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LEUKEMIA AND DRINKING WATER: HOW STRONG IS THE CONNECTION?

Bottled Water Contaminants

In years past, many civil suits have been presented, and won, by victims of polluted drinking water. The result of chemical pollution of public drinking water has often been fatal diseases such as leukemia. So, can one assume a risk of developing cancer with every taste of drinking water? Maybe.

Cancers of all types afflict a significant number of people every year. Attempts have been made to locate environmental causes for these cases but findings are inconclusive. It's been discovered that contaminants in drinking water, cigarette smoke, exposure to radiation, exposure to certain pesticides, and many other causes can lead to lung cancer, leukemia, lymphoma, malignant brain tumors, and a host of other cancers. It has also been discovered, however, that not everyone exposed to such carcinogenic conditions develop cancer. Are some people just more cancer prone?

Heredity has a lot to do with the development of certain cancers but it cannot be used to explain every case. Every human is unique; some may have genetic resistance to particular diseases while others do not. This still does not answer the matter in question, though.

In the United States drinking water is normally treated with chemicals such as chlorine and chloramines to eliminate some of the danger of drinking contaminated water. These chemicals, as one would suspect, are not entirely safe themselves. It is suspected that for some people, continuous exposure to these chemicals and in drinking water could result in cancer. The well known cases, however, revolve around the contamination of potable water by chemical by-products of industrial activities. An example would be a company that secretly dumps highly dangerous chemicals such as alachlor, into or near public water supplies to avoid expensive proper disposal.

Barring contamination from industrial production plants, however, dangers still exist. It has been found that the compounds used to make joint connection in a home's water supply can emit volatile organic compounds which can lead to the development of leukemia, non-Hodgkin type lymphoma, and many other cancers. Even plastic and lead pipes can release compounds from the walls of the pipe which could cause serious illness.

Though the connection has not been clearly proven in every case of cancer, it would be fair to say that the chance is great that the very water that we count on to survive can also be the source of our demise. This doesn't mean that we should be afraid of our drinking water. Getting your water tested for volatile organic compounds can greatly alleviate the worry of dangerous contamination. However, water isn't the only thing you have to worry about.

Radon gas, too often found in basements, is very effective in causing cancer to millions of humans and their pets every year. If radon gas is suspected, professionals should be contacted immediately. This is often a matter of life and death.

For risk of being called a sensationalist, however, it must be noted that the incidence of cancer-causing contaminants in drinking water varies from one location to another and some cities may have good drinking water. However it would be wise to install a water purification system to protect your family just to be safe.