Potential risks in contaminated water

Our range of home drinking water kits test for a number of parameters. Although you may know what these are, do you know the potential health and other effects? Listed below you’ll find some of the potential risks associated.

Bacteria - Faecal coliforms and E.Coli are bacteria whose presence indicates that the water may be contaminated with human or animal wastes. Microbes in these wastes may cause short term effects, such as diarrhea, cramps, nausea, headaches. They may pose a more prominent health risk for infants, children and people with low immunity.

Copper - High concentrations colour water blue/green. >1 mg/L may stain fittings. >2 mg/L can cause ill effects in some people.

Iron - High concentrations stain laundry and fittings. Iron bacteria cause blockages, corrosions, foul taste and odours.

Nitrate/Nitrite - Infants below the age of six months who drink water containing Nitrite/Nitrate in excess of the MCL could become seriously ill and if untreated, may die. Symptoms include shortness of breath and baby-blue syndrome.

Free Chlorine - Eye/nose irritation; stomach discomfort.

Lead - Infants and children: Delays in physical or mental development; children could show slight deficits in attention span and learning abilities. Adults; kidney problems, high blood pressure.

Mercury - The main toxic effects of inorganic mercury are to the kidney, leading to kidney failure. Organic mercury is unlikely to be found in uncontaminated water, however the effects are more severe including neurological disorder and mental disability.

Pesticide - Cardiovascular system, reproductive, blood problems.

Sulphate - Bad taste, can cause purgative affects.

pH/Alkalinity - Extreme pH values (<4 and >11) may adversely affect health, <6.5 may be corrosive, while >8 progressively decreases efficiency of chlorination. >8.5 may cause scale and taste problems.

Total Hardness - Water that is too soft can be corrosive, can cause scale build up in pipes and create problems with the use of soaps and detergents.

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