Where Pesticides Come From and will a water filter remove them?
Agribusiness has become the greatest producer of fruits and vegetables in the country, with huge tracts of land being planted with only one type of crop, which is called monoculture. While this may be economically sound from a business point of view, it can often be disastrous as regards contamination of the water supply. Pesticides include not only the chemicals sprayed on plants to kill insect pests, but also herbicides that have widespread use in agribusiness.
Many of the pesticides used on these mega-farms are neurotoxins, and this means that they affect the nervous system and brain. Among the most dangerous of the pesticides that is currently attracting notice because of the harm it does to bees are neonicotinoid pesticides. These toxins have not been adequately studied, but are now known to enter ground water to contaminate wells, streams, and reservoirs.
Neonicotinoids are not the only pesticides that can cause health problems and both Malathion and aldicarb has been linked to serious health problems such as cardiovascular problems, nausea, and difficulties with the central nervous system. One of the biggest problems with pesticide contamination is that the pesticides can persist in the water system for decades – traces of DDT are still detectable 40 years after it was banned.
Are Allergies Linked to Pesticide Contamination?
The number of children who have food allergies (some of which can be life threatening) has gone up by over 18% in the last decade and a half, and environmental allergies are also on the rise. In seeking an explanation for this, it has been determined that pesticide contamination of the water supply may be a deciding factor.
Allergies were linked to people who had elevated amounts of dichlorophenols in their urine, and the higher the concentration of the pesticide, the more likely was the person to have allergies, especially as regards children. Dichlorophenols are not only found in ground water from watershed runoff, but are also the result of chlorinating water.
Keeping Your Drinking Water Safe
If you have concerns over the health of your family, and want to be able to provide the safest possible drinking water, consider using a water filter. You cannot rely upon bottled water to provide pure water, either, much of this water is exposed to the same chemicals as your water may be. Additionally, bottled drinking water is not tested by the government to assure purity.
Excellent water filtration can be provided by countertop water filters, under the sink filters, or whole house filters. However, you will have to pay attention to the specifications that accompany the filter – some filters are excellent at removing bacterial contamination, but will do little to keep VOCs out of your water supply. Quality water filters do represent a significant investment, but the returns they give – safe, pure water to drink – surely outweigh the cost.