Government water treatment plants add aluminum in water supplies, along with chlorination, to insure the purity and safety of the nation’s drinking water. Aluminum is used as a clearing agent to remove dangerous viruses, parasites and bacteria that are resistant to chlorination. If the water treatment process is done correctly, most aluminum is gone by the time water reaches us. But what happens when the level of aluminum in drinking water is allowed to remain above the 200 micrograms per liter that is recommended? How does aluminum in our drinking water effect our health? Can we remove aluminum from our tap water? These are questions we need answers for.
How Does Aluminum in Water Collect?
Some aluminum in water occurs naturally, some can be from factory run off and some is put in the water by water treatment plants to remove impurities and microorganisms that cause disease. With the correct treatment, aluminum in the water after this process should be equal to untreated water. Aluminum in water becomes a problem only when the levels are too high. It is recommended, by environmental officials and the World Health Organization, that the level of aluminum not exceed 200 micrograms per liter of drinking water.
How Does Too Much Aluminum in Water Hurt Us?
With high levels of aluminum in water the population can be at risk for nervous system disorders, ADD, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s and Lou Gehrig’s disease. Studies are still being done to confirm this. Dr Prolo, a researcher with The University of California, Los Angeles campus, found that in regions of Italy where the levels of aluminum in water are highest, there were more cases of Alzheimer’s disease than in areas with lower levels of aluminum in the water. The levels of all types of aluminum in that water were from 5 to 1,220 micrograms per liter. More studies are needed to find the true health risk of aluminum in our water and what levels are dangerous.
How Can We Remove Aluminum in Water?
Water treatment plants can take steps to keep aluminum at lower levels. Some studies have found that if a level of soluble silicone is maintained in public drinking water, it will protect people from aluminum in the water. The public can use water treatment devices in their homes to get rid of aluminum in the water. Reverse osmosis and distillation water treatment systems are effective. Water softeners and whole house water treatment systems remove aluminum from the water. You can also use under sink reverse osmosis units, or counter top filtration units attached to the faucet. You can also take food supplements like calcium, magnesium or iron to block aluminum absorption in your body. Aluminum in water is unnecessary for treatment.