Water and Sodium: An Ambiguous Relationship
Your government knows that your water is contaminated, but may not be doing anything about it. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) created the Contaminant Candidate List (CCL) to monitor unregulated drinking water contaminants, like sodium. The contaminants on the CCL are chemicals that are known or expected to occur in public water systems. The EPA reviews the CCL to decide whether these unregulated chemicals should be regulated by the Safe Drinking Water Act. The EPA is currently reviewing the relationship between sodium and water.
Water and Sodium: Categorizing a Unique Contaminant
Chemicals listed on the CCL are categorized into three groups, chemicals that should be researched, chemicals that require more data, and chemicals that should be considered in filtration legislation. Sodium, however, is difficult to categorize as a contaminant candidate. Sodium is potentially unhealthy: high sodium intake may cause hypertension. However, sodium levels in drinking water are typically low and unlikely to seriously harm one’s health. Sodium’s relative harmlessness makes it difficult to gauge how much sodium legislation should allow.
Water and Sodium: Pending Research
People are confused about how much sodium is healthy to drink. Researchers already know a lot about sodium, and compared to other contaminants, it’s not very dangerous. Because of this, the EPA wasn’t even sure whether they should list sodium on the CCL. However, they ultimately decided to include sodium, as they wanted to reexamine the current sodium levels in water that legislation allows. The EPA classified the relationship between water and sodium as a research priority; further research will help them clarify their stance on water and sodium. After sodium’s health effects have been sufficiently researched, the EPA will decide if sodium should stay on the CCL for other reasons.
Water and Sodium: Should I Be Worried?
You shouldn’t worry too much about the sodium in your drinking water. The sodium levels in drinking water are so low that they probably won’t seriously harm your health. The Food and Drug Administration’s sodium labeling system categorizes the sodium in an average glass of water as “very in low sodium.” And although sodium should not be consumed in excess, it is still an essential nutrient.
Water and Sodium: How Can I Reduce My Sodium Intake?
You don’t need to switch to bottled water to ensure a healthy, low-sodium diet. People consume far more sodium by eating than they do by drinking tap water. If you want to reduce your risk of sodium’s negative health effects, plan a healthy diet for yourself with a doctor or dietitian. To reduce sodium consumption, monitor your food, not your water.