11 Well Water Contaminants That Can Attack the Thyroid

Both nationally and globally, thyroid problems are rising. Doctors and researchers note the increase of thyroid cancer, hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid) and hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid). Naturally occurring chemicals in soil and rock or substances added by humans to the water supply can trigger thyroid problems in men, women and children. These contaminants may enter wells and community water supplies as a result of water purification or agricultural, military or industrial activities.

Does Your Water Contain Any of These Threats to Your Thyroid?

Bisphenol A: This chemical is used in the manufacture of plastics, and may be included in some PVC piping used for home plumbing. BPA also leaches from plastic items in landfills and reaches groundwater. BPA interferes with thyroid hormone production and can encourage the growth of thyroid cancer cells. 

Chloroform: This chemical forms as a result of disinfection of community water supplies. Chloroform disrupts the function of the thyroid gland and may be associated with thyroid cancer.

Fluoride: Fluoride is added to the drinking water of many regions as a way to reduce tooth decay. Studies have shown, however, that too much fluoride interferes with the function of the thyroid, resulting in hypothyroidism. 

Formaldehyde: This chemical can be added to drinking water as a result of water disinfection or by leaching from some plumbing fixtures. Formaldehyde can not only damage the function of the thyroid, it can also trigger autoimmune thyroid diseases such as Hashimoto’s. 

Heavy metals: Metals such as mercury, lead, arsenic, or cadmium in drinking water may be naturally occurring and thus show up in well water. Lead can also enter drinking water from pipes or solder in the plumbing system. Exposure to these metals increases the risk of hypothyroidism or thyroid cancer.  

Nitrates: There are many sources of nitrates in drinking water, including agricultural runoff, leaking septic systems, wastewater, landfills, or decaying plant debris. Too much exposure to nitrates has been associated with an increased risk of thyroid dysfunction and thyroid cancer.

PBDEs: Polybrominated diphenyl ethers are flame-retardant chemicals that have been phased mostly out of use but that can still be found in older foam rubber, fabrics, rugs, vehicles, and much more. From landfills and industrial activities, PBDEs have entered drinking water. There is evidence that the system of the body most strongly affected by these chemicals is the thyroid hormone system.

PCBs: While polychlorinated biphenyls were banned in 1979, there are still plenty of these chemicals persisting in our air, water and soil. These chemicals disrupt the endocrine system, particularly the thyroid function. PCB exposure is also associated with thyroid cancer.

Perchlorate: This is a chemical used in flares, explosives, fireworks and rocket fuel. It also occurs naturally in rock. From any of these sources, perchlorate can enter water supplies. Excessive exposure to perchlorate can decrease the amount of thyroid hormone produced. 

Pesticides: Exposure to insecticides like organochlorines, organophosphates, and pyrethroids increases the risk of hypothyroidism. It is easy for these chemicals to enter the water supply through agricultural runoff that makes its way into private water wells. Some pesticides like paraquat and oxyfluorfen are also associated with thyroid cancer. 

PFAS: Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances are pervasive in today’s world. There are thousands of chemicals in this group that have been used for waterproofing, non-stick cookware, cosmetics, household cleaners and many other products. Once they enter our soil or water, they may not break down for centuries. Exposure to some types of PFAS is associated with increased cancer risk. 

Ensure Your Family Has the Purest Water Possible from Your Well

Annual testing of your private water well is the best way to ensure good and healthy water quality. Once you know what is in your water, you can determine the best filtering or treatment system to remove any contaminants. 

If it has been years since you have tested your water or if you have never tested it, start with ETR Labs’ Ultimate Water Test and find out exactly what contaminants need to be removed for your family’s health. Click here to order this test!