why you shouldn’t drink rainwater

why you shouldn't drink rainwater

According to a recent study, rainwater is now undrinkable everywhere on Earth, even in the most remote corners, due to the presence of toxic and chemical substances.

With the scarcity of water linked to drought and usage restrictions, you may have asked yourself the question when you saw the torrents of rain falling during recent storms: is rainwater a solution and can it be consumed?

Indeed, to achieve financial savings or for ecological considerations, the recovery of rainwater can have the wind in its sails. But if its role is preponderant in the water cycle, that does not make rain drinking water.

“Strictly forbidden”

For health reasons, drinking rainwater is prohibited in France. “It is strictly forbidden to collect rainwater to consume it, because it is contaminated”, can we read on the service-public website.

“You should therefore not drink it, nor use it to cook or wash the dishes”, continues the site of the French administration.

Health authorities consider that rainwater is not of sufficient quality to be considered drinkable since it presents chemical, bacterial or parasitic contamination, in particular due to runoff on the roof or storage in a tank.

“It’s raining PFAS”

Beyond that, the rainwater itself is also undrinkable. At issue: PFAS (per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances), nicknamed the “eternal chemicals” because they disintegrate extremely slowly. They are present in many products such as packaging, cosmetics or even household products.

However, these PFAS have spread in the environment, in particular in water. Therefore, according to a recent study by scientists from Stockholm Universityrainwater is now undrinkable everywhere on Earth.

“It’s raining PFAS”, wrote the study.

The team of researchers studied data compiled since 2010 and showed that “even in Antarctica or on the Tibetan plateau, the levels present in rainwater are above the recommendations proposed by the Environmental Protection Agency. environment (EPA),” Ian Cousins, lead author of the study, told AFP.

Human Health Hazards

Exposure that can be harmful to human health. PFAS accumulate in the body and can have negative effects on fertility and fetal development. In addition, these substances lead to increases in cholesterol levels, increased risks of obesity and certain cancers.

They are also suspected of interfering with the endocrine and immune system. Indeed, a recent study shows that PFAS could have an impact on the immune response to vaccines in children.

The use of rainwater is strictly controlled

Consequently, a decree, which entered into force on August 21, 2008, only authorizes the use of rainwater outside the dwelling, for example to water the garden. Inside, rainwater can be used for a few limited uses such as flushing toilets or washing the floors.

The use of rainwater is also authorized for washing clothes, but in a very regulated way. Faced with the risk of water pollution, ANSES recommends that it is not used for the laundry of the most vulnerable populations.

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