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Pregnant, Ailing or Aging - Water Quality Counts

Pregnant, Ailing or Aging? Water Quality Counts

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Water quality is more important than ever when you’re expecting a new baby, have a newborn, or someone in your household is ailing or aging. Paying attention to water quality helps ensure you’re not putting loved ones at risk.

At minimum, have your water tested for these common threats: coliform bacteria, chlorine, lead, nitrates, pH and total dissolved solids (TDS). Here’s why:

Pregnant Moms & Infants
Pregnant women, fetuses and infants tend to be more susceptible to quality variances even if water meets established standards, but certain compounds pose a heightened threat.

Chlorine, for example, reduces bacterial contamination in water, but it can cause issues for moms and developing fetuses. Some studies associate it and its byproducts with increased risks of low birth weight, preterm delivery, miscarriage and birth defects.

Lead can impair fetal brain development, and cause learning challenges and delayed mental and physical progress in babies and children. It may hamper the ability to metabolize calcium and Vitamin D, cause high blood pressure and anemia, and affect the nervous system and kidneys.

Nitrates tend to be a bigger risk for households with water wells. They reduce blood oxygen levels, which can affect fetal development. After birth, they can lead to blue baby syndrome, where the skin around the infant’s eyes and mouth takes on a bluish tint, creating a condition that can be fatal if it’s not promptly treated.

Ailing Household Members
This broad category applies to anyone who’s recovering from severe illness, undergoing cancer treatment, struggling with autoimmune issues, dealing with hepatitis or HIV/AIDS, recovering from transplant surgery or living with a chronic health condition.

Poor water quality can exacerbate the primary ailment and contribute to complications such as severe gastrointestinal issues, slow wound healing, skin rashes, impaired immune response and general toxin overload.

Aging Household Members
Whether you’re caring for an aging parent or entering your golden years, it’s important to realize poor water quality poses a greater risk with age especially to those 75 or older.

According to physicians, the elderly are more vulnerable to waterborne contaminants in general and at greater risk for severe or fatal reactions to E. coli, salmonella and similar microorganisms. Lead can contribute to or aggravate high blood pressure, and lead accumulates more readily due to decreased liver and kidney function. Studies have found even when water met established standards, day-to-day quality variances produced a 9% increase in hospitalizations for gastrointestinal issues.

Because many of these contaminants are found in non-purified bottled water, your best bet is to invest in a water purification system that eliminates these and other potentially harmful contaminants. Work with a professional to select one that will work for your household, and in the meantime, switch to purified bottled water as a temporary preventative measure.

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