The Sneaky Water Toxin Lowering Kids’ Smarts: Is Your Tap Safe?

Untreated drinking water is slowly robbing children of their intelligence.

Research from Columbia University has uncovered a widespread toxin lurking in your water – arsenic. The study found that children who consumed water tainted with arsenic experienced significant deficits in intelligence and memory.

Arsenic is present in alarming levels in many wells across the United States, particularly in rural areas. So if you have a well, keep reading to find out the steps you can take to keep your water – and your family – safe.

The hidden danger lurking in rural wells

The Columbia study focused on three school districts in Maine, where other research had identified dangerously high arsenic levels in wells. The researchers tested 272 children in grades 3-5, whose families relied on wells for their drinking water and cooking needs.

What they found was shocking – children exposed to arsenic in their drinking water demonstrated significantly lower IQ scores than their neighbors with cleaner water.

The sad truth is that the children and families victimized by contaminated water often have no idea. Unlike public water systems, which are required to maintain stringent water quality standards, private wells are not monitored or regulated by any government body.

The risks of arsenic exposure

Arsenic is a naturally-occurring element found in rocks, soil, and water. Industrial activities can exacerbate arsenic levels in the environment, leading to dangerously high concentrations in wells.

Prolonged exposure to arsenic-contaminated water can cause a host of health problems, from skin disorders and digestive issues to increased risk of cancer.

But the most insidious risk of arsenic exposure is its impact on cognitive development. Arsenic’s ability to harm memory and intelligence is particularly devastating during a child’s early years when critical brain development is occurring.

In fact, the World Health Organization has identified arsenic as a “major public health concern” due to its potential neurotoxic effects.

How to protect your family

The good news is that there are steps you can take to ensure that your drinking water is safe. First and foremost, you must test the water in your well to determine the arsenic levels. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommends testing well water for arsenic at least once a year.

If your well tests positive for high arsenic levels, it’s essential to take action to protect your family’s health. A standard water filter from your local hardware store is not enough to remove arsenic from contaminated water.

According to Joseph Graziano, the lead researcher in the Columbia study, the most effective way to remove arsenic from well water is to install a reverse osmosis system.

A reverse osmosis system removes contaminants, including arsenic, by forcing the water through a semi-permeable membrane. This process filters out the arsenic, leaving you with clean, safe water for your family.

It’s also important to maintain your well, ensuring it’s properly sealed and structurally sound. If you have any concerns about your well’s construction, consult a professional to assess and repair any issues.

Supporting your cognitive health

In addition to protecting your family from arsenic exposure, there are many steps you can take to support cognitive health and development.

A healthy and balanced diet rich in antioxidants, omega-3 fatty acids, and essential vitamins and minerals is crucial for brain health. Engaging in regular physical activity, maintaining social connections, and exercising your brain through puzzles and games can also help support cognitive function.

By taking steps to monitor, test, and treat your well water, you’re not only safeguarding your family’s physical health but also ensuring your children have the opportunity to reach their full intellectual potential.

So here’s the bottom line: If your drinking water comes from a well, test it for arsenic and protect your family’s health and cognitive future. It’s a small investment that can have a lasting impact on your children’s lives. Don’t let a hidden danger like arsenic wreak havoc on your loved ones.