20 Reasons Why Water Is The Most Dangerous Liquid On The Planet

By Abigail 2 months ago

1. It can cause hypothermia

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Cold water can be a real danger, but most people aren't really aware of that. In fact, hypothermia can begin within just minutes of entering cold water - and it's even scarier if you've fallen in accidentally as the shock can make it even worse. If the water is 40 degrees or colder, you could suffer serious injuries within just minutes.

2. Drowning is a common cause of death

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About 70% of our planet is water, and yet drowning is still one of the biggest causes of death, especially for children and young people. There are about 11 drowning deaths every day in the US, and is the leading cause of death for children 1-4 years old. With so much access to water, you'd think we'd have combatted this by now, but sadly not.

3. Tsunamis

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Tsunamis are one of the scariest things on this planet. Caused by earthquakes under the surface of the ocean, tsunamis are mega waves that can reach heights of about 100ft - and all that water rushing towards human habitation can be absolutely ruthless. That wall of water can travel at about the speed of a jet plane - you don't want that rushing into buildings or people.

4. PFAS are lurking in your water

drinking water
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Ever heard of PFAS? Well, you should have, as they're apparently in all of our drinking water. These pollutants are tiny molecules of plastic, and will never break down, making them a lifelong problem if they get into your body or into the environment. And, as they're already in our water, it's only a matter of time before their hazards become obvious.

5. Along with other bacteria

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Water is actually full of bacterias, and not all of them are banished through water filtration systems. Obviously, the risk of ingesting bacteria in water is a lot higher in large bodies of water, so ponds, lakes, and the ocean. In some cases, you could be ingesting E coli. bacteria from swimming in contaminated water, a bacteria that can cause death in people with weaker immune systems.

6. You can drink too much and die

gallon water bottle
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Yep, that's right, there is such a thing as drinking too much water. Sure, it's rare, but it's something to be aware of - water isn't such a good thing in large quantities. Athletes are most at risk from this, as they can overcompensate when doing endurance races. Water intoxication (the scientific word for drinking too much) can lead to confusion, double vision, and difficult breathing, as all that water essentially drowns your brain.

7. Freak rainstorms can cause problems

rain storm
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Heavy rain and thunderstorms can lead to massive dangers, including damage to buildings and trees falling on buildings and people. Not to mention, rain be a massive danger to drivers. Aquaplaning happens when water builds up on tyres faster than your car can displace it, meaning there's a gap between the rubber and the road surface. When this happens, it's very easy to lose control, which can be really dangerous.

8. Acid rain can kill

acid rain

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When rain turns acidic, it can be a huge danger. There's a common misconception that you can't stand outside in acid rain, but that's not quite true - the problem is that you'll be breathing in to high concentrations of toxic chemicals from the rain, which can cause irritation, dental erosion, and cardiovascular problems.

9. Frozen icicles are a big red flag

hanging icicles
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Anyone who's watched shows like ER will probably know the image of a frozen icicle breaking and impaling an unwitting passer by. But does it really happen? Actually, yes. 15 Americans die from icicle accidents every year, and in Russia, where the weather is colder, the figure is 100 per year.

10. Hail can kill people

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In 2000, a 19-year-old in the US died when he suffered head injuries from being hit by a softball-sized hailstone. So, hail can be incredibly dangerous, especially if you're not aware of the dangers. In 1360, a hailstorm killed 1,000 English soldiers who were fighting against the French - more than any other battle in the war thus far.

11. Falling through ice is really dangerous

frozen lake
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Water is just particularly dangerous in ice form, it seems. We know that icicles can kill, but what about ice in general? Well, that causes all manner of dangerous. Slipping on ice can be a death knell for vulnerable people, while falling through ice can also kill - just look at the four teens who died after falling through a frozen lake in the UK in December 2022.

12. Boiling water can cause horrible burns

water burn
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From ice cold to boiling hot - water is dangerous no matter the temperature. Scalds can be extremely painful and quite dangerous when not treated right, leaving lifelong damage - and they can be caused not just by boiling water but also hot steam, when there are lots of small particles of water.

13. Floods are always a danger

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Flash floods are one the scariest of nature's dramatic events - and they'll only get more frequent with climate change. One of the most deadly flood events in recent memory was in 1999 in Venezuela, when flash floods killed at least 10,000-30,000 people. Many others were evacuated and could never return to their homes as entire towns disappeared under mud and debris.

14. You might be drinking arsenic

tap water
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Remember PFAS? Well, there are other toxic things in your drinking water. One of the scariest is arsenic, a deadly toxin that can increase your risk of cancer, heart disease, and diabetes. And this scary substance has already been found in drinking water in several US states.

15. Nuclear radiation can cause it to be radioactive

radioactive water
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Nuclear energy has been a turning point for humanity, giving us access to relatively cleaner energy than oil or gas. But there's a problem - nuclear waste. When nuclear waste seeps into groundwater, the water itself can become radioactive, and if this happens near drinking water plants, you can get cancer from drinking the water every single day.

16. Swimming pools are dangerous places

swimming pool
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It seems obvious that large bodies of water like the sea or a lake are dangerous places, but what about the humble swimming pool? Well, there's actually lots of bacteria hiding in a outdoor swimming pool, which can cause something called Legionnaire’s disease, which is a kind of pneumonia that can be passed between people.

17. And the chlorine can kill you

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Not to mention, too much chlorine can also have devastating effects. Water is typically treated with chlorine to keep it safe, but all that chlorine can mix with other things present in the water to produce dangerous byproducts like trihalomethanes (THMs) which are linked to kidney problems and cancer.

18. Your tap water can contain lead

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As well as arsenic and PFAS, your drinking water may also contain lead from the pipes used to transport it. One-third of US water systems still contain lead, and it's that dangerous chemical that caused the Flint, Michigan water crisis, when thousands of people were probably poisoned because of contaminated water. The long-term effects of this crisis are yet to be seen.

19. And old pipes can cause copper to leak into it

copper pipe
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It's not just lead that causes a problem in drinking water. Old copper pipes can also leak dangerous chemicals into drinking water, which can be especially deadly for children. Ingesting too much copper can lead to anemia and kidney and liver damage. If you're worried, check your copper pipes for any blue/grey discoloring - this can mean the copper is getting into your water.

20. It can give you a bad shock

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Everyone knows that water is dangerous when mixed with electricity. Unfortunately for us, water and electricity are two of the most common things on our planet today, which can cause huge dangers. Electrical hazards cause over 300 deaths a year in the US - it's actually the sixth most common workplace death in the country.

21. It can transmit horrible diseases

bacteria in water
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Water is literally swimming in loads of dangerous diseases. Cholera is one of the biggest killers, and is especially prevalent in countries that don't have clean, safe drinking water. There are more though - common waterborne diseases in the US include Legionellosis, Harmful Algal Blooms and Giardiasis.

22. Rip currents can kill you in the sea

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The sea is a really dangerous place. Not only can you drown in (hot or cold) water, but rip currents can also be an unseen hazard. A rip current happens when swimmers are disrupted by an underwater current that pulls them away from the shore, and they're unable to float to get themselves back to land.

23. Ever heard of perchlorate?

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Perchlorate is a natural chemical that can occur in the ground and the air, but it's also used in the manufacturing of fireworks and explosives. However, when it gets into water it can cause serious problems. Perchlorate can interfere with the thyroid, resulting in iodine deficiency and disrupting hormones, which can be especially dangerous in pregnancy.

24. Murky water can also be a danger

murky water
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Ever thought about how murky water can be a killer? Well, it can. When you swim in murky water (say, a lake or pond), it may be clean, but it's make it harder to see any hazards such as rocks or uneven surfaces. It may also increase your likelihood of drowning if you don't realize how deep the water you're swimming in actually is.

25. Water temperature isn't usually what you think

cold water
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Water temperature can be really hard to gauge. Even on a warm day, the temperature of the sea - especially further away from land - can be a lot colder, and as we've shown, there are huge risks that come from being subjected to cold water. And it's not like you're less at risk once you get out - after drop occurs when you actually feel colder when you get out.

26. Dangerous worms can reside in water

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Worms aren't the first thing you think of when you think of outdoor swimming, but they are a danger. Worms can cause lots of gross health problems, including gastroenteritis, which can be fateful in vulnerable people. These little critters can also cause vomiting, chest pain, and nausea.

27. Water can be dangerous when mixed with mental health issues


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Compulsive water drinking (also called polydipsia) can sometimes affect people with pre-existing mental health condition. This means that they don't feel like they can ever quench their thirst, and subsequently continue to drink water far above what is normal or safe. Polydipsia can be a symptom of something more serious like schizophrenia or anorexia, and could lead to over consumption of water.

28. Heavy rain can cause dangerous currents

heavy rain
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Flash flooding can cause a huge amount of damage to buildings and the environment. The dangers to humans from these events are innumerable, and can include getting sucked into dangerous currents. When this happens out at sea, at least there are minimal objects that you could get pulled into, but in a flash food, it's very easy to die after hitting a building or being pulled into the path of debris.

29. Avalanches

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Snow is water too, remember? Avalanches are a classic case of when water becomes incredibly dangerous. They happen when a layer of snow becomes detached from the mountain and starts to slide downhill, and if you're caught up in one and get trapped beneath the ice water, you probably only have about 20 or 30 minutes until you die from hypothermia (or any injuries you sustained from the fast-moving snow front.)

30. It could contain too much fluoride

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Fluoride is often seen as a healthy chemical that can help prevent tooth decay - it's even added to toothpaste. But fluoride can present another dangerous facet to water. Too much fluoride has been linked to limited brain development in children, and it could also impair to muscle and joint pain.

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