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Drinking Water Quality During Pregnancy


Most people know that water is very important and essential to human life. Drinking water alone can improve or decrease your level of health. Drinking enough water is integral to good health, and if you want to see an immediate result, drink eight 8 ounce glasses of water today and you will see your energy level sky rocket. But what if the water is contaminated?

At first glance, contaminated water is better than no water- to a degree. I guess it all depends on what you mean by "contaminated." I'm not just talking about protozoa and poop that creeps into our water systems. Have you thought about the other stuff in your water- lead, mercury, nitrates, fluoride, chloroform, trihalomethanes, etc.? During pregnancy this information becomes very important, not only for your own health and your fetus's health, but also your future newborn and toddler's health. Drinking tap water from a water fountain occasionally is not going to "get" you, but for your continuous water needs, you should think about the best source and method of getting safe water. This is especially important when you are pregnant.

While all people should always drink pure and uncontaminated water, it is especially true for vulnerable people. Vulnerable people include

  • People undergoing chemotherapy or living with HIV/AIDS
  • Transplant patients
  • Children and infants
  • The frail elderly
  • Pregnant women and their fetuses

The Safe Drinking Water Act of 1974 initially regulated only 22 contaminants. Today there are 85,000 chemicals on the Federal Registry and about 1,000 new chemicals are added each year, though safe standards have been set for only 91 contaminants. The EPA is looking at 10,000 emerging pharmaceutical, industrial and agricultural contaminants already known to be in tap water though only 104 of these common contaminants are currently under consideration by the EPA for regulation.

Even though safety levels have been established for 91 contaminants, there is a fine line between safe and unsafe. If your tap water contains less than the maximum contaminant levels (MCL) of each of the regulated contaminants, your water is considered "legally safe." If those maximums are exceeded, the water is labeled "contaminated." Common sense tells us that what is considered "legally safe" could be dangerously close to exceeding the maximum standards. The MCLs also can be (and are) reduced over time because of continuing research. MCL for arsenic was lowered by 500 percent in January 2006 to 10 ppb. While concentration of such contaminants is not high enough to cause immediate discomfort or sickness, it is proven that even low-level exposure, over time, can cause severe illness including liver damage, cancer, cardiovascular disease, and other serious ailments. So, water we were told 20 or 30 years ago was "legally safe" to drink may not be considered safe by today's (or likely future) standards.

In 2008, we learned that the water supplies in 24 major U.S. cities, serving over 40 million people, are contaminated with trace amounts of pharmaceuticals like antibiotics, anti-inflammatories and psychotropics. The EPA has not set any safety limits for drugs in drinking water and does not, as yet, require any testing.

If you think you are getting safer water from your are wrong. Radon and arsenic are often found at unsafe levels, not to mention all the other contaminants you still need to be worried about due to run off.

Contaminants "Allowed" In Drinking Water






These are just a few that have regulations; remember, many contaminants are still not regulated. If you do more reading on what is probably in your water, your skin will crawl. Google for more information, or just take my word, and make your own pure water at home with a home water distiller. Home distilled water is perfect for pregnant women, babies, children, and you can even share some with your husband or other family members who might roll their eyes at you (or you can just smile while you serve theirs out of the tap! LOL)

With a home water distiller, you will get the purest water possible, at a price MUCH cheaper than bottled (which has its own issues regarding regulation). If you have any questions about home water distillers, please don't hesitate to ask! My email is at the bottom of every page!