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Potential Health Impacts of Drinking Hard Water

In the last fifty years, epidemiologists have gathered information related to cardiovascular mortality and they have compelling evidence to believe environmental factors particularly hard water is playing a significant role in the increased cardiovascular mortality rate. According to the world health organization hard water is simply water with a variety of dissolved polyvalent metallic ions which are mainly calcium and magnesium there are other minerals present in the hard water but in small quantity namely iron, aluminum, manganese, barium, and zinc which contribute to hardness. The traditional method of measuring water hardness is the ability of the water to react with soap, where hard water is determined through its poor ability to produce foam. The water hardness is primarily expressed in milligrams of calcium carbonate per liter, whereby water with calcium carbonate concentrations below 60 grams is soft, 6-120 mg/l is considered moderately hard and 120-180 mg/l is categorized as hard water. Human body needs sufficient mineral nutrients such as calcium and magnesium where deficiency can lead to health problems, for example deficiency in calcium is related to osteoporosis especially in pregnant women and old people because calcium is used to increase bone density, on the other hand, human body needs magnesium to produce enzymes that are used for energy metabolism and it deficiency has been associated with, cardiac arrhythmia and pre-eclampsia (gestation hypertension) which is normally treated with magnesium salt. The body can only utilize these minerals at a certain amount and consuming them in excesses such as in hard water or deficient supply can lead to health problems. In this article, we look at the health effects of consuming excess minerals present in hard water.

Drinking of hard water that can lead to an excess supply of calcium in the body has not been proofed as a health risk especially to healthy individuals, however, there are concerns for people with kidney problems which may delay in excreting the excess calcium from their system additionally people with the milk-alkali syndrome have been classified as risk population to the consumption of hard water and therefore necessary precautions are required.

Taking hard water with high magnesium mineral has not been proofed a health risk especially to a healthy population, however, people with renal insufficiency will experience bowel discomfort such as diarrhea but this is adaptable, additionally, consuming water with high magnesium level has been linked with laxative effects, but there has no strong relationship found between consumption of hard water with high magnesium and calcium level with cardiovascular mortality. The article has elucidated some of the main health concerns of consuming hard water.

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