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Hormones in Our Drinking Water

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Different kinds of birth control pills.

Different kinds of birth control pills. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

As if it weren’t enough that drugs, both legal and otherwise, are finding their way into our drinking water in spite of water treatment processes, studies have now found that hormones, both synthetic and natural, are also present. These hormones come from a variety of sources. One of these is human use of contraceptives. An estimated 100 million women use hormone based contraceptives and what does not get absorbed by the body is eliminated as waste.

Another source of hormones in water supplies comes from agriculture. Beef and dairy cattle (and chickens and pigs, if we want to be thorough) are often given synthetic hormones to promote growth, and these along with antibiotics and other chemicals they are fed are eliminated through the animals’ waste. Often cattle manure is then used to fertilise crops. Both of these processes mean that these hormones and chemicals can leach into the soil and enter into ground and surface water sources. Of these, it’s the synthetic drugs and hormones that are causing the most trouble, as these do not break down, and can persist for years.

What are the Problems Related to Hormones in our Water Supplies?

Hormones can affect fish living in contaminated water, causing their reproduction to fall dramatically as outlined in this article. Basically what this means is that the hormones and other endocrine disrupting chemicals can cause these fish to either not develop properly, or to produce characteristics of the other gender; mostly the male fish producing eggs, while the female’s egg production declines. This could be a huge environmental problem: as these smaller fish populations decline; it will create a domino effect with other species which rely on them for food.

But excess hormones in water supplies aren’t just affecting fish. Studies have attempted to link this alarming surge in chemical content to the increase of prostate and breast cancer, though nothing conclusive is currently available as there are so many other contaminants that may contribute to these diseases in these study samples. Other side effects in humans are cited as learning disabilities, severe attention deficit disorder, cognitive and brain development problems and sexual development problems. Supporting this, other studies have marked that girls are experiencing early onset puberty more frequently than in previous decades and some claim that it is because of the spike of female hormones in the water specifically from birth control pills (by 1997, breast development occurring as young as 8 had risen as high as 15% in the US, Canada, UK and New Zealand). However, it is probably too soon to dismiss other sources of hormones and endocrine disruptors (chemicals that interfere with hormone processes – which is precisely where excess estrogen, progestin and testosterone fit in) entirely.

What Can We do to Limit Hormone Exposure?

Where waste water hormones may be a contributing factor; these studies are conveniently forgetting that these hormones are also fed to meat animals and dairy cattle to promote growth and milk production respectively. These hormones can also be ingested by eating the meat from these animals which has led to many people preferring to purchase hormone-free meats for their family. Should we be any less cautious with our drinking water? Since there is not currently a system in place in municipal water filtration plants to remove hormones and pharmaceuticals from our drinking water supplies, you don’t really know what’s coming out of your kitchen faucet. It is prudent to consider adding a reverse osmosis water filtration system to your home. This system can remove any harmful additives from your family’s drinking water by the use of multiple membranes designed to filter out the smallest contaminants including bacteria and trace elements. Don’t leave your family’s health to chance, visit our online store today.

If you’re at all concerned about the quality of your water, or you simply want to be certain, you should choose an Aquasafe Home Reverse Osmosis System. An Aquasafe Home Reverse Osmosis system will remove all contaminants from water, including hormones and pharmaceuticals, producing guaranteed safe water you can count on every time. And it’s only a few cents per liter! Shop online and save today.

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