Dangers of Microplastics, PFAS (Forever Chemicals), Lead & Fluoride In your tap water


Dangers of Microplastics, PFAS (Forever Chemicals), Lead & Fluoride In your tap water


Hello and welcome to this blog post. Today we will be looking at a few potential hazards that may be lurking in your water supply. I want to point out that all, some, or none of this may apply to you, and it all depends on your location, your water supplier, and your water supply. Much of the below article will apply to the average homeowner in the UK with a normal setup. The UK government has laid out many strict laws regarding processing and consumption in the UK and as a result, England has some of the best water quality in the world with adherence to those high standards. Something to note with this is that there are no current statutory standards for handling microplastics in the UK in regard to filtering and removal from water systems. In England and Wales, agencies are only required to assess two off contaminants (the restricted PFOS and PFOA), and in Scotland, only one (PFOA).  

Studies link exposure to a variety of health problems. These range from those affecting pregnancy, fertility, sexual development, and menopause to immune problems including ulcerative colitis and a reduced response to tetanus vaccination. Kidney, liver, and testicular cancers have also been linked to PFAS.

What is PFAS (Also known as Forever Chemicals)? 

Nicknamed forever chemicals, due to not naturally breaking down in the environment like many other types of chemicals. Poly- and perfluorinated alkyl substances (PFAS or PFASs) can accumulate in the water, soil, animals, and humans. People are exposed to these chemicals in a variety of ways from everyday products such as non-stick cookware, waterproof clothing, dental floss, carpets, and firefighting foams.

It is stated that our biggest exposure by far is known to be consumption through drinking water. [1]


What are “Microplastics”? 

These are known as extremely small pieces of plastic debris in the environment (less than five millimetres in length or about the size of a sesame seed) resulting from the disposal and breakdown of consumer plastics and industrial waste.

Microplastics are a concern because they can be ingested by animals and humans and can accumulate in the environment. There is evidence that microplastics can have negative impacts on the health of humans and animals alike, and it is possible that they could also have negative effects on human health.

Some research has suggested that microplastics may interfere with the endocrine system, which regulates the body’s hormones, and may also cause inflammation and oxidative stress. More research is needed to fully understand the potential health impacts of microplastics on humans. [2]


What Lead contaminated water? 

Drinking water that is contaminated with lead can be harmful to human health. Lead is a toxic metal that can cause a range of health problems, particularly in young children and pregnant women. Lead can be found in drinking water through the corrosion of lead pipes or from lead that leaches into the water supply from other sources such as lead-based paint or soil. When Lead enters the body, it can accumulate in the bloodstream and cause a range of health problems, including:

  • Damage to the brain and nervous system
  • Learning and behavioural problems
  • Slowed growth and development in young children
  • High blood pressure and kidney damage in adults

Pregnant women who are exposed to lead may be at increased risk of having a miscarriage or giving birth to a premature or low-birth-weight baby. Children who are exposed to lead may also be at increased risk of developing learning and behavioural problems. It is important to test your drinking water for lead and to take steps to reduce your exposure if high levels of lead are detected. You can also take steps to reduce your risk of exposure by using a water filter that is certified to remove lead and by replacing lead pipes or plumbing fixtures if they are present in your home. [3]


What is Fluoride? 

Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral that is added to some public water supplies to help prevent tooth decay. While fluoride has been shown to be effective at reducing tooth decay, some people are concerned about the potential health effects of consuming too much fluoride. High levels of fluoride can lead to a condition called fluorosis, which can cause discolouration of the teeth and, in severe cases, damage to the enamel.

Some studies have also suggested that long-term exposure to high levels of fluoride may increase the risk of bone fractures and may have other negative effects on human health, although more research is needed to confirm these findings. [4] 


Why would these things be in my drinking water? 

There are many potential sources of contaminants that could end up in your water supply. Some contaminants, such as bacteria, viruses, and parasites, can be introduced into the water supply through human or animal waste. Others, such as chemicals and metals can leach into the water supply from natural sources or from human activities such as industrial processes or the use of pesticides.

In some cases, contaminants can enter the water supply through ageing or damaged infrastructure, such as pipes that are corroded or have cracks or leaks. Contaminants can also enter the water supply if it is not properly treated to remove or inactivate harmful substances.

It is important to regularly test your water supply for contaminants and take steps to address any problems that are found. This can help protect your health and the health of your family. [5] 


Should I drink bottled water then?

The nature of water being bottled with plastic contaminates it with some microplastics. The amount varies by company, the country they operate in, and the laws and regulations around bottled water. [6]


What can a Reverse Osmosis System do for you?

– Removes nearly all contaminants from your tap water, unlike other forms of water filtration. 
– Such as [Lead, PFAS, Microplastics, Fluoride & much more!] 
– Significantly Better for the Environment and Safer than Bottled Water.
– Better-tasting water for drinking and food preparation. 
Simple to use, set up and install. 

What we recommend: 

Here at PumpExpress, we acknowledge that the UK’s water supply is very good. Far better than many countries across the world.

We believe, however, that drinking water should just be pure water and nothing else.

If you wanted to filter your water for peace of mind, taste, health reasons, or anything else, you could do so. We have a solution for you.

In conclusion, a reverse osmosis system will successfully remove or reject impurities down to 0.001 microns. The system isn’t perfect, but it will remove the vast majority of contaminants; resulting in cleaner and better quality water for all the family. 

Check out our range below or give us a call on 01633 244777 to have a chat about it. 

Reference List: 

[1] Poly- and perfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS): sources, pathways, and environmental data: summary (2021). Available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/poly-and-perfluoroalkyl-substances-pfas-sources-pathways-and-environmental-data/poly-and-perfluoroalkyl-substances-pfas-sources-pathways-and-environmental-data-summary.

[2] State of the environment: health, people, and the environment (2021). Available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/state-of-the-environment/state-of-the-environment-health-people-and-the-environment.

[3] Lead: Health Problems Caused by Lead | NIOSH | CDC (no date). Available at: https://www.cdc.gov/niosh/topics/lead/health.html.

[4] Drinking Water Inspectorate (2022) Fluoridation of Drinking Water. Available at: https://www.dwi.gov.uk/consumers/learn-more-about-your-water/fluoridation-of-drinking-water/.

[5] Drinking Water Inspectorate (2022b) Likely sources of contaminants. Available at: https://www.dwi.gov.uk/likely-sources-of-contaminants/.

[6] Water, Sanitation, Hygiene and Health (2019b) Microplastics in drinking water. Available at: https://www.who.int/publications/i/item/9789241516198.

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