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IS YOUR WATER
MAKING YOU HEALTHIER
OR SICKER?

We all want to believe that the home tap water we drink is safe. In fact, we want to take that for granted. And maybe there was a time when we could. But today, even the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that 45,000,000 Americans drink tap water polluted with chemicals, lead, pesticides, parasites, bacteria and other impurities.

Many people think that drinking bottled water is better, yet regulations that govern bottled water only require it to be as good as tap water. This was confirmed by a recently published report stating as much as 49% of all bottled water is actually tap water in a bottle. Most people must not know this because in 2011 Americans purchased 9.1 billion gallons of bottled water, even though in recent years bottled water has come under increased scrutiny because of:

• There is a high cost per gallon of bottle water, which is often nothing more than tap water.

• Plastic bottles leaching toxic chemicals like BPA, Trihalomethanes and Haloacetic acids.

• Millions of barrels of oil are used each year to produce and transport bottled water.

• Billions of empty bottles end up in landfills and the ocean each year, where they may last for 1,000 years.

Nearly Every Bottled Water Product Flunked Environmental Working Group’s Test

When the Environmental Working Group tested 173 bottled water brands for transparency ¬ what each company is willing to share with you about where their water comes from, how or if it’s treated, and how pure it is ¬ more than half of all bottled waters flunked. In fact, only 3 brands received a B grade, and none received an A.

What’s Wrong with Our Water?

In 2005, the nonprofit Environmental Working Group (EWG) tested municipal water in 42 states and detected some 260 contaminants in public water supplies. Of those, 141 were unregulated chemicals for which public health officials have no safety standards, much less methods for removing them. Additional problems include:

• Pharmaceutical Drugs - U.S. manufacturers, including major drug makers, have legally released at least 271 million pounds of pharmaceuticals into waterways that often provide drinking water. Yet consumers are considered the biggest contributors to the contamination. They consume drugs, then excrete what their bodies don’t absorb. Other times, they flush unused drugs down toilets. It was also found that an estimated 250 million pounds of pharmaceuticals and contaminated packaging are thrown away each year by hospitals and long-term care facilities. Unfortunately, water companies do not presently test for the presence of drugs.

• Giardia Cysts – Giardia has become the most common cause of water-borne disease in the United States.

• Cryptosporidium Cysts – Major outbreaks of disease have been caused by Cryptosporidium cysts that have been found in 28% of tested drinking water.

• Pesticides and Herbicides – According to the USGS Water Science School, “Pesticide contamination of ground water is a subject of national importance because ground water is used for drinking water by about 50 percent of the Nation’s population. This especially concerns people living in the agricultural areas where pesticides are most often used, as about 95 percent of that population relies upon ground water for drinking water. . .Studies have now shown that . . .Pesticides can reach water-bearing aquifers below ground from applications onto crop fields, seepage of contaminated surface water, accidental spills and leaks, improper disposal, and even through injection waste material into wells.”

Children Are at Greatest Risk

The Harvard School of Public Health is especially concerned about the effects of tap water on children. They estimate that as much as 10% of serious gastrointestinal illness in children can be directly attributed to their drinking unpurified, polluted water.

If the water you drink is not pure, your body will effectively become the final filtration.

Why Clean, Healthy Water Is So Important:

• Lack of water is the #1 trigger of daytime fatigue?

• 89% of our body is water, yet 75% of Americans are chronically dehydrated?

• Even mild dehydration will slow metabolism as much as 3%?

• Drinking 5 glasses of purified water per day reduces the risk of colon cancer by 45%?

• Drinking 5 glasses of purified water per day reduces the risk of breast cancer by 79%?

• Drinking 8 to 10 glasses of water per day would reduce back and joint pain for up to 80% of sufferers?

• 86% of all people in the U.S. are worried about the quality of their tap water?

What’s the Health Minded Household to Do

The first thing to do is to find out what chemicals your water department adds to your water so you will know what type of water filter you need. Typically, it is either chlorine or chloramine and sometimes fluoride, too. Additionally, there are do-it-at-home water test kits for bacteria, lead, iron, pesticides, nitrates, nitrites, chlorine, pH and hardness.

Most carbon filters do a great job removing chlorine and lots of chemicals, but they are NOT generally successful at removing dissolved inorganic contaminants or metals such as minerals/salts (hardness or scale-causing contaminants), antimony, arsenic, asbestos, barium, beryllium, cadmium, chromium, copper, fluoride, mercury, nickel, nitrates/nitrites, selenium, sulfate, thallium and certain radio nuclides.

No one media does it all, which is why it is so important to know which contaminants need to be removed from the water when you speak to a water filter salesperson. For instance, KDF 85 is used for chloramines, an anion resin impregnated with ion oxide removes copper, an ion exchange resin removes nitrates and calcium-based carbon and activated alumina remove fluoride.

And not all carbon is equally effective. One of the highest quality -- and most effective -- is dedusted, acid washed granular coconut shell activated carbon, which comes from coconut shell that has undergone a steam activation process to create its activated carbon form. During activation, it creates millions of pores at the surface of the carbon thus increasing the total surface area. Coconut shell carbon is rated by the iondine level which measures how well it absorbs contaminants, ranging from a low of 400 to a high of 1200.

Carbon comes in a variety of micron sizes (the smaller the number the greater the removal capability), so if you live in a populated area, you can assume there are pharmaceutical drugs in your water, thus you will want a 1 micron absolute carbon filter (not to be confused with a 1 micron nominal filter), which removes bacteria and drugs. If you live rurally, especially in an agricultural area, the most common contaminants in your well water are nitrates and pesticides.

Once armed with a list of contaminants to be removed from your water, you can be assured of getting the right water filtration system for your needs. After all, water is the most important thing we consume every day, and healthy water contributes to healthy bodies.

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Written by: Carol James, InspiredLiving.com


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