Importance of safe drinking water
It is very important for our health to have safe drinking water. When water supplies are contaminated it can carry disease which causes ailments such as diarrhea, nausea, and headaches. Even though the United States has one of the safest water supplies in the world, drinking water quality varies from place to place. The quality and safety of the water coming out of your tap is not something national statistics will specifically tell you. Under the authority of the Safe Water Drinking Act (SWDA), Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) sets standards for approximately 90 contaminants in drinking water. For each of these contaminants, EPA sets a legal limit, called a maximum contaminant level, or requires a certain treatment. Water suppliers may not provide drinking water that does not meet these standards. Water that meets these standards is safe to drink, although people with severely compromised immune systems and children may have special needs.
Standards for children
EPA’s current drinking water standards are designed to protect children and adults. The standards take into account the potential effects of contaminants on segments of the population that are most at risk. When EPA sets each standard, the agency conducts a risk assessment, in which scientists evaluate whether fetuses, infants, children, or other groups are more vulnerable to a contaminant than the general population. The standard is set to protect the most vulnerable group. Despite high confidence in existing standards, EPA is conducting additional research regarding possible impacts of various contaminants on children and other vulnerable populations, and on new and emerging contaminants. For example, EPA is conducting risk assessments that will consider infants’ and children’s sensitivity and exposure to certain pesticides. EPA is committed to using the best available, peer-reviewed science and data in developing new standards and reevaluating existing ones. Also, EPA continues to monitor localized health problems, including outbreaks caused by microbial contaminants in drinking water and other health problems that may be associated with other contaminants (e.g., solvents and other industrial chemicals).
The importance of quality drinking water for children
Children, especially infants, drink more fluid per pound of body weight than adults. Very young children’s immune systems are not yet fully developed, making them less able than healthy adults to fight microbes in drinking water. These microbes may bring on diarrhea and vomiting, which may cause children to become dehydrated quicker than adults. Children may also be more prone to chemical contaminants that affect learning, motor skills, and sex hormones during important stages of growth. Another reason that the quality of drinking water matters so much is because it has been found that some contaminants in even low concentrations create special health risks to particular groups of people. These groups include infants, young children and the elderly. Providing safe drinking water is essential to infants and young children. With the use of water filters, infants and young children can have safer drinking water. A convenient way to get good quality water is to have a water filter in your fridge. This is a way to filter out the contaminants children are getting from tap water.