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Is There ASBESTOS in My Family's WATER?

Is There ASBESTOS in My Family's WATER?

Are you concerned about the potential health risks associated with asbestos in your drinking water? Recently, there has been growing concern about the presence of asbestos cement pipes that were installed decades ago and are still being used to deliver drinking water to households in Canada and the United States. As these aging pipes deteriorate, they can release asbestos fibres into the water, posing a serious health risk.

Today I'm going to share some valuable information on how to determine if YOUR family's water supply is at risk. I'm Gary the Water Guy, and my mission is to simplify water filtration to ensure you have access to clean and safe drinking water.

In this blog, I will guide you on how to protect your family from drinking water contaminated by asbestos. It's essential to stay informed and take the necessary steps to safeguard your loved ones' well-being. Learn more about this hidden danger and discover effective strategies for safeguarding your family's water quality.



Asbestos is a group of fibrous minerals used to strengthen and fireproof materials. Inhaled or injected asbestos fibres become trapped in the body. The fibres cause diseases such as mesothelioma and lung cancer. Asbestos has been linked to causing cancer. More than 50 other countries have banned the use of asbestos water pipes and they haven’t been installed in North America for over 50 years, BUT those asbestos pipes are still in use in many communities.

Should we be concerned about asbestos in our drinking water?

Absolutely! As our water mains decay and natural deposits erode over time, they release asbestos fibres into our drinking water. In addition to causing mesothelioma, the EPA shows long-term exposure to asbestos above the maximum contaminant level of 7 million fibres per litre (MFL) also can increase the risk of developing benign intestinal polyps.



According to the World Health Organization (WHO), most of the population of the U.S. consumes drinking water contaminated with asbestos, but in concentrations low enough that it is unlikely to cause health problems.

However, when asbestos levels in drinking water do rise above the maximum safe limit, water suppliers are required to notify customers within 30 days of the violation. But do you still want to expose your family for 30 days?

The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) says asbestos fibres may be released from the use of asbestos cement pipes in water supply systems. The agency regulates asbestos in water. It maintains that ingested (swallowed) asbestos can “cause lung disease; cancer.” Health Canada says there is insufficient evidence that ingested asbestos is hazardous. 

Health Canada and the World Health Organization have concluded that there is no consistent, convincing evidence that asbestos ingested through water is harmful to your health. If you drink water containing asbestos fibres, you eliminate the fibres, mostly through feces. For this reason, Health Canada has not established drinking water guidelines for asbestos.



I don’t know about you, but I want as little asbestos in my water as possible for my family. So how do you know if asbestos pipes are being used and if your water supply uses asbestos pipes? Contact your water supplier and ask them! 

The problem is, even if you don’t have asbestos in your water now, that doesn’t mean that as the pipes upstream of your home degrade more asbestos fibres can contaminate your water in the future.

Recently W5, a Canadian news magazine television program produced by CTV News, spent several months trying to find out where these pipes are. You can check out their YouTube video right here.


W5 reached out and asked over 100 towns, districts and municipalities what types of pipes were in use, and whether there were maps of these networks. 

Roughly 90 percent of the places that responded still used asbestos cement pipes. Check out this Interactive Map showing where asbestos pipes are still in use.



The American Cancer Society says people can be exposed by either inhaling or swallowing asbestos.  Swallowing asbestos can happen when people eat or drink contaminated food or liquids (such as water that flows through asbestos cement pipes). They go on to say that asbestos can increase the risk for some types of cancer, specifically Mesothelioma where the risk increases with the amount of asbestos exposure. Lab studies have shown that all forms of asbestos have caused tumours in test animals.



With all this in mind, you're likely wondering how to remove asbestos from your family's water supply! 

A Reverse Osmosis drinking water system like this one will remove asbestos and a whole lot of other contaminants from your drinking water. 


Remember, knowledge is power when it comes to ensuring the safety of your drinking water. We hope this blog has provided you with some valuable insights and practical tips to conquer crappy water!

Want to learn how Reverse Osmosis drinking water systems work? We've got you covered. Visit the link below!