Is Your Drinking Water Safe? Check Your Pipes
(ARA) - It's no secret that water (and lots of it) is necessary for a
healthy lifestyle. But what kind of water? As a result of increased negative
publicity regarding various drinking water contaminants, people today are more
aware and concerned about the quality of the water they drink.
Copper is an example of a contaminant identified by the Environmental Protection
Agency (EPA) as a potential health threat in drinking water. The maximum
allowable level of copper in drinking water is 1.3 parts per million, which is
based on the lowest observed adverse health effect level. Short-term effects of
excess copper exposure include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and stomach cramps.
Long-term effects are more serious and include liver and kidney damage, as well
Copper can leach into drinking water as household copper plumbing ages and
corrodes. Third-party testing and certification labs, like NSF International, do
not certify copper for potable water use with a pH of less than 6.5. Under these
water conditions, copper pipe may corrode at a rate sufficient to contaminate
water beyond state and federal drinking water standards.
Other health concerns relative to copper pipe have only recently surfaced and
will likely be the focus of future medical studies and reports. However, an
alarming study received national attention in late 2003 when it was published in
the prestigious "Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences." The study,
co-authored by Dr. Larry Sparks from the Sun Health Research Institute in Sun
City, Ariz., suggested a direct link between copper and Alzheimer's disease.
In Dr. Sparks' studies conducted with rabbits, he documented a direct
correlation between trace amounts of copper added to drinking water and learning
deficiency. It is important to note that the rabbit's level of copper exposure
during these experiments was well below those considered safe for humans. From
his study results, Dr. Sparks concluded that copper influences the body's
ability to clear the brain of accumulated amyloid plaques (clumps of protein
fragments that accumulate outside of cells). Amyloid plaques are commonly found
in the brains of Alzheimer's patients.
Although it is not yet completely clear as to how the results from these tests
with rabbits translate into exact effects on humans, there has been enough
concern raised to prompt The National Institute of Health to consider pursuing a
more detailed, follow-up study which will evaluate the effects of varied
combinations of cholesterol and copper on learning and memory.
This study, along with the biofilm research, combined with various medical and
EPA reports regarding copper exposure, has caused a growing controversy over the
quality of water when exposed to copper pipe. In response, builders are using
alternative piping materials, such as FlowGuard Gold CPVC pipe and fittings,
which are gaining favorable attention and market share because they will never
leach copper into the water. With CPVC, regardless of how aggressive the water
is, or even if water quality standards and treatments change in an area,
homeowners don't have to worry about copper contamination in the water.
In addition, a FlowGuard Gold CPVC plumbing system will never pit or corrode, so
there are no concerns about pinhole leaks causing damage to the property. The
system has been proved to also be four times quieter than copper in minimizing
water flow noise and virtually eliminating water hammer (the banging sound heard
in pipes when the water pressure changes suddenly). CPVC pipe is also more
energy efficient and minimizes concerns of condensation.
Most important to health-conscious consumers, however, is that CPVC pipe offers
a safer alternative by eliminating potential health concerns associated with
copper exposure. For more information on how you can better maintain your home's
drinking water quality, visit www.flowguardgold.com.
Courtesy of ARA Content
If you are looking for a Memphis area plumber, please call us today at 901-861-0277 or complete our online request form.
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