Safe Water for Exotic Pets

Did you know that there are harmful chemicals in your supposedly safe drinking water? The government has never tried to hide the fact that there are chemicals found in tap water. 


This begs the question "if it isn't safe for me a large human, how can it possible be safe for a tiny sensitive sugar glider or hedgehog?"

Here are the Six of the most dangerous chemicals found in tap water (city water) supplies across the country. Keep in mind these are six chemicals of hundreds and hundreds potentially harmful chemicals that are found in tap water. For a complete list go to this link http://www.ewg.org/tap-water/chemical-contaminants/ 

 

1. Chlorine

Yes, this chemical kills bacteria in swimming pools and in your drinking water. But this chemical also dries out your skin and hair. The lotion industry stays afloat because this drying chemical is in most water supplies.  Chlorine is probably one of the most common chemicals found in our water supplies today. At first, it was used in small amounts to clear the water from different types of bacteria and parasites. Chlorine exists mostly because water treatment plants use it to sanitize.
The unfortunate thing is that chlorine does not do that anymore - it just adds to the problem list. While chlorine continues to have some sort of effect on bacteria, most of them have grown resistant to it, and now flow happily through your drinking water.  Unfortunately, this is not the worst news, the fact that chlorine affects our health just like any other chemical - in large quantities; it can cause severe digestive problems along with skin problems and so on. 


The Truly Ugly Side of Drinking Chlorinated Water has Only Recently Been Documented.


And it has to do with the long-term health effects of chlorine and its disinfection by-products (DBPs).  What the studies have found is that chlorine itself is not the main problem; rather it has to do with what happens when the chlorine mixes with any type of organic matter in the water.  In the 1970s scientists discovered that when chlorine is added to water, it forms Trihalomethanes (THMs), one of which is chloroform. THMs increase the production of free radicals in the body and are highly carcinogenic (cancer causing).  Chlorine and THMS have been linked to various types of cancer, kidney and liver damage, immune system dysfunction, disorders of the nervous system, hardening of the arteries, and birth defects.


Negative Effects of DBPs and Chlorine

Unfortunately, we are learning the hard way that our attempts to prevent illness by adding chlorine in drinking water has contributed to another problem—the increase of cancer and heart disease. Check out what the experts have to say:

“Cancer risk among people using chlorinated water is as much as 93 percent higher than among those whose water does not contain chlorine,” according to the U.S. Council of Environmental Quality.

According to the BreastCancerFund.org,“One common factor among women with breast cancer is that they all have 50 to 60 percent higher levels of these chlorination by-products (THMs) in their fat tissue than women without breast cancer . . .”

"Long-term drinking of chlorinated water appears to increase a person's risk of developing bladder cancer as much as 80 percent,”as documented in a study published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute. Some 45,000 Americans are diagnosed every year with bladder cancer.

"The drinking of chlorinated water has finally been officially linked to an increased incidence of colon cancer. An epidemiologist at Oak Ridge Associated Universities completed a study of colon cancer victims and non-cancer patients and concluded that the drinking of chlorinated water for 15 years or more was conducive to a high rate of colon cancer," according to Health Freedom News, January/February 1987.

 

Signs, Symptoms That Your Sugar Glider or Hedgehog Could be Dehydrated & Reacting to Your Tap Water
  • Sudden Death 
  • Dry flaky skin around finger nails
  • When trimming their fingernails and  the nail itself is brittle, splits, cracks or is crushed instead of clipping cleanly.
  • Dull, ruffled, patchy, flaky coat 
  • Sunken eyes
  • Under weight - Do your sugar gliders have an average healthy weight? (Click here to find out)   
  • Lethargy
  • Loss of appetite
  • Depression
  • Over grooming/Self mutilation
  • Unexplained aggressive behavior
  • Panting
  • Chronic and unexplained loss of health causing a weak immune system, making sugar gliders more susceptible to different disease. 
  • Decreased skin elasticity - How to check for dehydration by "tenting"
2. Fluoride

Fluoride is a chemical deliberately added to drinking water in most of the United States, ostensibly for the purpose of preventing tooth decay. Whether it is effective is highly debated, and in the meantime, fluoride in large quantities is undeniably poisonous.

 

3. Lead

This is one of the most dangerous chemicals found in household water. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, too much lead in the human body can cause serious damage to the brain, kidneys, nervous system, and red blood cells. And unfortunately, the lead can come from your own home and not from the water supply. Your pipes--whether they are copper or lead, new or old--can cause unusually high levels of lead. The only way to remove this chemical is to use filtered tap water.

 

4. Pesticides

Over the past 20 years, scientists say that more pesticides are seeping into the ground water supply. While local governments make valiant efforts to keep the pesticide levels know, little is known about the long-term effects of minimum exposure to pesticides. Exposure could lead to chronic health problems.

 

5. Benzene

Studies have identified this chemical as a carcinogen and have even gone as far to say it could be a factor in leukemia. In addition to water, benzene is added to gas to increase its octane and is found in cigarette smoke. Drinking filtered tap water will help eliminate this chemical.

 

6. Other heavy metals. Arsenic, mercury and cadmium

These chemicals can seep into a water supply and can go undetected. Urban areas are particularly vulnerable. Heavy metals can lead to cancer, nervous system damage and in extreme cases- death. Studies are still being conducted on the long term effects of these chemicals found in household water.

 

What Water Can my Sugar Gliders or Hedgehog have?

We recommend non-chlorinated drinking water or filtered water.

The Environmental Working Group (EWG) analyzed the company websites and product labels of over 170 varieties of bottled water to see if the companies disclosed information on where water came from, how the water was treated, and whether the results of tests to ensure purity were revealed. all, only three bottled water products received a good rating for transparency from the EWG:

  1. Nestlé's Pure Life Purified Water Ingredients: Purified Water, Calcium Chloride, Magnesium Sulfate, Sodium Bicarbonate.

  2. Gerber Pure Purified Water - Ingredients: Purified Water, Calcium Chloride, Magnesium Sulfate, Potassium Bicarbonate

  3. Penta Ultra-Purified Water - Ingredients: Purified Drinking Water By Reverse Osmosis With USP Medical-Grade Oxygen

Filtered tap water received the best grade (an A) from EWG because if you change your filter regularly, EWG says it is purer than bottled water, plus it saves money (bottled water can cost up to 1,900 times more than what flows from your tap). Drinking tap water also takes less of a toll on the planet. EWG offers plenty of tips for filtering your tap water so that you can drink the healthiest water possible. 


RED ITEMS: when present indicates controversial ingredients.