No one would argue that clean, healthy water is essential for the health of children. It is important to understand, however, that contaminants in drinking water have a far greater impact on the health of children than they do on adults. And it is even more important to understand that most tap water in the US does contain contaminants, including lead, which pose a serious health threat to children.

The defense systems which protect us from disease and toxins develop over the course of childhood and adolescence. Children’s bodies are therefore more sensitive and vulnerable to carcinogens, lead, bacteria and water-borne parasites than are healthy adults. Our children are exposed, through air and water pollution and our mass produced and treated foods, to far more toxins than our parents or even our own generation was during our childhood. While we are limited in our ability to affect the quality of our air and food, it is possible to remove virtually all toxins from our drinking and showering water. And that is good news, since an abundant daily intake is essential not only for overall health, but for our bodies to effectively be able to remove all the other toxins to which we and our children are exposed.

The list of chemicals commonly found in tap water and even in many bottled waters is quite sobering. Lead is found in virtually all house tap water, due to the fact that the source of lead is the household pipes themselves, making it impossible for lead to be removed from water at any centralized facility. Lead itself is the greatest health threat to children in the US, according to the EPA, however it is hardly the only hazard. Chlorine, herbicides, pesticides and other contaminants are commonly found in tap water, and in some areas water borne parasites and bacteria are also found. Even trace levels of these contaminants have been shown to have detrimental health effects. Children are at the greatest risk, not only because of their still developing immune systems, but also because of the way that water quality is both studied and regulated.

Water quality research has been conducted to determine the effects of all of these contaminants on human health. However, the way such research is generally conducted is to study each toxin individually to determine the Maximum Contaminant Level (MCL) for each one. Such research has little value in the real world, where many toxins are found at the same time in virtually all drinking water, and where the interactions between two or more chemicals may be far more detrimental than the effect of any one of them in isolation. Furthermore, the “safe” levels that are determined are based upon their effects on adults rather than children. For these reasons, it is clearly unwise to rely upon the public health system and governmental regulations to ensure the health and purity of the water you give your children.

So what is the best way to ensure an abundance of healthy, clean water for your family? The most reliable and cost effective way to ensure safe, healthy and delicious water for daily consumption is with a home water filter. Bottled water is both a more expensive and less certain option, since bottled water regulation only requires that the water be as safe as tap water. A quality home water filter removes all of the contaminants discussed above, at a fraction of the cost of bottled water.

Author's Bio: 

Ann Hession is the founder of Great Water Now. A graduate of Harvard University (1985), she has worked in the natural health/natural living field for over 15 years. Great Water Now is dedicated to providing quality information about water and health and promoting the use of home water filters for health and longevity.