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WATER AND CANCER

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Water can prevent and alleviate many of our symptoms


WATER AND CANCER


More and more communities are becoming concerned about potential links between cancer and chemicals found in their drinking water. Whether you drink municipal water or drink from a well, additives and contaminates linked to cancer probably exist in your water.


Although water providers are required by federal law to follow guidelines that are designed to keep these cancer-causing chemicals at "safe" levels in the water, there is much debate at what actually is "safe." Because of these concerns, water providers are now required by law to publish the results of their water testing every year for public review.


Some of the chemicals added to water to keep us healthy could oddly enough actually be contributing to cancer rates. Studies concerning chlorine and fluoride have determined high levels of these chemicals could cause cancer.


Chlorine, used to disinfect most community water supplies, produce Trihalomethanes (THMs), chemicals formed when chlorine reacts with organic material, like bacteria, in water. The American Journal of Public Health published an article in regard to a 1992 study that linked trihalomethanes in water to incidences of rectal, bladder and pancreatic cancer.


Citizens groups frequently target fluoride, which is added to the water supply of most municipalities to help cut down on tooth decay in children, as a possible carcinogen. The Journal of Epidemiology, in 2001, linked fluoride as the genetic cause of cancer. A 1990 National Toxicology Program study determined fluoride could be the cause of cancers affecting the mouth, pharynx, colon and rectum. Another study, with results published in the Journal of Environmental Pathology, Toxicology and Oncology in 2001, linked osteosarcoma, a rare bone cancer, with fluoride.


Natural occurring radioactive agents like radium, uranium and radon, seep into the water supply. High levels of these elements can cause cancer of the brain and bone.


People living in rural areas with their own water wells are also at risk of drinking potentially cancer-causing chemicals. Fertilizer, insecticides and herbicides contain carcinogens that can filter down into the water supply. Nitrate, a by-product of fertilizer, also shows up in water supplies. In the human body, nitrate breaks down into nitrosamines, which are potentially cancer-causing agents.


Atrazine, an herbicide used on crops, is also found in drinking water. It is suspected of causing breast cancer. Another chemical, trichloroethylene, a solvent used in dry cleaning, is found sometimes in water supplies near facilities that do not dispose of their chemicals properly. It is considered a possible cancer-causing agent as well.


Most municipalities do not have the costly technology to filter these and other potentially harmful chemicals from the water. Neither do most bottled water companies, which frequently get the water they bottle from the same sources as municipalities. Filtering is one of the few effective ways to remove potential cancer-causing chemicals from your water.

Cancer is preventable