In some places, why is it safe to use tap water to do dishes or bath, but not to drink or use in cooking?

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In some places, why is it safe to use tap water to do dishes or bath, but not to drink or use in cooking?

In: Chemistry

Because some problems only occur when consumed. For example, you can touch raw chicken as much as you want with your hands, the danger happens when it gets into your mouth.

In places where the tap water isn’t so great, it’s generally not just a matter of ‘the germ gets into your body’ or ‘the germ doesn’t get in’. Some of the germs in the tap water will end up everywhere, including on your plate and in your mouth, but the question is just how *many*. Your immune system can easily fight off a certain number of germs in a certain amount of time, but if you ingest too many too quickly it can be overwhelmed and that’s when you’ll get sick.

The difference between eating off a plate washed in *mildly* contaminated water, vs. eating food cooked in it, could be thousands of times different or more. So these water safety rules are about minimizing the risk by keeping your exposure levels low, that’s all.

It’s not 100% safe, but in general the idea is that if you aren’t consuming it and there is enough heat and soap involved that it’s fine.

If you went outside and drank a gross mud puddle you would get sick, but if you just put your hand in it you wouldn’t. And if you boiled it, or mixed it with strong soap you would be even less likely to get sick.