Hidden Hazards in Water that Affect Your Home and Health

drinking waterPhoto by Andres Siimon on Unsplash

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Your home is meant to be a safe haven, and it’s only fitting that the air you breathe and the water you drink follow suit.

However, depending on your lifestyle and how old your home may be, these factors may have hidden health hazards that are invisible to the naked eye.

There are a few significant hazards you may think of that can affect your air quality, and more specifically your water quality in the home:

  • Lead
  • Asbestos
  • Black Mold and other Molds
  • Volatile Organic Compounds, or VOCs
  • Carbon Monoxide
  • Forever Chemicals, or PFAs

These examples can cause life-long health issues, ranging from increased allergies to chronic illness, and rare cancers. It’s no surprise that many home inspections require testing in these areas for renovations, but they are important to think about when it comes to your day-to-day routine as well.

If you are a private well-owner, it’s important to make sure you’re testing for these hazards, as well as cleanliness, even if it’s just once a year. If not, here are some things to note in order to focus on health and safety in your home.


Hidden Chemicals in the Home

PFAS and PFOS, better known as forever chemicals, are found often in the water we drink. They’re used to create certain products, a great example being Teflon non-stick pans.

The production runoff and disposal of waste during manufacturing can lead to contamination in the water systems in homes, including the drinking water.

In fact, forever chemicals have been around for what seems like just that: forever. Made to last, these chemicals take forever to break down; which means they stay in the body for a long time after consumption, even if you don’t realize it.

Similarly, chemicals like lead and asbestos lead to similar results, with health issues to follow.

VOCs are another example of a chemical that can be hiding in and outside of your home that can affect your health. These chemicals are often found near industrial buildings, and like forever chemicals, are a result of production.

VOCs can be found in dry cleaning agents, paint thinners, and can be a by-product of water treatment (chlorine). Because of this, it’s often found in groundwater as a contaminant and can become extremely hard to remove.


Your Health and Safety

While there are plenty of common water contaminants that may be in your home, the hidden ones can be the most dangerous. Based on where you live, the hazards could even be coming from unknown sources.

More often than not, your water quality isn’t directly affected by your home and what you do in your home. It’s usually a direct effect of outside factors, such as living near contaminated military bases or industrial areas, rainfall or natural disasters, along with production facilities.

If you own a well, well contamination can be high, and it’s important to test for these unknown chemicals after a heavy storm or news of potential contamination.

These contaminations can lead to a series of health issues based on the chemicals you may be exposed to. This includes, but is not limited to:

  • Anemia and potential brain damage from lead
  • Mesothelioma from asbestos exposure
  • Nausea and damage to the nervous system from VOCs
  • Liver and Pancreatic Cancer from forever chemicals

By paying attention to natural disasters, storms, or the news around your area, you may be able to better prepare for contaminants that show up unexpectedly. Even past water contamination from years ago can end up in what you use today, so it’s vital to stay aware to keep your home, and your family, safe.


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