Epidemiologists have been gathering evidence concerning increased cardiovascular mortality rate that has been rising gradually for the past fifty years, they believe environmental factors are playing a key role in influencing the mortality and the highly suspected factor is the hard water. According to the world health organization hard water is simply water with a variety of dissolved polyvalent metallic ions which are mainly calcium and magnesium there are other minerals present in the hard water but in small quantity namely iron, aluminum, manganese, barium, and zinc which contribute to hardness. To test water hardness try to make foam with soap, hard water will need more soap to produce a lather compared to soft water. The water hardness is primarily expressed in milligrams of calcium carbonate per liter, whereby water with calcium carbonate concentrations below 60 grams is soft, 6-120 mg/l is considered moderately hard and 120-180 mg/l is categorized as hard water. Human body needs sufficient mineral nutrients such as calcium and magnesium where deficiency can lead to health problems, for example deficiency in calcium is related to osteoporosis especially in pregnant women and old people because calcium is used to increase bone density, on the other hand, human body needs magnesium to produce enzymes that are used for energy metabolism and it deficiency has been associated with, cardiac arrhythmia and pre-eclampsia (gestation hypertension) which is normally treated with magnesium salt. The benefits of these minerals are only realized when they are provided at an optimum level implying that consuming them in excess as may be in the case of hard water can be harmful to human health. In this article, we look at the health effects of consuming excess minerals present in hard water.
Drinking of hard water that can lead to an excess supply of calcium in the body has not been proofed as a health risk especially to healthy individuals, however, there are concerns for people with kidney problems which may delay in excreting the excess calcium from their system additionally people with the milk-alkali syndrome have been classified as risk population to the consumption of hard water and therefore necessary precautions are required.
In the case of excess magnesium intake present in hard water has major health risks on individuals with renal insufficiency, also important to note is that increased intake of magnesium can lead to temporary bowel change which can lead to diarrhea but this is highly adaptable, but a people with no kidney problems rarely experience this change in the bowel, furthermore, taking water with excess magnesium and sulfate can cause laxative effects though there is no enough literature to support this claim, some epediomological studies have reported a negative association between cardiovascular mortality and consuming water magnesium, although the relationship has been termed as weak, it is related to well-known effects of magnesium to cardiovascular functions, however, the was no association between consuming hard water rich in magnesium and calcium and myocardial infarction. Those are some of the health concerns related to consumption of hard water.