Health Concerns Related to Hydrocarbons in Drinking Water
Hydrocarbons are found everywhere and are a primary source of energy; however, hydrocarbons in drinking water can cause health risks many are at a loss to deal with. The knowledge individuals acquire about this compound and the steps they take to ensure the safety of themselves and family member could save a life.
The organic nature of these compounds sometimes makes them difficult to control. Frequently found in substances such as crude oil, they can become gases, liquids, polymers, solids, or waxes. Where H2o pollution is concerned, they often have a negative impact and eventually filter from the ground into the tap that individuals’ use on a daily basis.
Ultimately, the entire biological community can be negatively affected and, when this discharge enters the public supply that enters people’s homes, health issues can arise. It only takes a minuscule amount of these hydrocarbons to contaminate a huge supply of groundwater. Unfortunately, today’s water treatment technologies are still at a loss as to how to eradicate them entirely before it is transferred to individual users.
One are significantly affected within the past few years was Santa Monica, California which resulted in the interruption of drinking liquid services to a large population residing in the area. It was determined the contamination was a direct result of hydrocarbon methyl tertiary butyl ether seepage into groundwater from underground storage tanks.
Studies have determined that exposure to hydrocarbons can lead to liver and kidney damage as well as gastrointestinal problems, and nervous system damage. Additionally, prolonged exposure can result not only in hematological problems, but a variety of cancers as well. As with any medical condition, treatment after the fact is always more difficult and costly than prevention.
Signs and symptoms can result in early detection and treatment. If exposed one may notice health problems such as an increased sensitivity to various chemical compounds, immune system inadequacy, excess bleeding when cut, or anemia. Ultimately, the brain itself can be negatively impacted through an increased irritability of the brain’s limbic system.
Prevention is the easiest part. H2o coming into a home should be filtered. This includes not only drinking supplies, but that which comes into contact with the human body through showers, laundry, or in any other way. Additionally, for those with children who like to run in sprinklers or swim in a pool in the summer, the best prevention is to ensure that only filtered H2o is used.