Inorganics can include a combination of metals, salts, compounds, particles, and mineral complexes which do not contain carbon; carbon compounds are organics. Inorganic contaminants include natural or man-made elements or compounds that can contaminate water or be concentrated in the water cycle. Water is not pure H₂0; some of the most common contaminants or conditions include carbon dioxide and other gases, salts like Chloride, Sodium, Carbonate, Alkalinity, Calcium, Potassium, Iron, and Manganese. For the most part, the inorganic contaminants create aesthetic problems such as: a salty or bitter taste, discoloration, or even chemical scale/corrosion. There are some trace metals and elements that are toxic at very low levels, such as: Arsenic and Lead, that can affect your health.
Inorganic contaminants in your drinking water can pose an acute or chronic health risk or concern with conditions such as cancer, liver damage, tumors, damage to the nervous and circulatory systems, kidney disorders, bronchitis, anemia, delayed mental and physical development, gastrointestinal disorders, adult degenerative disorders, and autoimmune disorders. The source of these contaminants may be natural or man-induced or influenced. They can be associated with contaminants that may be introduced or present in the watershed or headwaters for your aquifer, introduced during the process of treating the water, or added in the process of conveying the water to and through your community, home, and plumbing.
Inorganic contaminants in drinking water are regulated under both Primary and Secondary EPA Drinking Water Standards. In addition, there are health advisories and general industry, World Health Organization, and Bottled Water Industry standards. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has standards and guidelines for some but not all inorganics that may be in your drinking water.