total dissolved solids may be labeled as mineral water. Mineral water is distinguished from other types of bottled water by its constant level and relative proportions of mineral and trace elements at the point of emergence from the source. No minerals can be added.
The naturally occurring minerals and trace elements in mineral waters are considered by many to be excellent for health and digestion. Typically, these include iron, potassium, magnesium, manganese, silica, chromium, lithium, and copper. While these are healthful, the value of mineral waters versus spring waters is still debated. Available from both domestic and international sources, the prices vary tremendously based on packaging and location.
These are waters derived from an underground formation from which water flows naturally to the surface of the earth. Spring water must be collected only at the spring or through a borehole tapping the underground formation finding the spring. Spring water collected with the use of an external force (in other words, a pump) must be from the same underground stratum as the spring and must have all the physical properties, before treatment, and be of the same composition and quality as the water that flows naturally to the surface of the earth. Available from both domestic and international sources, spring waters are ideal for everyday drinking as well as to make coffee, tea, or foods in which the quality of the water is a critical ingredient. Prices vary considerably based both on geographic location and packaging.
Water, which after treatment and possible replacement with carbon dioxide, contains the same amount of carbon dioxide that it had at emergence from the source. (An important note: soda water, seltzer water and tonic water are not considered bottled waters. They are regulated separately, may contain sugar and calories, and by law, are considered soft drinks.)
The bubbles in these waters can help ease digestion, and are available from both domestic and international sources. Some have slight flavorings added such as citrus, but taste even better plain or with a slice of fresh lime or lemon. If burping is an issue, avoid them, but otherwise, they are excellent to drink after meals as a digestive. Some are heavy in sodium, so those with hypertension or sodium restrictions should drink them only occasionally.
These may be compared to soda pop, but infinitely lighter in flavor and absolutely lighter in sugars and sweeteners. They give just a hint of flavors like citrus or berries, have either no or modest amounts of sweeteners from high fructose corn syrup to sugars or honey. They are likely not to be completely calorie-free, but are modest in carbohydrates and calories when consumed sparingly.
Waters with healthful additives These waters contain everything from additional minerals, vitamins, and other ingredients that make these more a health drink than “just water.” If this is the only way to get your spouse to drink water, great; otherwise, it’s a very expensive way to get your H2O; and in some cases the packaging and the labeling can be misleading. Remember that most Americans do not have vitamin deficiencies and buying waters to add vitamins to your diet might be little more than a waste of money.
These waters are mineral-free, so they’ re perfect for curling irons, clothes irons and steamers, humidifiers, and any appliance that requires water. By using distilled waters, you can avoid the mineral muck that often clogs up appliances. Some people view distilled waters as good to drink because it is so pure, but naturally occurring minerals in waters are actually good for you.
Many municipal water supplies, such as New York City, boast water that is as tasty and pure as the most expensive bottled varieties. By law, municipal water supplies must supply its customers a chemical analysis of their water composition. If you haven’t received yours, contact your local water supply. (Many now post their analysis on their Web sites.)
Consumers can filter their municipal water by attaching a commercial filter to the tap, using a pitcher with a carbon filter in it, or buying refrigerators with built-in filters that make both filtered ice and filtered water. These are very good, but be sure to change the filters as recommended.