hand pouring a glass of water from filter tap

What is in Tap Water? Poisonous Chemicals Revealed!

Tap water that has not been vaporized or filtered contains chemicals harmful to the body, including metals, bacteria, and pharmaceutical drugs. Hundreds of different chemical substances are found in regular tap water, which are harmful in excessive amounts.

This video discusses the various contaminants found in tap water and how they affect us.

How it happens

Chemicals, along with other contaminants, come into contact with our water system through land use practices. Some examples of land use practice are concentrated animal feeding operations, pesticides, livestock, and fertilizers. Manufacturing processes, sewer overflows, and malfunctioning wastewater treatment systems also result in chemicals invading tap water. Some chemicals such as arsenic, radon, uranium occur naturally in the water system without any external sources.

Types of chemicals in tap water 

Chemicals In Tap Water

Chemicals In Tap Water

Water supplies contain various types of contaminants. The most common types of chemicals and substances include chemicals such as chlorine, fluoride, pesticides, fertilizers, petrochemicals, and dioxins.


This chemical is added to water systems for the purpose of killing viruses and harmful microorganisms that may be present in the water supply. 

Chlorine chemical cleansing tablets

Besides disinfecting and eliminating microorganisms in the water supply, in the long term chlorine also causes harm to humans. The chemical raises cholesterol levels. High levels of cholesterol in the body increases the chances of having various life threatening diseases. Damaged clogged arteries, for example. can lead to heart disease and certain types of cancer. Check out this video for more information on chlorine water and how it affects the body.


Fluoride acts like a medical treatment in the water system. It is added to the water supply in some countries to prevent tooth decay. Most developed countries, including Japan and 97% of the western European population, does not add fluoride to its water systems. They believe that fluoridated water does not have any significant benefits. Also fluoride can be found in many other sources besides water. It is impossible to control the level of fluoride in the body once it is added to the water as different people drink different amounts of water. However, long-term exposure to a level higher than 4.0 mg of fluoride/L can cause a condition called skeletal fluorosis which occurs when fluoride continually builds up in the bones resulting in joint pain, weak bones and possible fracture.


Tractor Spraying Pesticides

Tractor Spraying Pesticides

Chemical pesticide is a substance that is used on farmlands, and on gardens and lawns to control pests and weeds. These materials can reach the ground water or other water systems and contaminate them. The health risks of consuming water that has been contaminated with pesticides strictly depends on how toxic the pesticide is and how much of it gets into the water. Usually, pesticides are not present in high enough concentrations to cause severe or fatal outcomes, but they can contribute to chronic health problems in the future.

Synthetic fertilizer is a chemical mixture that is spread on the ground to fertilize the land and make plants grow more successfully. Likewise, fertilizers can contaminate the water supply by reaching the water table. Chemicals from fertilizers can damage reproductive functions, the eyes, kidneys, and liver and even increase the risk of cancer.


Benzine, gasoline, and diesel are petrochemicals that can contaminate the drinking water by leaking from underground storage tanks.

Benzine is considered one of the strongest cancer causing chemicals. Consuming water that has been contaminated with benzene is dangerous and increases the risk of developing leukemia. Long-term exposure to any of the petrochemicals can affect the bone marrow, leading to anemia, excessive bleeding, and immune system deficiencies.


Dioxin is a chemical that is produced as a result of fires, paper production processes, chlorine bleaching, waste incinerators, production of pesticides and the burning of wood for fuel. The chemical can enter the water supply through rain, snow, or fog. Dioxin is very hazardous. The consumption of dioxin in the short-term can cause skin lesions, in the long term it affects the reproductive system, can cause liver damage, thyroid disease, and increase the risk of developing cancer.

Tap water is not nearly as safe as it seems. Without proper filtration and distillation, the body is exposed to the various chemicals including dioxins, petrochemicals, pesticides, fertilizers, fluoride, and chlorine. These chemicals are harmful to the human body in high levels and long-term use. Most of the chemicals can cause serious health problems and increase the risk of developing various kinds of cancer. Therefore, it is important to only consume clean water. For answers on which is the best countertop water filter to choose click here.

References And Recommended Reading

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