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:
Unfortunately, studies and records show that eczema, particularly in babies and children, is becoming a more common and widespread problem. The good news is that it’s not always a life-long affliction for kids (they often outgrow it by 5 years old), but it’s still painful and frustrating to treat as a parent (and no picnic for your wee one, either).
Many cases remain of undetermined origin, but there are some environmental and genetic variables that can play a part:
• Skin too dry (dehydrated or not enough natural oils, excessive sweating)
• Exposure to physical allergens and irritants
• Plain old bad luck (genetics)
In babies and young children, eczema shows up initially as red or swollen—sometimes pebbly or rough—skin, especially in skin folds that tend to stay damp: armpits, behind the knees, and in the groin area. Sometimes there are blisters or raised red bumps, and sometimes the scratching and dryness can get so bad the skin cracks and leaves open sores. Fussy, irritable babies with tender skin who dislike bath time might have a problem with eczema.
Treatment invariably depends on the cause, which is not always obvious. Please consult your pediatrician or a dermatologist in order to get direction on the proper course of treatment.Your doctor will evaluate your kiddo, and ask a lot of questions about his or her environment. Why? If your child’s skin reacts to the laundry detergent you use, resolving the issue could be as simple as switching brands or going to a “free and clear” version. Children’s skin often responds to diet changes as well; removing things like dairy, nuts or soy can improve eczema symptoms a surprising amount. There are lotions and creams, acupuncture and other homeopathic treatments, and even UV light treatments. Here are the biggies:
• Filter your child’s bath water (I can personally attest that this does help, as I have adult eczema, and it helps me!)
• Change laundry detergent, and dress your wee babe in 100% cotton clothing to allow the skin to breathe
• Perform an allergy test and identify possible contact or internal allergens (we’re looking at you, cow’s milk!)
• Remove certain Big Allergens from your kid’s diet (or stop eating them yourself, if you’re breastfeeding): cow’s milk, soy, nuts, eggs, fish, shellfish, and wheat
• Try keep your baby in a warm (not hot!), dry environment to minimize sweating (sorry, fellow Texans, you will fail this one)
• Try OTC hydrocortisone cream (though I’m not a huge fan of chemicals)
Those are just some of the remedies available. There are a lot of them out there on the web, but please be careful when trying them out! Always test first on yourself, and if there’s no reaction, a small part of your baby (with something handy to wipe/remove the solution if it’s not well received).
Does your child have eczema? What have you found works to help alleviate the symptoms? Share in the comments!
As you may or may not be aware, dermatology is the field of medicine that focuses on the skin: skin diseases and disorders. This includes things as varied as hair removal and implantation, skin cancer treatment, skin disorders such as eczema and psoriasis and (the most unfair of plagues) acne, to plastic surgery like liposuction and face lifts.
And just how, you might ask, is dermatology related to water and water filtration?
For hair removal issues, plastic surgery and cancer, water is important for all the usual health reasons, but has little impact aside from that. Where water becomes an essential component of dermatology issues are in the areas of skin health and skin disorders. Proper hydration is often the heart and soul of health in general, but it particularly affects the skin. Lack of adequate hydration can exacerbate (or cause) rashes, eczema, allergic reactions and other topical ailments.
Along the same lines, the water you wash with can affect the quality and vitality of your skin in surprising ways. City water contains a whole raft of contaminants in varying concentrations, some of which have been shown to be harmful to your skin. Chlorine in particular is cause for concern. We all know how it feels when you get out of a chlorinated pool: the itchy, dry, tight feeling plagues you until you can rinse off with less chlorinated water. But there’s chlorine in your shower water, too, if in lesser amounts, and it’s still not good for you.
Dermatology and you
For the next several weeks, be on the lookout for blog posts, Facebook and Twitter activities, and general buzz on Aquasana.com and our other community channels that relate to dermatology and skin issues. The subject is near and dear to our hearts, and we have undertaken a mission to shed light on various dermatology topics. With that in mind, we’ve found some really excellent resources about dermatology and skin conditions out there on the net:
Related, interesting sites on dermatology…
So you took the step of purchasing a drinking water filter in your house? Congratulations! You should take time to relish the relief you feel at providing healthy and safe drinking water for your family. I don’t know about you, but before I installed a drinking water filter, I always felt a kind of sour internal feeling that maybe drinking the tap water wasn’t really in my best interest, my heart plagued by guilt and doubt. But no more!
Bath & Shower Demons
Now let’s turn our attention to another source of nasty business in the house: the shower and bath water. If you have noticed that your hair and skin seem to be dry and that your baths or showers irritate your skin, that is likely the result of shower water contamination: chlorine, lead, VOCs, SOCs, chloramine, and other harmful vapors. The potential damage that shower water contamination could be causing goes much further than just irritated skin or dry hair. When you take a shower, your skin “drinks” water that it comes in contact with. In fact, during an average shower, your skin absorbs as much water as you would drink during an average meal. If that water is not filtered, the good work you did to protect your family from bad water in the kitchen may be undermined in the bathrooms. Here’s a quick rundown of the effects related to showering and bathing in chlorine-laden, unfiltered water:
• Contaminants absorbed more easily through skin and inhalation
• Mild or inflamed eczema and other skin disorders
• Inflamed asthma
• Dry, brittle hair
• Excessively dry and sensitive skin
• Eye irritation
• Respiratory irritation
The great news is that by taking the step to filter your bathing water, you can enjoy a good number of health and beauty benefits. It’s amazing how much changing just that one little thing can do:
• Healthier skin
• Softer, more manageable hair
• Healthy steam
• Less respiratory inflammation
• Improvement in existing skin conditions
Just Don’t Inhale!
Do you love taking long, steamy hot showers as much as I do? Ever had the unpleasant feeling of a tight chest or feel the need to cough? That steam we dig so much is the vaporized water coming out of the shower faucet, which—when unfiltered—contains all that vicious chlorine. That vaporized water invades your lungs and pollutes your body with even more unhealthy toxins. As much as we may love the idea of a relaxing, hot and steamy shower, the idea of standing in a small room with toxic steam makes the idea somewhat, shall we say, less appealing.
Shopping for a Shower Filter
For the best and most effective results, you should look for a filter that employs carbon, which filters out synthetic chemicals, THMs and VOCs. Also look for a filter to have a KDF stage of filtration, to reduce the amount of chlorine and balance the water’s Ph (for that healthy glow).
You’ve seen them in people’s homes many times. Many people are choosing refrigerators with built-in water filters. To some, water filters have become a prerequisite in buying refrigerators. Sometimes, filtering water has become part of the refrigerator’s job description.
Refrigerator water filters are a good option for providing clean and healthy drinking water that is also instantly chilled upon dispensing. Because the water is filtered before it goes into your refrigerator, you know it will come out clean and chilled for use by you and your family. At the same time, refrigerator water filters provide ice from filtered water. Some people do not pay attention to the kind of water used for making ice. Ice made from unfiltered water, however, is just like drinking contaminated water. It’s like opening the door wide to waterborne diseases or health problems caused by toxic chemicals that come in your drinking water every day.
You don’t have to worry about problems of contaminants in your chilled water or in your ice when you have a refrigerator water filter. The type of water filters used in refrigerator doors are the same type of filters used in drinking fountains, commercial ice machines, coffee makers, and water coolers. You can also buy an additional level of water filtration for your refrigerator that is installed in the water line going to your refrigerator.
Refrigerator water filters have been proven to be very efficient in providing the best type of drinking water. A filter can remove impurities such as pesticides, chemicals, sediment, and chlorine residue. This takes care of any unpleasant taste and odor that might be present in your tap water before filtration. Aside from purification, refrigerator water filters also keep natural trace minerals in the water throughout the filtration process. Unlike other filters, it doesn’t strip your water of the minerals your body needs to get from it.
Refrigerator water filters pass the water through a long and efficient process before the water becomes available to you. The first filter the water goes through removes big dirt particles like soil, silt, and sand. The water then goes through a mixture of copper and zinc that are responsible for removing chlorine. The last stage involves carbon filtration, which removes all the other microscopic contaminants. It also takes care of the water’s taste and odor.
This carefully designed craftsmanship that goes into refrigerator water filters can benefit your family’s water supply every day. It is a must that your family uses a refrigerator water filter if you want to provide a total solution to your family’s water quality needs. With a good refrigerator filter system in place, you will be assured that your children can easily get clean, tasty water from the refrigerator. By providing a reliable system for assuring a good supply of clean water, you no longer have to worry about waterborne diseases.
If you are planning on purchasing a refrigerator water filter, trust Aquasana, one of the nation’s leading water filter providers. Aquasana has been around for years with the purpose of providing quality, affordable, and easy-to-use water filters for every home. Through the years, Aquasana has consistently mastered the science of water filtration and has devoted their time to provide only the best.