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Is There Nickel In Tap Water & How Do You Avoid Nickel?

Nickel is naturally occurring element that is used mostly for the production of stainless steel, jewelry, kitchenware, building, and textiles industry. It is therefore released into the environment by factories, waste disposal incinerators, and power plants. The human body also contains some amounts of nickel (10mg) naturally. In trace amounts nickel is not harmful but high doses can lead to toxicity and carcinogenicity. On contact, it can lead to dermatitis.(1)

Is There Nickel In Tap Water?

Is There Nickel In Tap Water?

Nickel can be found in tap water as it leaks into water supplies from factories and waste disposable systems. This water can lead to harmful effects on the human body. In the human body nickel helps in transporting oxygen to the cells, metabolism of nutrients and hormone production. The acceptable concentration of nickel in drinking water is 20 microgram per liter. Daily intake recommended for nickel is 0.3 mg and it is provided by the vegetables and food such as cabbage, onions, grainy foods, fish nickel-plated and chocolates. It can also be inhaled by air contaminated with nickel and other industrial wastes and gases. The water can be contaminated with nickel with the use of nickel-plated components used in water installation systems and water fitting supplies. Nickel is required in trace amounts in the body for regulation of normal metabolic activities. In excess amounts they can be hazardous and lead to damage of mucous membranes in the body and changes in the chromosomal structure and development of tumor cells. It is also known to cause bone marrow damage in certain individuals. It can also lead to allergic reactions such as runny nose, rashes in the body and inflammation of the conjunctiva of the eyes. Certain medical procedures such as the use of orthopedic implants might lead to rejection of the implants due to negative influence of elements in the body. It is known to reduce the levels of zinc and magnesium in the body’s organs.(2)

How To Avoid Nickel In Water?

The reason for nickel in the body is the faulty installation system and nickel-plated connectors in the water supply system. The problem lies in the multi-layered pipe systems with the use of polypropylene. The products used contains brass which is nickel coated and that nickel when comes in contact with water is slowly released with it in drinking water. The use of water filters made of PPSU renders the water neutral for drinking purposes. The use of reverse osmosis filters also helps in purifying water of fluoride, chromium, nitrates and other dissolved metals in drinking water. Although nickel-plated installation systems are an excellent source of nickel in drinking water their higher amounts can lead to undesired health-related problems. The installation should be done in way that the nickel coating does not come directly in contact with water. The use of safe installation water system supplies is recommended that is certified and approved by the national institute of public health.(2)

The other methods useful in removing nickel from drinking water include the use of activated carbon charcoal cartridges under sink and countertop to absorb the metal impurities. It is also important to look out for signs of nickel toxicity and consult a doctor immediately in case of suspect ion of nickel allergy. The dermatologist is going to perform a skin hypersensitivity allergy test. The cause of allergy is identified and accordingly the treatment is given. Nickel allergy does not usually have a cure. Doctors can prescribe lotion and drugs for relieving the symptoms but every time you come in contact with the allergen you are going to develop the rashes on the exposed area.

Corticosteroids, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, and oral antihistamines may be given to reduce irritation and inflammation caused by nickel. In some cases where drugs are not effective phototherapy may be done to relieve the rashes and irritation. The best remedy is to avoid contact with the allergen.(2)


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Team PainAssist
Team PainAssist
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Team PainAssist, Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:December 15, 2022

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