‘Oh, um… pretty normal,’ Mum replied.
In the month following her diagnosis Mum had spoken to more specialists, therapists and naturopaths than you could shake a stick at, and had become inured to sharing intimate details about herself.
But mercifully, this time, the doctor was only interested in the quality of water coming out of Mum’s kitchen tap.
In our post recession world, asking for ‘just tap’ has become du jour. But the unpalatable truth is that pesticides, heavy metals, hormones, drugs and even rocket fuel regularly make their way into the water system.
How do these contaminants get there?
* Pesticides and herbicides are drawn into the supply as rain-washes over the land
* Heavy metals are picked up from pipes and joint fixtures
* Hormones – such as oestrogen – contaminate the system thanks to women on the contraceptive pill and men taking Prozac. These drugs ultimately end up in the rivers and groundwater supplies which are then used as sources of drinking water.
So what does this have to do with cancer?
Let’s start with runoff from farms.
Emerging evidence suggest fertilisers may pose cancer risks. People exposed to high levels of nitrates in drinking water have increased risk of stomach and liver cancer, according to studies in China. Nitrates are a common component of fertilisers.
Monsanto’s herbicide, Roundup, has also been linked to cancer – as well as endocrine disruption and DNA damage, according to numerous studies.
One report observed a higher incidence of multiple myeloma in those in contact with Roundup (glyphosate) compared to those who never used the chemical.
And, despite previous safety claims, a recent report demonstrated that Roundup was in fact capable of entering the groundwater supplies.
But, getting back on tap.
There’s also the problem of heavy metals – such as lead – in our drinking water.
Not only do heavy metals cause significant oxidative stress but they also have the ability to displace essential minerals – like zinc, magnesium and selenium – that your body needs to stay healthy and cancer-free.
And finally, there’s oestrogen.
Many experts believe the female sex hormone is one of the main drivers of cancer – and not just breast and prostate cancer – but also endometrial, cervical, colon, brain and testicular cancer.
According to a recent piece in the magazine Icon, one of the sources of unwanted oestrogen is tap water in big cities where the water is recycled.
So is Evian the answer?
In short, no.
Plastic bottles leach phthalates and Bisphenol A (BPA) – oestrogen mimics – which means you’re back to square one on that front. BPA has also been linked to both breast and prostate cancer.
Added to that is the huge environmental cost of drinking water from plastic bottles … and the fact that forty percent of bottled water IS actually tap water.
So what can you do?
There are many water filters out there and it’s really up to the individual to research and find what works. Carbon filters are meant to be great, and the reverse osmosis filter gets the thumbs up from a lot of experts.
According to Dr William Campbell Douglass: ‘Not only will reverse osmosis keep the bacteria out, it’ll also rid your water of the chlorine, too — not to mention the fluoride, herbicides, pesticides, hormones, drugs (legal and illegal), rocket fuel and everything else that’s oozing out of your tap.’
Getting clean, high quality water is paramount for cancer patients, according to Dr Leigh Erin Connealy:
‘I would say all tap water around the United States has chemotherapy and medications and radiations and birth control pills and blood pressure pills and every kind of medication you possibly know not to mention the chemicals that are in the water,’ she said at the recent Healing Cancer World Summit, presented by Kevin Gianni.
While Mum has had a water filter in her home since the ’80s, it’s only in the last year that she’s made a conscious effort to drink more of it, and that’s important too.
As Dr Coldwell said to me recently: ‘Healing and cleansing starts with four litres of water a day.’
And since our bodies are composed of 75% water, it’s worth making sure what we’re drinking is clean.
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