Every morning I get up and put the kettle on to make some coffee. This morning routine gets my engines going, but the way I do it could very well be what brings my engine to a screeching halt. When I make coffee, usually there’s some water left over in the kettle. The next morning when I make coffee, that water is still there. I just add to it.
And apparently that is the wrong thing to do.
I use tap water for my coffee. When you boil tap water, you change the chemical composition of the water. It drives volatile compounds and dissolves gases. In most cases, this is a good thing. But if you reboil your tap water, you risk concentrating undesirable chemicals in your water, like nitrates, arsenic, and fluoride.
If you use distilled deionized water, this is not the case. It can be boiled and reboiled indefinitely.
The cancer risk.
There are some who allege that reboiling your water can cause cancer. The concern isn’t well researched but it’s not unfounded either. Concentrating some toxic substances puts you at risk for illness, and that includes cancer. For example, nitrates concentrated in reboiled water has been linked to methemoglobinemia and some types of cancer, but it’s hard to say if the concentrations are high enough in reboiled water.
But at the end of the day, it’s not a good idea to reboil water at any level. It may not make you ill, but it also might. That alone is generally good enough for me to stop doing something, especially if it’s not necessary.
These days, if there’s a little water left in my kettle, I wait for it to cool and give it to one of my air-purifying house plants.
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