What negative effects have hard water?

calcium and magnesium on a heating element

Calcium and magnesium are beneficial to humans in moderate amounts. We get those both nutrients via food or multivitamins. But if these elements are dissolved in water in high concentrations (as hard water), you may face the following adverse health consequences:

  • Drinking hard water can be harmful to your health.

Hard water is dangerous to human life. It generally contains calcium carbonate at 120–180 mg/l.  If the hardness of water exceeds the norm, diseases such as nephrolithiasis (kidney stones), arthritis, sclerosis, hypertension, and stroke, or even obesity develop. In addition, medical problems associated with normal function of the skin or gastrointestinal tract may appear as well.  In all these cases, deposits of calcium and magnesium salts affect the blood vessels and joints, clog pores of a skin, and are stored in the form of stones in some organs. If your body tends to accumulate and store mineral salts, then stones will appear in kidneys and bladder. Also, the excess of minerals in the water can aggravate heart problems.

  • Hard water makes your skin dry and old.

Dryness and tightness are felt if you wash your face or take a shower in hard water. Also, people with sensitive skin may experience irritation and itching. Water with excess salts will dry your hair – it will become frizzy and brittle. Bathing children in hard water are one of the reasons for the development of atopic dermatitis. Daily exposure to hard water can be a risk factor that could lead to eczema.

In addition to negative health effects, excess minerals also bring other troubles:

  • Hard water leads to a breakdown of household appliances.

Washing machine and dishwasher, electric kettle and coffee maker fail before the due date if the hard water is in use. The heating elements are covered with calcium deposits will burn out. To repair such a breakdown is not always possible, and if possible – very expensive.

  • Hard water spoils the taste of your dishes and drinks.

Due to the high concentration of minerals, hard water poorly absorbs the tastes of the ingredients. As a result, tea is not fresh, coffee is not aromatic, and broth is tasteless.  Vegetables and meat are cooked longer than indicated in the recipe (especially if the recipe is composed by a happy consumer of soft water). Soak dry beans in hard water is almost useless.

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