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The 5 Most Common Water Contaminants
Monday, July 30, 2018
Regardless of who you are and where you work, water quality should be a top concern, as all sorts of toxic contaminants make it into our water supply. In this article, we'll break down the most common water contaminants.


Everyone deserves access to clean water, but the fact of the matter is that not all of us have it. Worse, we may not even be aware that our water contains additives in the first place.

You deserve to know what's in your water, which is why we've compiled this list of the big most common water contaminants.

1. Chlorine

It's important to note that not all contaminants are harmful. In fact, the United States Environmental Protection Agency notes that the term 'contaminant' simply means, "...any physical, chemical, biological, or radiological substance or matter in water."

This means that certain chemicals used to purify and clean water, such as chlorine, technically qualify as a contaminant. It's worth noting that for the most part, chlorinated drinking water isn't dangerous to the human body.

2. Fluoride

Aside from chlorine, fluoride is the second largest form of contaminant. Fluorinated water is often used by municipal entities to combat tooth decay on a wide-scale level.

And while there are plenty of odd theories about the perceived danger of ingesting water containing fluorine, most studies seem to indicate that it's perfectly harmless.

3. Nitrate

Unlike fluoride and chlorine, nitrate-contaminated water can be quite harmful to the human body. While nitrogen is an essential component for every living thing, it's a different story when it finds its way into our water.

In infants, it can lead to Blue Baby Syndrome, an oft-fatal blood-based disease resulting in diarrhea, vomiting, developmental issues, and more.

Common sources of nitrate stem from fertilizer and industrial waste.

4. Arsenic

Arsenic is one of the most harmful carcinogens a person can ingest and has links to diabetes and cancer, as well as vascular and lung diseases.

Often, arsenic makes its way into our systems via food. Like with nitrates, water with trace amounts of industrial waste can seep into crops, eventually landing on our dinner plates and in our bodies.

However, it can also make its way into drinking water in similar fashions. For this reason, it's important that industrial manufacturers regularly test their water.

5. Ammonia

Most of us are exposed to some level of ammonia on a daily basis. From the foul smell of a soiled diaper to the very gas keeping our refrigerators cool, this form of ammonia, known as ammonia ion, isn't typically harmful.

In some cases, such as in Flint, Michigan, ammonia contaminated water is the result of years of toxic waste getting dumped into river systems.

In larger doses, however, ammonia has the potential to greatly affect local wildlife, particularly aquatic animals.

Does Your Water Contain These Common Water Contaminants?

These five components are among the most common elements found in our drinking water, irrigation systems, and even lakes and rivers. That's why it's so important to know just what's in your water.

Analytical Technology wants to help keep you, your employees, and your families as safe as possible. That begins with monitoring which, if any, of these common water contaminants, could be in your water.

If you're interested in learning more about how you can test the quality of your water, be sure to get in touch.


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