25 March 2010
By Dipti Barve
If you can’t avoid consumption of acidic water, watch out for its ill-effects. Pune Mirror enquires with medical professionals about the health risks
Health experts say several common health irritants such as as constipation, digestive problems, heartburn, headaches, frequent colds, fatigue, and sleeplessness emerge when the natural pH level of human body goes haywire. As the body is slightly alkaline, increasing consumption of acidic water upsets this natural balance.
Doctors say consumption of acidic water invariably affects mostly hair and skin. Its adverse impact on the digestive system will be felt only later, although one may have to put up with minor troubles from time to time.
Dr Narendra Patwardhan, a citybased dermatologist, told Pune Mirror, “Any water which is harder than normal water can cause damage to our skin and hair. Due to usage of water with low pH level (less than 5.5 pH, indicating acidity) hair and skin get affected. Hair will get dry and dull, and may become brittle, finally leading to hair loss. Skin also becomes dry and, in some cases, itching and rashes may occur due to low pH level in water.”
Dr Bipin Deshpande, another dermatologist, also opined that, if water turns acidic, then by using it one’s skin and hair would be definitely damaged. He explained that “as the pH level of our skin and hair is 5.5, if the water pH level is lower than this level (when water turns acidic), then the skin will get dry and may start darkening in some cases. Hair turns dull and rashes may occur by using acidic water.”
As the acid-alkaline level in human body has a bearing on the cellular activity, disruption of the natural pH levels may even result in degenerative diseases. Formation of kidney stones, high blood pressure, high cholesterol levels, urinary incontinence, arthritis and osteoporosis have definitive links to the presence of high acidic content in the body.
Dr Suhas Wagale, gastroenterologist, warned about the side-effects of acidic water on the digestive system. “Water with pH levels less than 7 will lead to absorption of minerals and pollutants like copper, lead and other heavy metals into the intestinal tract. It will prove hazardous for the digestive system in the long term,” he warned.
A research conducted by the geological department of University of Pune had found that groundwater in most urban areas in Pune has turned acidic.
The percolation of acidic water to water bodies from where people draw water for domestic, agricultural and industrial use has definite ramifications, which are mostly adverse. There is no escape from the harmful effects of acidic water, even if one is using water supplied through the civic water lines, as civic bodies in Pune urban area derive water from the same groundwater resources.