When you ask someone what they think is in their water, the most common response is "Calcium, iron, chlorine." - They tend to miss between 10 and 10,000 things.
There are up to 50,000 drugs and man-made chemicals (some good, some bad) that can be present in tap water which aren't required to be tested for, and over a dozen heavy metals which are commonly found in nearly all Canadian tap water. Including cadmium, nickel, and uranium.
One of the most common heavy metals found in tap water is Aluminum, which is added by the government to clarify the water.
“This survey, conducted in eighty-eight districts within England and Wales, shows that rates of Alzheimer’s disease in people under the age of 70 years are related to the average aluminum concentrations present in drinking water supplies over the previous decade.”
While studies remain inclonclusive on the exact relation between aluminum levels in the brains of patients who suffer from Alzheimers, Parkinsons, ALS, and Dementia - the fact remains that the rate is going up, and this is in direct correlation to the rate of Aluminum Sulphate being liberally used in the use of water treatment as more of the world develops their tap water practices. Is correlation causation? Absolutely not. But the evidence has been shown for 30 years that the bioaccumulation of aluminum within the brain is demonstrated within these patients.
The Government of Canada has what's called the 'Aesthetic Objective' which is critical to meet their voluntary guidelines for water quality. Aesthetic meaning, 'visual appearance.' Yes, the government makes regulations solely on how the water looks. They know that if you can't see what's in your water, you're not going to complain.
The problem with this is the process involved to meet their Aesthetic Objective - one primary method being the liberal use of Aluminum Sulphate.
From Health Canada:
Most surface water treatment plants in Canada use aluminum in the form of alum (aluminum sulphate) to help remove harmful waterborne microorganisms and other particles by causing them to clump together (coagulate) into larger particles that are then easily removed by sedimentation and filtration.
Does it matter how I am exposed to aluminum?
Yes. While it is true that most of our daily intake of aluminum comes from food, only a very small percentage - usually less than 1% - is actually absorbed by the body. Absorption depends on a variety of factors, including the type of aluminum compound, the composition of the food eaten, and the age and the health of the person consuming the food.
Aluminum in drinking water is better absorbed by the body (i.e., is more "bioavailable") than aluminum in food, even though it is responsible for only a small fraction of the total daily intake.
This means that drinking water could be a more significant source of aluminum than food.
What are the health risks associated with aluminum?
...abundant evidence now shows that aluminum may adversely affect the nervous system in humans and animals.
Aluminum exposure was suggested as a possible cause of Alzheimer's disease because the brain cells of Alzheimer's pat ients can contain from 10 to 30 times the normal concentrations of aluminum. However, it is not clear whether the accumulation of aluminum is a cause or a result of the disease. Several studies on humans have shown a slightly increased risk of Alzheimer's disease or related dementia in communities where the drinking water contains high concentrations of aluminum. On the other hand, a number of other studies have shown no relationship between aluminum in drinking water and the onsetof dementia.
Aluminum has also been associated with other severe diseases of the nervous system, such as Lou Gehrig's and Parkinson's diseases. As with Alzheimer's disease, the significance, if any, of the association is unknown. An unusually high incidence of Lou Gehrig's and Parkinson's diseases in indigenous populations in Guam and New Guinea suggests a possible correlation between the diseases and local environmental conditions, includinghigh levels of aluminum and low levels of calcium and magnesium in soil and food.
Is there any way to remove Aluminum from my tap water?
There is no easy or inexpensive way to remove aluminum from tap water in the home. Steam distillation and a process called reverse osmosis are effective, but both processes require the purchase of expensive equipment and frequent maintenance.
What is Health Canada doing to ensure the safety of our drinking water?
At present, there is no health-based guideline recommending a safe level of aluminum in drinking water in Canada.
Bonus Fact: Treatment for Alzheimers and Dementia is a $818 Billion Industry. Conspiracy theorists would have a hayday linking pharmaceutical interests to government policies.
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