KRON 4 | Carcinogens to Plastics: There’s WHAT in My Water?!

KRON4_Contaminated Water

Did you know that drinking water increases your risk of cancer? Contaminants (from known carcinogens to plastic particles) found in public water systems could be the cause of cancer from drinking it over the course of a lifetime. Here’s what’s lurking in the water you drink…

The Research

Researchers from the Environmental Working Group (EWG), an environmental advocacy group, conducted a nationwide water contamination study and reviewed 30 million state water records. In California, they evaluated 2,737 different public water systems.

The researchers calculated cancer risk by evaluating the reported contaminant levels from 2010 to 2015. Then they analyzed the cumulative risk based on the yearly averages of all the contaminants and took into account co-occurring contaminants*. 

*NOTE: Interactions between chemical contaminants can overestimate or underestimate overall risk. More research is needed to understand the science behind these interactions.

The Three Key Contaminants Detected

Boy is drinking water in the morning.State regulators oversee the water providers which are regulated by the “Safe Drinking Water Act” and test for contaminants to ensure the water is safe to drink. EWG researchers found three key contaminants:

  1. Arsenic: Drinking water contaminated with arsenic attributed to most of the cancer risk, about 47% of estimated cancer cases. 
  2. Disinfection byproducts
  3. Chromium-6 (Hexavalent)

Small Water Systems Carry the Highest Risk

The smaller utility systems carried the higher risks because they don’t have the resources and economies to improve water quality. Even so, 43% of the larger utilities carried some of the higher cancer risks.

Warning sign with carcinogenic substancesClick here to find out what contaminants are in your water district. You’ll be asked to enter your zip code.

Check out EBMUD’s Water Testing Records…

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The East Bay Municipal Utility District (EBMUD) has historically been know as having the “best” drinking water in the San Francisco Bay Area, but the EWG researchers found two contaminants above health guidelines. According to third quarter 2018 (July to Sept), the tap water provided by EBMUD was in compliance with federal health-based drinking water standards.

The two contaminants that were detected ABOVE health guidelines were:

Warning sign with carcinogenic substances1. Chromium-6 (Hexavalent) — A carcinogen in drinking water due to industrial pollution or natural occurrences in mineral deposits and groundwater. Harm to the liver and reproductive system. Detected above the health guideline from 2013 to 2015.    Continue reading “KRON 4 | Carcinogens to Plastics: There’s WHAT in My Water?!”

How Active Do Your Kids Need to Be?

During the summer break, children are parked in front of the television or computer more than ever, and inactivity at any age can result in developing chronic diseases, such as obesity, type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Inactivity can lead to lifelong habits, so here’s how active your kids need to be.

How Active  School-age children need to participate in 60 minutes or more of moderate to vigorous physical activity every day. Exercise should be appropriate for their age and level of development as well as enjoyable and safe.

How Inactive  Children should spend less than two hours per day doing sedentary non-academic activities, such as watching television and playing video or computer games.

Better in School  An ACSM research study found that kids that engage in vigorous activity for 20 minutes, at least 3 days a week, did better in school than kids that participated in moderate activity (3-6 METs) for 30 minutes, 5 days a week.

Per the study, children are better able to concentrate, and even exhibit fewer behavioral problems, when they participate in higher intensity exercise. Vigorous exercise (more than 6 METs) includes physical activities like:    Continue reading “How Active Do Your Kids Need to Be?”

Beyond the Sneezing and Runny Nose

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Allergies can affect mood and lead to depression

Spring strikes 40 million Americans with seasonal allergies each year bringing on the usual coughing, sneezing and red itchy eyes. But researchers report that allergies may also cause psychological harm. Studies show allergies worsen mood, cognition and quality of life and can double the likelihood of depression.

Allergy-Depression Link

On the surface, if you can’t sleep well and you’re rundown and miserable, it’s bound to worsen your mood and make you more vulnerable to depression. Moreover, when you’re congested and have to breathe through your mouth to get oxygen, it’s irritating and unattractive. Sufferers often avoid socializing and isolate themselves which further increases their risk of depression.

Biological Connection

There’s no evidence that allergies actually cause people to feel depressed, but emerging studies reveal allergies can be a risk factor for depression. Beyond the sleep problems that can lead to poor concentration and depression, research suggests that there’s a biological component to the “allergy blues” that afflict so many allergy sufferers.


Allergic ‘rhinitis’, or commonly known as a stuffy nose, causes specialized cells in the nose to release cytokines. These small protein molecules rev up the immune system response whereby proinflammatory cytokines “inflame” your cells and tissues.   Continue reading “Beyond the Sneezing and Runny Nose”

Get the Disorder in Order with the Right Foods (ADHD)

ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) is a problem with inattentiveness, overactivity, and/or impulsivity. The number of children diagnosed with ADHD has risen  significantly over the years affecting 3-5% of school-age children. This increase may be due in part to schools testing school children for the disorder whereas years ago they may have just been labeled as “disorderly”. The surge in ADHD cases is also linked to the greater consumption of refined foods and unhealthy fats.  Here are some tips to nourish your child to develop a healthy brain and body.   Continue reading “Get the Disorder in Order with the Right Foods (ADHD)”

Meat Diet and Early Puberty

A diet high in meat may cause early puberty in girls according to new research.  It found that 14 per cent more seven-year-old girls started their periods by age twelve when they ate over twelve servings of meat per week versus four.

One hundred years ago, girls began puberty at age 14 (and boys at age 16).  Girls who start their periods early face a higher risk of breast and ovarian cancers and heart disease. Although further studies are needed in other populations, evidence suggests it’s healthiest to consume less meat.  Researchers agree that something is affecting our children, whether it’s chemicals, hormones or inactivity.   Continue reading “Meat Diet and Early Puberty”