There are a large variety of heavy metals that can contaminate both well and municipal water due to air pollution, agricultural and industrial wastes. These metals are known to have many ill-effects on human health.
Some of the more common water contaminants include arsenic, cadmium, chloroform (a by-product of chlorine), fluoride, lead, PCB's, trihalomethanes (a by-product of chlorine) and zinc. These metals are associated with elevated cancer rates, nervous system damage, upper respiratory infections, organ damage and failure, reproductive damage, coma, muscle damage, nausea, endocrine (autoimmune) dysfunction, and sometimes even death.
While the EPA has issued mandates to lower these contaminants in municipal water, these metals can still be present in both municipal and well water. The allowable rate of contamination as defined by the EPA are acknowledged (by the EPA) to be generally acceptable, although certain portions of the population may still be negatively affected (ie: children, elderly, those with autoimmune disorders, etc.).
Reverse Osmosis systems are recognized as having highly effective rates of removing these and other contaminants from drinking water.
For more information on heavy metals, visit the following websites: