Archive for the 'Contaminants in Drinking Water' Category
Washing your hair with unfiltered tap water can not only make your hair hard to manage, but it can cause big damage to it as well. Additives in the water can adversely affect the health of your hair even by preventing further growth while leaving you with dull, flat hair.
Long, beautiful locks were much more common before cities began to put chemicals in the water. Beginning in the early 1900s, cities started permanently adding chlorine and various other chemicals to the public water supply to disinfect and “purify” the water in use. Regular exposure to chlorinated water can cause significant damage to hair by stripping hair of oil. The oil in hair is what protects it from over drying and in turn prevents cracking and splitting easily. With the right approach, healthy hair can once again be possible.
Identifying what kind of hair is most at risk for chlorine related hair damage can help you figure out what home remedy is best to add the healthy glow back into your hair.
· Color and chemically treated hair, dry hair, fine hair, and previously damaged hair face the largest risks for chlorine damage. People with this type of hair definitely use a filter to remove chlorine, should not be wash their hair often, and should eat plenty of protein rich foods and vitamins.
· For those with oily hair, unfiltered water strips your scalp on a daily basis of natural oils. This leaves your body thinking it needs to make up for the oils lost and it does so by producing more oils to protect the scalp and hair, leaving you with over oily hair.
· Long hair is particularly at risk for hair damage, as the effects of unfiltered water will leave hair vulnerable to split ends. Instead, using natural oils in your hair will help keep hair healthy and long.
· Curly hair is difficult to manage and keep healthy even without the chemicals in water. It should not be shampooed on a daily basis to prevent too many minerals from situating themselves into the dense hair fibers.
Below is a list of healthy habits to get glowing, perfect hair:
1. Massage your scalp: Massaging your scalp will increase your blood circulation levels going to your hair follicles and will help your hair grow faster and smoother. Try the Aquasana Shower Filter with Massaging Wand to get the best results.
2. Filter your water: Filtering water with the Aquasana Shower Filter will take the chlorine, chloramines, and hardness that contributes to the stripping of oils out of your water while leaving in the healthy minerals that help your hair grow strong. The water will also help your shampoos and conditioners work better on your hair, as the products will also be stripped of their abilities when paired with the harsh chemicals in tap water.
3. Eat healthy: Eating the right amount of proteins, minerals, vitamins, and nutrients to keep your hair strong are vital to begin taking care of your hair. For example, hair is mostly composed of protein, making it an important factor in how fast and long your hair grows.
4. Use natural remedies: Using natural remedies over store bought products to treat your hair will leave your scalp and hair thanking you. Just as eating healthy can provide the right nutrients for your hair, homemade cleansers can help boost hair growth. Try the remedies below for a refreshing new cleanser that won’t dry out your scalp and will jumpstart your road to beautiful hair.
· For dry scalp: Eggs are high in protein and they provide vibrancy to dried out hair. In a large bowl, mix two egg yolks with 1/8-cup water and two teaspoons of extra virgin olive oil. Beat until it is well mixed. Apply the mixture to damp hair after a shampoo and let sit for 20 minutes. Rinse with warm water and let dry naturally.
· For oily scalp: Lemons are high in vitamins and minerals that keep excessive oils away. Squeeze one lemon for it’s juice and dilute it with one cup of warm water. After mixing it, apply to your scalp and let it sit for 20 minutes. Rinse with warm water and an all-natural shampoo. Let dry naturally.
Here’s to a beautiful you!
A three-year investigation by the Environmental Working Group (EWG) of the country’s drinking water found that water flowing to about 85 percent of the population contains 316 contaminants – over 60 percent of these have no safety standards and are not regulated by the Environmental Protection Agency.
The Safe Drinking Water Act is undeniably outdated, as not a single contaminant has been added to its list of regulated chemicals since the year 2000. Standards for judging whether or not a chemical is harmful at certain levels have not been updated since 1974.
“Filtering your tap water is the first step to protecting your family from toxins on a daily basis, whether it’s for drinking, showering or cooking,” said Amy Myers, MD, an Austin-based physician specializing in functional medicine. “Government regulations focus on protecting us from the big health risks like waterborne bacterial diseases. The long-term health effects of chronic exposures to trace elements of contaminants in our drinking water are something we all need to take personal responsibility for.”
Some of the most concerning contaminants lurking in your tap water can include:
Lead is a toxic metal that can cause damage to health even at low doses. Corrosion of household plumbing systems and erosion of natural deposits are major sources of lead pollution in public drinking water. The amount of lead found in the water varies depending on how long the water is exposed to the pipes, the amount of corrosion on the pipes, the water’s acidity and the temperature of the water. Lead in drinking water can cause a variety of adverse health effects.
Chlorine is a powerful oxidant added to the water by several municipal water systems to control microbes. Chlorine can be absorbed through physical consumption as well as through your skin while bathing. Chlorine can severely dry skin and hair and cause irritating effects to your eyes and nose.
Chloramines are formed when ammonia is added to water that contains free chlorine. Chloramines are typically added as secondary disinfectant. Chlorine and chloramine, when combined with naturally occurring materials in water, form disinfectant byproducts (DBP’s) which have been shown to cause cancer in laboratory testing.
Mercury is a liquid metal that can be found in various natural deposits. Erosion of natural deposits, discharge from refineries & factories, landfill runoff and cropland runoff are just a few of the ways that mercury can get into public drinking water. Being exposed to high levels of mercury over time can cause kidney damage.
Volatile Organic Compounds include a variety of chemicals emitted as gases. Thousands of products contain VOC’s so it’s no surprise some of these elements end up in our drinking water. When water is heated and vaporized, your body can absorb these contaminants.
Pharmaceuticals are synthetic chemicals that are found in prescription, therapeutic and veterinary medication. They commonly make it into the water stream from poorly controlled manufacturing facilities and improper disposal.
Herbicides enter the drinking water system by accumulation in public soil and water sources. Most commonly, they enter the water system from rainfall and irrigation which wash herbicides off farmlands and into lakes and rivers. Atrazine, a herbicide commonly used on golf courses, can interfere with the bodies hormonal activity and reproductive organs.
Pesticides travel through sewers that run from drains within the home, carrying all wastewater to treatment plants where they remain untreated throughout the detoxifying process. There are hundreds of different compounds with few tests and studies on how these contaminants may impact our health.
Cysts are a microbial parasite that can be found in lakes and rivers and can enter the water through sewage, leaking septic tanks and runoff from feedlots. Many cysts are resistant to the water disinfection process making cysts a health risk in tap water.
Methyl Tertiary Butyl Ether is used in gasoline throughout the country to reduce carbon monoxide and ozone levels from auto emissions. MTBE can leak into water through seepage of underground storage tanks, pipelines, spills, and discharge from water engines into lakes and rivers.
The safest way to ensure that these toxins do not make it into your body is to have your water tested to determine which contaminants your tap water may contain. Once you have identified the contaminants present, you can select a water filtration solution that is best for you.
Aquasana drinking water filters remove 96% of chlorine and chloramine and 58 additional contaminants including those listed in this post.
Whether you use city water or rely on water from a private well, it’s smart to know what’s actually in your water. Clean, healthy water is one of the most important things you can do to maintain healthy living.
Most people believe the tap water they receive at home is safe to drink. But this really depends on what one deems as “safe”. According to a study by the Environmental Working Group (EWG), over 316 contaminants have been found in the nation’s drinking water. Over 60% of these contaminants have no standards and are not regulated.
Over time, the increased use of water disinfectants, pesticides, herbicides and ongoing environmental pollution all contribute to the contamination of our drinking water. If you drink tap water without filtration, it is likely that you’re consuming chemicals and contaminants including chlorine, chloramines, led, mercury, pesticides, herbicides and volatile organic compounds (VOC’s)—a chemical cocktail of sorts.
Fortunately there are steps you can take to become informed on the quality of water coming into your home so you can make informed choices on the action to take, including filtering your water.
Water Quality Report:
The first step is to review your local water report. Each year you should receive a water quality report typically called a Consumer Confidence Report or Water Quality Report before July 1st. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) requires all drinking water suppliers to provide this report annually. This report provides water quality statistics on regulated water contaminants. This report will tell you where your water comes from and contaminants that may be present in your water, including which chemicals are used for water disinfection.
You can also access your water quality information online. The EWG maintains a national drinking water database and the EPA maintains a directory of water quality reports. In addition, most local water suppliers also have this information readily available on their website.
Home Water Tests:
Water can become contaminated as it passes through the distribution channel and even as it passes through the pipes in your home. A home water test will give you a general indication of certain contaminants present in the water from your tap. Home water tests are available at many home supply stores and online. Depending on the home test kit, you can test for a variety of contaminants including E.coli, lead, pesticides, nitrates/nitrites, chlorine, hardness and pH. Even though these tests can be less than 100% accurate, it is a fast and easy way to identify the contaminants present in your water.
Independent Lab Test:
Submitting water samples to an independent testing lab is by far the most accurate way to determine the quality of your water. Although a bit more expensive (most start at around $100), lab tests are quite extensive and provide accurate readings when the lab instructions are followed exactly.
At Aquasana, we use National Testing Labs to test our customer’s water. The results from these tests are used to customize water filtration solutions to meet the exact needs of our customers. The price of the lab test can be used toward a water filtration solution making it a smart choice for those who are ready to take actions to improve the quality of their water.
Important Note about Well Water:
If you receive water from a well, it is important that you have your water tested at least once a year. Most well water is not regulated or monitored for quality and it is up the homeowner to ensure the water is safe to use. Well water can be susceptible to bacteria, iron, hardness and a host of other environmental contaminants. Each of these problems can be easily solved with the proper filtration, softening and anti-bacterial solutions in place.
If you have questions about testing your water, let us know and we’ll connect you with a water specialist on our team!
By: Amy Myers, MD, founder and medical director of Austin UltraHealth
Toxins are all around us. For optimal health, it’s important to reduce our exposure to chemicals and toxins. Here are 10 tips to help you keep your home clean and green.
1. Conventional flooring
Conventional carpet is made from synthetic, petroleum-based fibers that can emit up to 120 hazardous chemicals linked to asthma, allergies, neurological problems and cancer. Many of the chemicals that are mainly found in the rubber padding and adhesive glues can take years to off-gas. Instead, use cotton or wool rugs or recycled carpet tiles, which do not require adhesive glues. Also consider stained concrete and renewable wood such as bamboo or cork.
2. VOC paints
Be sure to use no-VOC (volatile organic compounds) paints – many companies advertise that they are no-VOC, but that’s the base white paint only. Once color is added, it’s no longer no-VOC.
3. Filter your water
Our bodies are more than 70% water and designed to run primarily on water and minerals. The water we consume can have a significant impact on our short-and long-term health. A three-year investigation of the country’s drinking water by the Environmental Working Group found that water flowing to about 85% of the population contains 316 contaminants — over 60% of these have no safety standards and are not regulated by the EPA. For the healthiest and best-tasting water possible a filtration system is the best solution. I recommend Aquasana water filters and their new countertop Aquasana Powered Water Filtration System removes ten times the contaminants as the leading filter pitcher and each filter lasts eight times longer.
4. Upholstered Furniture
Upholstered furniture can be filled with polyurethane foams that are petroleum-based and full of chemicals and fire retardants. Look for a piece made with natural latex foam, wool cushions and organic fabrics. Choose solid wood over pressed particle board, which emits formaldehyde.
5. Commercial bedding
Choose organic, untreated sheets, blankets and pillows. Otherwise most commercial materials use fire retardants, pesticides, bleach and dyes.
6. Vinyl shower curtains
Vinyl shower curtains release more than 100 VOCs that can hang around in the air for more than a month. They also contain phthalates, which are hormone and endocrine disruptors. Opt for organic cotton and linen shower curtains instead.
7. Curtains and window treatments
Most curtains contain fire retardants, pesticides, bleach and dyes. Make sure to use organic, untreated cotton or linen, or opt for bamboo.
8. Conventional mattresses
Where you sleep and what you sleep on is one of the most important decisions you can make – I can’t stress this enough. We spend nearly half of our lives asleep, and most of our detox and body repair occurs while we sleep. Conventional mattresses contain harsh chemical and fire retardants, which can out-gas for years! Choose 100% natural latex mattresses and organic wool mattress toppers.
9. Cleaning solutions
The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) listed household cleaners as one of the top ten pet poisons in 2009. Levels of brominated flame retardants in cats are up to 23 times higher than those found in human beings, and dogs have an average 2.4 times more perfluorinated chemicals in their bodies than people. These are chemicals that are already found in products you buy, such as fire-proof fabrics and stain-proof rugs – just imagine how susceptible your dog or cat is to the chemicals you readily spray and pour in your home. Look for non-toxic cleaning solutions.
10. Nasty air
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) warns, “Most people are aware that outdoor air pollution can damage their health but may not know that indoor air pollution can also have significant effects. EPA studies of human exposure to air pollutants indicate that indoor air levels of many pollutants may be two to five times, and on occasion more than 100 times, higher than outdoor levels. These levels of indoor air pollutants are of particular concern because it is estimated that most people spend as much as 90 percent of their time indoors. In recent years, comparative risk studies performed by the EPA and its Science Advisory Board (SAB) have consistently ranked indoor air pollution among the top five environmental risks to public health.” Get an HEPA air filter!
For more tips from Dr. Myers, visit www.AmyMyersMD.com.
About Dr. Amy Myers
Dr. Amy Myers is a medical doctor with extensive training in Functional Medicine, Integrative Medicine and Nutrition. Functional Medicine is a science-based approach to healing that focuses on a patient-centered, not disease-centered, model of care. Dr. Myers is also a contributing writer for Mind Body Green. Austin UltraHealth is located at 5656 Bee Caves Road, Suite D 203, Austin, Texas 78746.
As a leader in water filtration products, Aquasana recently launched the world’s first ever powered countertop pitcher to reduce 10 times the contaminants than the leading drip pitcher filter – fast. The Aquasana Powered Water Filtration System selectively retains beneficial minerals for health and taste through Claryum™ technology that uses pressure to quickly force unfiltered water through an ultra-dense, smart filter block.
The power pitcher is tested by NSF International to reduce 61 common water contaminants including lead, mercury, asbestos, herbicides and pesticides, as well as over 96% of chlorine and chloramines. While leading brands’ filters last about 40 gallons, our long-lasting cartridges are certified to last 320 gallons (about six months). Additionally, the eco-friendly system design reduces plastic waste by minimizing disposable plastic parts so you throw away the used carbon filter and nothing more.
The unique Aquasana Powered Water Filtration System allows you to use the filtration dock in two easy ways: with the eight-cup pitcher which fits in the refrigerator door or the 16-cup dispenser for on demand filtered water by the glass. Filtering your water at home also greatly reduces the amount of plastic bottle waste going into our environment – filter at home and bottle your own.
What is MTBE?
MTBE(methyl tertiary-butyl ether) is a chemical compound that is produced in large quantities as a fuel additive to help gasoline burn more effectively to reduce air pollution. So what’s it doing in our drinking water?
MTBE has been used in U.S. gasoline at low levels since 1979 to replace lead as an octane enhancer. Since 1992, MTBE has been used at higher concentrations in some gasoline to fulfill the oxygenate requirements set by Congress in the 1990 Clean Air Act Amendments. MTBE was used across the US up until the last decade as a gasoline additive to make the fuel burn more thoroughly and reduce air pollution. Anytime this toxic chemical leaks or spills on to the ground, the toxins seep into the ground and contaminate natural ground water sources.
MTBE is now a commonly found contaminant in drinking water across the United States. The EPA reports a growing number of studies have detected MTBE in ground water throughout the country; in some instances these contaminated waters are sources of drinking water.The MTBE gasoline additive is now banned in many states due to the elevated risk of brain tumors, liver cancer, blood cancer, and kidney cancer when inhaled or ingested from tap water.
Who is affected?
Almost everyone in the United States breathes in or drinks some MTBE. However, some states have seen dangerously elevated levels of MTBE contamination and have banned its use. New York and California banned MTBE use in 2004, and twenty-three other states followed suit by signing legislation banning MTBE by 2005. The current court battle in New Hampshire alleges pollution of 40,000 wells with 5,590 of them reaching levels that make the water unfit for human consumption.
What you can do to protect yourself from MTBE:
If you are concerned about MTBE in your water make sure you are using a water filter that removes this harmful toxin. Aquasana water filters are certified to reduce MTBE in tap and well water. For more information on the specific impact of MTBE on your local water source contact your local EPA drinking water office for more information.
There’s a threat in the water, and it appears only as a single word on your water bill: chloramines. It’s the combination of ammonia and chlorine that’s added to the water to disinfect it before use. However, when added together, ammonia and chlorine create toxic, cancer-causing disinfection byproducts.
For many years, chlorine has been the primary chemical used to eradicate the risks of waterborne diseases. In the last few years many municipal water treatment plants have switched to chloramines due to their ability to disinfect water for longer periods of time. When these disinfectants interact with the organic materials in water, disinfection byproducts are created. Many of these byproducts are thought to cause gastric or liver cancer, or pose other health risks such as increased asthma symptoms, danger to mucous membranes, digestive problems and skin irritation. Kidney dialysis patients cannot use water that contains chloramines in their dialysis machines because it will cause hemolytic anemia.
While chloramine poses a risk to everyone, there is an increased risk to populations with weakened immune systems, including children younger than 6 months, the elderly, those on or who have had chemotherapy, people with HIV or AIDS and organ transplant patients.
The use of chloramines is growing. The EPA estimates more than 20 percent—or 1 in 5—of Americans use water treated with chloramines. More states are adding chloramine to water supplies because it is a more stable and longer-lasting alternative to free chlorine. Free chlorine is chlorine before it combines with other chemicals, but it can evaporate quickly, while the stability of chloramine means it lasts longer in the water supply and the harmful byproducts reach the consumer in higher levels.
Washington D.C. witnessed another side effect in 2004 when chloramines were introduced. Officials say lead contamination resulted from chloramine-related pipe corrosion. The city discovered lead levels at least 83 times higher than the accepted safe limit while performing research into premature pipe corrosion. They found that the decision to change from using chlorine to chloramine as a treatment resulted in a spike in lead levels. A report released in 2010 by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said the water supplied to almost 15,000 homes might still contain dangerous levels of lead despite the partial replacement of lead pipes at the homes from 2004 to 2008.
As consumers, we need to be aware of the dangers posed by these byproducts in our water. In a recent study conducted by water filtration company Aquasana, it became apparent that our country doesn’t know the risk associated with unfiltered water. More than 70 percent of respondents were unaware of the health risks connected to drinking and bathing in unfiltered tap water, and 91 percent did not know that one of the President’s Cancer Panel’s top three recommendations to reduce environmentally-based cancer is to filter tap water.
The EPA does not force any state or town to use chloramine as a disinfectant. Additionally, they recommend many alternatives to the toxic mixture, including removing organic contaminants through coagulation or sedimentation. However, the use of more and more chemicals in water treatment underscores the need to regulate what goes into our water supply in the first place. By limiting toxic materials and enforcing regulations, the need for such harsh chemical disinfectants diminishes.
Along with Washington D.C., Tennessee has completely banned chloramines from water. This is the best possible outcome for consumers, but in the meantime, filtering your water has never been more important. When shopping for water filters, make sure that the company has a National Sanitation Foundation (NSF) certification to remove chloramines.
1. You’ll drink more water: It’s easier to drink filtered than unfiltered water. Unfiltered water often tastes kind of funny, depending on where you live and what your water source is. So you drink soda or bottled water (which we will discuss in a minute), or possibly turn to tea and coffee as an alternative. Filtering does two things: it removes contamination that makes your water taste funny and maintains the healthy minerals (calcium, potassium and magnesium) that your body craves along with its water. If you’ve ever tasted distilled water or water from a reverse osmosis system, you may notice that it tastes kind of flat. Drab. Almost dry. That’s the lack of minerals. Often drinking this water fails to quench your thirst, so even if you’re full, you still have a craving for something wet. Why do people turn to sports drinks and soda? They both contain minerals your body needs—that’s both their value proposition and the mechanism that satisfies your thirst when you drink. By drinking filtered water that maintains healthy minerals like calcium, potassium and magnesium, you feel more satisfied and less thirsty, and won’t hanker so much for a soda, either.
2. Your water will be cleaner: Filtration gets rid of the majority of your water’s contamination while preserving the healthy minerals that hydrate you better and relieve thirst better than some of your other options. Tap water is all right: It generally contains all the minerals in it you need, along with a good dose of contamination that you don’t. Some cities are better than others—get your local water report to learn where your city ranks—but even after treatment, the city pipes and water delivery system most likely contains some kind of contamination that gets back into the water before it gets to you. Heck, the pipes in your house are probably not all that clean, either! To be sure, a point-of-use system that attaches to your faucet goes a long way to easing your mind about the quality of water you consume.
3. You’ll have more control: Filtration gives you more control and insight into what’s in your water. It’s just always better to KNOW what you’re eating or drinking. Look no further than the spate of governmental rules and regulations food and beverage manufacturers must comply with to see that not only is it good to know what’s in there, but you have the legal right to know what’s in there. Filtering your own water once it enters your house offers a fine level of control over the quality of your drinking, cooking and bathing water.
4. It’s convenient: Really, what all the above reasons amount to is a higher level of convenience in your life. One more thing you don’t have to worry about, you don’t have to think about or wonder when you’re shopping in the grocery store. “Do I need to stock up on bottled water? Oh, no—I have better at home!”
5. It’s cheaper: Filtering is cheaper than bottled water by a mile. It’s even cheaper than pitcher filters. With Aquasana drinking filters specifically, you get almost twice as much bang for your buck than many pitcher filters, and over thirty times more than from bottled water. If you’re looking to save money in 2012, quitting the bottled water habit and choosing to filter is a long step in the right direction.
6. It’s green/sustainable: Going along with cheaper, filtering is also a very sustainable method of treating your water. Reverse osmosis wastes quite a bit of water, especially as a household solution (as opposed to a larger scale operation). Basically, you get a bit of clean water, but concentrate the contaminated water and send it back into the environment. Distillation requires electricity and also wastes water. Bottled water, aside from its health concerns, fills landfills with tons of plastic waste each day. Most bottles are not recycled (up to 80% are simply tossed in the garbage), despite their eligibility for recycling, and end up clogging rivers and land when they’re not actually disposed of “properly” in a landfill. Filtering can remove up to 4,000 bottles a year from landfills. Also, filtering is removing contamination from water—meaning less ambient contamination in general (not just for your drinking pleasure). And carbon—the chief material used in filtration—is good for the environment even once you’re done with using it to filter your water.
Have another great reason to filter your water? Let us know in the comments!
Buying a point of use filter system like a countertop drinking water filter or shower filter, while not an impulse buy, certainly is not quite the financial commitment that a whole house filter can be. Most people decide to purchase one of our whole house filters because it ends up being a cheaper option in the long run, it takes less maintenance, or they need a customized solution for specific water problems like well water or high iron content. But the process doesn’t end with buying the system. Then you have to install the thing!
Warranty and Satisfaction Guarantee
As you may be aware, our Rhinos come with a 3-year warranty and a 90-day Satisfaction Guarantee. If you’re not pleased with your purchase, we’ll refund your money and pay to have it shipped back, no questions asked. But in order to keep your Rhino under warranty, you must have a certified plumber install it.
Finding a plumber
If you don’t already know a local plumber you trust, give us a call. We use Angie’s List to find reputable, knowledgeable plumbers in your area to install your system.
In the video below, we used Excalibur Plumbing in Round Rock, Texas. The house we used already had a water softener in place in the garage, so there was a water loop in place and we did not need to have one created. We had them come out and do an estimate first, and the cost of installation will vary based on where your water comes into your home, what kind of preparation the plumber needs to do, and the plumbing company rates for hours, etc. The installation in the video cost $380, to give you an idea of pricing.
Here’s the video version of how to install the Rhino.
Frequently Asked Questions about the Whole House Rhino filter
Q: How do I know when to replace the filter tanks?
A: According to the EPA, the average American household containing four people uses 100,000 gallons a year. The tanks will filter up to 300,000 gallons, so that means you should replace them every 3 years. Keep an eye on your water meter to determine how much water you use, or you can have a plumber install a gallon meter on your Rhino (they usually cost around $240).
Q: Do I have to replace the tanks every 3 years?
A: We recommend you replace the tanks every 3 years or 300,000 gallons. There’s nothing saying you have to, but the warranty expires after 3 years, so it’s a good idea to keep up to date. Also, once you hit 300,000 gallons, the filters don’t work as well. When you purchase a new set of filter tanks, the warranty starts over again for 3 more years, and your filter will remove the bad stuff at the optimum rate.
Q: Can I put the filter outside?
A: The filter must be installed away from direct sunlight, and the unit must be protected from extreme cold or heat. For best results, install it indoors (garage) or build a cover for it outside.
Q: Do I need a plumber to install it? How about to replace the filter tanks?
A: Yes, a certified plumber should install your whole house filter. If someone else installs it, your warranty is void. Your replacement tanks and pre-filters, however, do not need to be installed by a certified plumber: you may replace them yourself.
If you have more questions, ask in the comments, and we’ll answer them!
It’s not JUST water
We can all remember the days of high school chemistry class and learning the basic components of water, H2O: 2 hydrogen molecules attached to 1 oxygen molecule. You may also remember that our bodies are composed of 70%-80% water and we must drink enough of it to survive. Today we face major problems regarding safe drinking water, not only because of mass contamination from environmental and synthetic chemicals, but an even bigger problem is growing due to corporate and governmental control of our bottled water system. We are being forced to buy more bottled water than ever and the only people who benefit are the big corporations who mass produce this highly consumed product. It’s not easy to find clean, affordable drinking water but there are things that we can do.
The EPA has set standards for more than 80 contaminants that may occur in drinking water and pose a risk to human health. The EPA claims its standards protect the health of everybody, including vulnerable groups like children. Is there really a safe standard when it comes to drinking toxins? And, what happened to the countless other contaminants found in our drinking water? According to the Environmental Working Group’s (EWG’s) two-and-a-half year investigation, tap water in 42 states is contaminated with more than 140 unregulated chemicals that lack safety standards. In an analysis of more than 22 million tap water quality tests, most of which were required under the federal Safe Drinking Water Act, EWG found that water suppliers across the U.S. detected 260 contaminants in water served to the public. One hundred forty-one (141) of these detected chemicals — more than half — are unregulated; public health officials have not set safety standards for these chemicals, even though millions drink them every day.
According to the EPA, contaminants fall into two groups based on the health effects that they cause. Acute effects occur within hours or days of the time that a person consumes a contaminant. Chronic effects occur after people consume a contaminant at levels over EPA’s safety standards for many years. The drinking water contaminants that can have chronic effects are chemicals (such as disinfection by-products, solvents, and pesticides), radionuclides (such as radium), and minerals (such as arsenic). Examples of the chronic effects of drinking water contaminants are cancer, liver or kidney problems, or reproductive difficulties.
Go here for more information.
The bottled water scam
With so many of us becoming aware of our contaminated tap water, the world is embracing the bottled water industry like never before. In 1999 the sales of bottled water in the US was around $6 billion in one year. By 2007 the sales of bottled water jumped to over $11 billion. Some believe that drinking bottled water is no more pure or better for your health, nor is it safer than community or municipal water. The purity standards for bottled water are no higher than those applied to tap water — in some instances they are lower or less rigorous. Studies have shown that chemicals called phthalates, which are known to disrupt testosterone and other hormones, can leach into bottled water over time. There are no regulatory standards limiting phthalates in bottled water. The bottled water industry waged a successful campaign opposing the FDA proposal to set a legal limit for these chemicals.
Go here for more information.
What can you do?
The majority of the contaminants found in our drinking water can be traced back to improper or excessive use of ordinary compounds like lawn chemicals, gasoline, cleaning products and even prescription drugs. As a consumer, you might consider buying eco-friendly cleaners, avoid using toxic toiletries, and dispose of your medications properly. By doing your part in creating a less toxic environment, we will be able to create safer water for generations to come.
The benefits of bottled water are convenience and novelty. Instead of buying bottled water you can carry a canteen or a reusable athletic bottle. My personal favorite is to use a glass bottle and filter the water at home using a water filter. It is good for the environment and lowers the risk of chemical exposure such as BPA, a common toxic chemical in plastics. This change will save you a lot of money and will help the environment because water bottles are one of the major sources of plastic going into landfills today. Shipping billions of gallons of water every year also uses a lot of fuel.
Lastly, recycle empty water bottles, EVERYTIME! And don’t WASTE your water by letting the shower or faucet run. Use old water for things like watering plants and invest in water saving devices for you home. Be a responsible and conscious water consumer. We will all benefit from it.
—Dr. Wendy Norman, D.C.
And for more information on how to dispose of your pharmaceuticals: