Drinking alkaline water for your health is one of the latest fads. Some sources call it a scam. No one knows if the theories about increasing the alkalinity of your system are true. We do know that there are many threats in public water supplies.

Public supplies have been tested for a variety of chemicals by independent researchers. Public treatment facilities are required to test for a competent of hazardous contaminants, but many continue to be unregulated. Perchlorate is an example.

Perchlorate is a naturally occurring element, a volatile organic compound (VOC) used to make rocket fuel. Researchers have found high levels in freshwater sources, in vegetables and in milk. Public treatment facilities are not required to test for it, because it is unregulated.

The main risks associated with perchlorate consumption have to do with the thyroid gland. The chemical interferees with the gland's ability to absorb iodine, which can lead to hypothyroidism.

The thyroid gland regulates metabolic activity in adults. In children, the gland must be functioning optimally to ensure normal development. Perchlorate interferees with thyroid gland function at levels commonly found in contaminated milk and water. So, if you are drinking alkaline water for your health, you had best be sure it is free of perchlorate. How could you do that?

You could have samples sent to a local lab, but it is actually easier and less expensive to purchase and install a home purifier. Any home purifier that is certified to remove VOCs will remove perchlorate. Of course, most of the purifiers you see in department stores do not contain the appropriate steps to remove perchlorate. Primarily they remove chlorine, which not only tastes bad, but is also bad for you.

If you have heard that you should drink alkaline water for your health, here is an interesting fact. Chlorine increases the pH level. It is found in salts, which are alkalis. Perchlorate is an oxide formed from chlorine. Oxides are free radicals. Exposure to them causes cellular aging and plays a role in cancer.

Proponents of alkaline-water systems say that the liquid will have antioxidant activity. That does not make any sense at all. Antioxidants are nutrients, most of which are found in plants.

There are literally thousands of hazardous animal contaminants in publicly treated supplies. Getting rid of those contaminants is much more important than the pH level. Instead of drinking alkaline water for your health, you should be drinking something pure. In order to do that, you need a good water purifier .