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Think About That Drink

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A cool clear glass of water might look very inviting on a hot summer day, but what you might not know about it could be harmful to your health

A cool clear glass of water might look very inviting on a hot summer day, but what you might not know about it could be harmful to your health. Safety standards relating to pathogens, carcinogens and radioactive substances are almost non-existent in BC and the two biggest threats to safe drinking water, cryptosporidium and giardia (waterborne parasites), have been largely ignored. Most water sources coming from surface water contain these two parasites and when ingested even in minute quantities they can cause illness. Long-term studies by Health Canada link water turbidity (discolouration) with increased incidence of gastrointestinal illness from parasites. Last year there was an estimate of over 17,500 incidences of gastro-intestinal illness in the greater Vancouver area alone. It's up to you to be aware of which standards are being followed in your area and take steps to protect your own source of drinking water. Filter systems can be very effective in removing water-borne parasites as well as chlorine, bacteria, heavy metals and other contaminants. If you are facing serious health issues, reverse osmosis or ultraviolet systems are recommended.

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