Seeing a lot of new articles about tap water being a concern, with many chemicals leading to all sorts of terrible disease, and, being tap water with formula is all we give our daughter, kind of freaking out. What are the best options?
Chemical exposure is a fact of modern life — in water, in playground equipment, in the plastics we use. This isn’t great, and no one is going to say it is, and I’m happy to see there has been some movement in recent years to try to limit the use of some of these chemicals in manufacturing. In most cases, the evidence linking these chemical exposures to health outcomes is tenuous at the level of exposure we have in daily life. That is to say: these are chemicals we know would be toxic if you were exposed to them in high concentrations, but evidence linking them with (say) cancer at the much lower concentrations in daily life is lacking.
As an individual consumer, it is very difficult to fully avoid exposure to these chemicals, and most individual exposures (like tap water) are a small part. Even if you fully eliminated tap water from your diet, the change would be little. There are probably other changes around plastic storage that would make more of a difference.
Tap water in the U.S. is overall extremely safe. It also provides fluoride in many cases, which is good for teeth. It is a great option for making formula and also for drinking. It’s probably the best option, all in.
One note: Some tap water contains lead, which is a problem and is something you can fix. It’s worth testing your tap water for lead levels (something you can do yourself with a home kit).