Is this killer chemical coming out of your tap?
Next to juice, wine, and anything fizzy in a can, plain old "H20" can seem pretty boring and tasteless.
That's the very reason why most of us don't drink enough of it.
But the fact is that water is the healthiest beverage on the planet -- MOST of the time.
Unfortunately, factories and even farms have been filling our lakes, rivers, and reservoirs with industrial chemicals and heavy metals for decades -- and that means toxic gunk has been running through the pipes everywhere from Michigan to Mississippi.
You can even find dirty water right in our nation's capital!
Now, if you get your water from a private well and don't tap into the public system, you might think your water is as pure as can be. There can be something very appealing about living "off the grid," so to speak.
But according to a new study, it isn't just "public" water that's at risk -- because private wells all over the U.S. contain toxic levels of the heavy metal arsenic.
The study conducted by the U.S. Geological Survey and the Centers for Disease Control collected data on nearly 40,000 private wells across the country.
It turned out that wells serving more than TWO MILLION people contain dangerous levels of arsenic.
That's no drop in the bucket!
And if you're exposed to high levels of arsenic, especially for a long period of time, it can threaten your nervous system... respiratory function... heart health... and immunity. It's been linked to diabetes and dementia. And it's known to raise your risk for multiple kinds of cancer, including skin, lung, bladder, and kidney.
The majority of these arsenic "hotspots" were located in the upper Midwest, the Southwest, southern Texas, and even right here in New England, but you don't have to have a well to worry about what's in your water.
After all, the feds at the EPA allow a certain amount of arsenic even in "clean" tap water. They say that it's perfectly safe... but at the same time, they also say that when they lowered that limit a few years ago, they saved lives.
That's not exactly a reason to pat themselves on the back. How many lives are we risking by drinking any arsenic at all?!
Now, because arsenic is odorless, colorless, and tasteless, you won't know it's in your water... unless you get it tested.
And if testing reveals that your water isn't safe, boiling it won't remove the arsenic -- you've got to filter it out with a reverse osmosis system.
Your local health department can help you determine the best procedures for your well.
I'd recommend temporarily switching to bottled water for drinking and cooking until you're confident that what's coming out of your tap is safe.
Of course, water isn't the only source of arsenic you have to be concerned about -- it's also shown up in rice and in chickens who've been medicated with it to kill parasites.