Zinc may be creeping into the water supply, which could have an affect on brain function.
Zinc might be seeping into people's drinking water, getting into their brains, and causing problems with learning, memory, stress and more.
The danger, according to new research, is greatest for people who drink water from private wells that use galvanized pipes or tanks, especially in parts of the country where rocks or groundwater are naturally rich in zinc, such as the northern Rocky Mountains and central Florida, as well as in developing countries.
That's a rare set of conditions, and for the vast majority of Americans who drink from the tap, water is safe -- at least as far as zinc is concerned. The Environmental Protection Agency sets standards for levels of the mineral.
However, the new study, presented last week at a meeting Geophysical Society of America in Portland, Ore., suggests that people might want to be careful about how much zinc they're taking in through supplements, food and other sources, particularly this season when there's a tendency to down zinc-rich supplements, lozenges, nasal sprays, and pills in order to fight off both the regular flu and H1N1.