How Risky is it to Drink Rain?

Turns out, pretty risky


“rain” by wwnorm is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0.

By: Taha Rabah, Journalist

Is rainwater safe to consume? You might’ve asked yourself this question before and I’m here to answer it.

The danger comes from “forever chemicals,” as outlined in this new study in Environmental Science & Technology.  PFAS,  polyfluoroalkyl substances, are called “forever chemicals” because they can last a very long time.  These “forever chemicals,” found in waterproof clothing and other products, enter the earth’s water cycle–evaporating into the atmosphere, raining back down at higher altitudes, and reentering the watershed.

A lot of people use and collect rainwater to conserve their resources, but is it really the best idea? Rain can wash many types of contaminants into the water you collect, it is also known to carry bacteria, parasites, viruses, and other chemicals that would make you ill.

The chance of getting sick from rainwater varies depending on how the weather is, how you collect and store it, and also other particles in the air like smoke and dust.

You can lower your risk of getting sick by only using the rain to water plants you aren’t gonna consume or washing items that aren’t used for cooking or eating. You could also just stop using it altogether.

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