Water leaks can be more than just a nuisance - they can also be a health hazard. Even the smallest leak in the wall can cause mold and, at the same time, compromise the structural integrity of your home and put your entire family at risk of respiratory diseases. There is always a certain amount of bacteria in your home's drains, and an overgrowth of bacteria can occur in pipes, which can cause odors and, in rare cases, health problems. Drinking water contaminated with metals, asbestos, Legionella pneumophila, chemicals, nitrates, fluoride, and lead can all have serious health consequences.
In such cases, it is important to contact a professional water and fire restoration company to ensure that your home is safe and free from any potential health risks. Symptoms of water contamination can range from throat and skin irritation to memory loss and even death. It is important to be aware of the potential risks associated with hidden water in your home and take steps to protect yourself and your family. Throat, nose and skin irritation are common symptoms of water contamination. Frequent coughing or sneezing, as if you were affected by a severe allergy, may also be present.
You may be getting sick or you may already be experiencing the harmful health effects caused by hidden water in your home. When your water heater becomes infected with bacteria, perhaps because the temperature is too low, Legionella pneumophila can grow in water heaters that are too cold and being infected with it can be fatal. According to Dr. Scott Michael Schreiber, DC, DACRB, DCBCN, MS, LN, certified MDT, CKTP, CNS from Maine, many chemicals go unnoticed and end up in drinking water.
Your pipes, faucets or other equipment can also expose you to some harmful chemicals that can adversely affect your health. Hard water with traces of metals is normal but in large quantities tap water contaminated with these substances could cause metal poisoning. The symptoms of poisoning can vary depending on the type of metal you've been exposed to but may include nerve damage, diarrhea, memory loss or muscle cramps. Asbestos is the only known cause of mesothelioma cancer - a very aggressive disease with no cure that is often fatal. Legionnaires' disease is a severe form of pneumonia caused by exposure to bacteria called Legionella. An infection causes lung inflammation which is often accompanied by fever, muscle pain, headache and chills.
In addition coughing, shortness of breath, chest pain and other symptoms may occur after the first day of infection. Elderly residents, smokers and people with weakened immune systems are more susceptible to Legionnaires' disease. Fluoride has been added to public water supplies to prevent tooth decay but recent research strongly suggests that fluoride-contaminated water is linked to neurological, immunological and gastrointestinal damage. A study conducted by Harvard Public Health concluded that countries that do not use fluoride in their water have experienced large drops in the number of cavities that residents have. Methemoglobinemia or blue baby syndrome occurs in babies when they simply don't get enough oxygen in their blood due to excessive exposure to nitrates. Babies don't have mature enzymes that can convert methemoglobin back into hemoglobin so methemoglobin can be dangerous if left untreated.
Symptoms include cyanosis - a bluish tint to the skin - brain damage or death. Nitrates originate mainly from fertilizers and can reach drinking water. Babies drink a lot of water relative to their size so even short-term exposure to nitrates at or just above the acceptable level can pose a threat to infants. Giardia is a parasitic intestinal disease that affects nearly 2% of adults and 6-8% of children in developed countries around the world. An infected person has the Giardia parasite in their stool which can spread easily through sewage overflows, agricultural runoff or stormwater runoff. Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are present in dry-cleaning chemicals and contain carbon which vaporizes in air at normal temperatures. VOCs are filtered into groundwater where they can be easily present in the water supply.
The group of volatile organic compounds found most frequently in groundwater was trihalomethanes (THMs), which includes chloroform. Exposure to VOCs can cause several symptoms such as nausea, headaches fatigue dizziness sore throat or other irritations. Older water systems can be built with lead pipes which age and small particles of lead can enter the water causing decreased kidney function cardiovascular effects such as high blood pressure or reproductive problems. It is important to be aware of the potential risks associated with hidden water in your home and take steps to protect yourself and your family from these health hazards. We've consulted our team of licensed nutritionists and dieticians to provide you with informed recommendations on food products health products and nutritional products that will guide you safely and successfully to make better diet and nutrition decisions.