In-depth: Raw water could lead to serious health problems


SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) -- Raw, unfiltered, untreated, and straight-from-the-source water.

Some people claim that drinking it has changed their lives. But doctors are warning this new trend could lead to serious health problems.

Raw water--it's crystal clear. But its consequences are anything but.

Could what's in this glass help or hurt you?

"I even take it to restaurants sometimes," self-described raw water advocate and musician Lee Sayer said. "I am that adamant about it."

Sayer is turned off by tap water, citing the chemicals, toxins, and fluoride found inside.

"There are peer-reviewed studies that show fluoride lowers IQ in children by 3 points," Sayer said.

Sayer gets shipments of untreated live water from Oregon.

The water comes straight from a natural spring into elaborate glass jugs delivered to his door.

And drinking it makes him feel a difference, better, and healthier.

"It tastes amazing. It has all the micronutrients," Sayer said.

But doctors like Timur Durrani, a toxicology expert, at UCSF, advise against jumping the raw water trend train.

He tells KRON4 even if it comes from the cleanest streams, it can contain animal feces and arsenic.

And diseases like E.coli and cholera.

"From a health perspective, we just want people to be safe," Dr. Durrani said. "We don't have an issue with it being natural, but there are naturally occurring infections."

But Sayer says he'll never go back to the tap. Despite the warnings, drinking this is for him.

Raw it a fad or the way of the future?

The answer is not clear.


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