Lithium, an unregulated water contaminant, was found in surprisingly high occurrence levels in ongoing EPA monitoring. In fact, 22% of the community water supplies tested exceeded the the EPA’s established health reference level.
According to a recent Water Quality Association (WQA) statement, “The health implications of lithium in drinking water are still being studied, and they may not all be negative. In the pharmaceutical industry, lithium is used as an antidepressant, and some studies have correlated high lithium levels in drinking water with a reduction in suicide rate. A study in Denmark had conflicting results: High levels of lithium in drinking water were correlated with a decreased risk of dementia, but medium levels of lithium in drinking water correlated with an increased risk of dementia. A study in Argentina found that high levels of lithium can interfere with child development by making it difficult for pregnant women to maintain healthy calcium levels in the blood.”
The WQA reaches the familiar conclusion: “More studies are needed.”
In the meantime, if you want to remove lithium from your drinking water, an undersink reverse osmosis unit is the best way to go about it.
Source: WQA email newsletter, November 2023.