The Effects of Drinking Salt Water
Sodium negatively impacts our health in many ways; blood pressure, hypertension, heart disease, kidney problems. Sodium can also impact your balance and hearing. Visit Hearing Life’s article to learn more about high salt consumption’s affect you your hearing health.
According to the National Institute of Heath, most healthy adults should try to eat less than 2,300 mg of sodium per day. Older adults, people with high blood pressure, diabetes and/or kidney disease, should eat less than 1,500 mg of sodium per day.
A big part of reducing your sodium intake is realizing where it’s lurking. And it might surprise you to learn that your saltshaker is the least of your worries. According to a study published this year in the journal of Circulation (www.ahajournals.org), a mere 5 percent of Americans’ sodium intake comes from salt added at the table, and only 6 percent comes from salt added during cooking.
Most of us know how to read nutritional information on packaged foods. It’s easy to track your intake of sodium because of labeling laws. Unfortunately, sodium can get into our systems without us knowing it.
For instance, there is sodium in public drinking water. If you live in a hard water area, you probably have a home water softener, which according to the EPA can add around 300 mg/l of sodium to your water. This doesn’t include the water treatment chemicals (sodium fluoride, sodium silicofluoride, sodium hydroxide, sodium carbonate, sodium bicarbonate, sodium phosphate, sodium silicate and sodium hypochlorite) that the local municipalities use to control Fluoride and pH in the public water systems. These contribute to 30 mg/L sodium.
If that wasn’t bad enough, some municipalities are pre-softening the water with a process called Zeolite softening. To figure out how much sodium they’re adding to the water, you need to know the GPG (grains per gallon) of hardness and multiply it by 1.89 (this equals the total milligrams of sodium in 8 oz of water). For instance, Chilton Wisconsin has 28 grains per gallon of hardness. They treat the water with a Zeolite softener bringing it down to 6 GPG of hardness (22 x 1.89 = 41.58). This has the potential of adding 41.58 mg of sodium in an 8 oz glass of water.
Most Chilton residents have no idea the municipality is softening the water and more than likely have an in-home water softener. This can potentially greatly increase the sodium levels without them knowing it, which poses a significant risk to the health of older adults, people with high blood pressure, diabetes and/or kidney disease.
There are many alternative salt-free devices which reduce hard scale accumulation in pipes and equipment. The encouraging news is that some municipalities are exploring these innovative and eco-friendly technologies in order to put public health at the forefront.