Nothing affects families like a serious illness. Life as we know it comes to a halt when a loved one gets cancer, Alzheimer’s or coronary heart disease.
That's why it's never too early to start thinking about living a healthier lifestyle. Doctors recommend eating a balanced diet and regular exercise for good health. But even if you're doing everything right, there could be disease-causing toxins entering your system without your knowledge.
You're not going to believe what contains cancer-causing contamination now!
Contaminated water might increase risk of cancer
According to a report from the nonprofit Environmental Working Group (EWG), over half of all Americans might be drinking tainted tap water. Over 170 million people have radium in their drinking water, which potentially increases the risk of cancer.
Radium is a contaminant that shows up in the ground naturally and can end up in the water. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has guidelines for acceptable amounts of radium in water.
Unfortunately, there are many cities in the U.S. that are over the allowable levels. Since radium is a carcinogen, this presents a potential health risk.
A toxicologist with EWG told CBS News, "It has been associated with increases in bone cancer. So exposure to radium...even low levels, may increase the risk of cancer development."
EWG studied public water systems over a five-year period, from 2010 to 2015. It found radium in all 50 states. The group found 158 public water systems in 27 states with amounts of radium that exceeded the legal limit.
Texas is the worst offender. EWG said that about 80 percent of Texas' population has contaminated drinking water.
To make matters worse, many people don't even know that their drinking water is contaminated with radium.
Tool lets you check if your water is safe to drink
In an effort to raise awareness of contaminated drinking water, EWG created a tool to help people find out if their water is tainted. It's a database that lets you search your area by ZIP-code to find out what contaminants are in your water.
Once you get to the tool, simply enter your ZIP-code in the search box on the upper right corner and hit enter. The map will zoom in to that area and you can click on the dot in the location you're in.
When you click on your area, a box with local information will pop-up below the search box. To see the full report, click on the "Click here to see system data" link that's inside the information box.
A new tab will open with all of the information about your drinking water. It will tell you whether your water utility was in compliance with federal health-based drinking water standards or not.
Click here to check out the database.
Making sure your water is safe is a huge deal. You should share this article with friends and family so they can check on theirs as well. Simply click the share button on the left-hand side of the page to post it on Facebook.
Have medical questions you need answers to? Here's how to get your medical questions answered online
There's nothing more frustrating than not being able to have a medical issue diagnosed. You've met with your doctor, seen specialist after specialist - and still, no luck! Isn't there someone out there who can actually help? The beauty of the internet is that you can now get advice from medical professionals all over the world. That is if you know where to look.