Drinking plenty of water has long been recommended by health care professionals as a way to keep the body hydrated, healthy and capable of functioning properly. However, if the drinking water is contaminated with heavy metals, this advice has the potential to cause serious illness or even death due to heavy metal toxicity. If you are concerned about the quality of the water you are drinking and serving your family, the following information will help you understand the risk and offer some helpful solutions to your water is safe for your family to drink and use.  What are toxic heavy metals? Although the earth naturally contains heavy metals, toxicity issues are often linked to heavy metals that remain as by-products of industrial use, such as those used in mining and manufacturing. These include:  lead mercury cadmium arsenic chromium copper zinc cobalt manganese What are the symptoms of heavy metal poisoning? Heavy metals can enter the body in a number of ways, including ingesting water or food contaminated with heavy metals, by breathing in contaminated dust or through contact with contaminated substances. People who are exposed to heavy metals often do not become sick until the heavy metals reach a certain level in the body, causing symptoms or related illnesses to occur. The symptoms of heavy metal poisoning can be different depending upon which metal is responsible, but can include vomiting, diarrhea, headache and neuropathy, as well as other symptoms which may or may not be easily discernible. Left untreated, heavy metal toxicity has been linked to a variety of serious health conditions, including cancer, diabetes, anemia, osteoporosis and others. What can families do to ensure optimal water quality? Since water is one of the three main avenues that allow heavy metals into the human body, taking steps to ensure that the water your family drinks, cooks and bathes with is of prime concern. A logical starting point is to have local water sources tested for heavy metal content, but it is also important to address the possibility that family members are coming into contact with heavy metals from other water sources, such as those at school or work and these sources should also be tested.  If heavy metals are found to be in the water supply your family uses, it is important to add a filtration system capable of screening out the heavy metal content. In addition, you can purchase and use convenient, portable water filtration pitchers to ensure that water from untested sources is safe to drink or to use at work or when traveling.  Your local water purification expert (like ALKALINE PLANET) can help you arrange water testing and address your specific...