6 great reasons to filter your drinking water

1. You’ll drink more water: It’s easier to drink filtered than unfiltered water. Unfiltered water often tastes kind of funny,drink more water when you filter your water 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.

Filtering your water versus pitcher filter versus bottled water

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!

What’s the truth about your water?

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.

Contaminants

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

water footprintWith 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.

www.bodyelectrictoday.com

And for more information on how to dispose of your pharmaceuticals:

Green Your Home

 

 

 

5 Ways to Determine if You Need to Worry about Tap Water Contamination

You may have heard the reports of the 60,000 chemicals from our industries that sometimes make their way into our drinking water supplies; the press keeps us abreast on what contaminants affect your water. You’ve no doubt heard all the dramatic warnings concerning the dangers of heavy metals, chlorine, bacteria, viruses, pesticides, volatile organic compounds, cow pee and fairy dust. Depending on the amount of unfiltered tap water you consume and the specific contaminants, you and your family’s health may be at risk.

Contaminants everywhere
The Gulf Oil Spill. Lead and giardiasis in city water. Water boiling warnings. You’ve seen this stuff all over the news, especially when the media run stories on local water supplies showing that this or that contaminant has been found. In these circumstances, your concern is probably justified. You may begin to worry, sniff the water that comes out of your taps, run water for 30 seconds before using it to cook or drink, or even make plans to buy bottled water or a water filter. Get the facts before you act. Consider the following:

1)    Contact your municipal water supplier. You have the right to review their annual Consumer Confidence Report (CCR) for ongoing water quality issues. If there is a widespread, short-term problem, your municipal water supplier will have some sort of statement prepared, and will likely have it posted on their website along with instructions on what to do.

2)    Contact local news and media outlets. If there’s a problem, they will more than likely know what’s going on. And if you are the first to bring it to their attention, they will probably investigate it!

3)    Contact local hospitals or a trusted doctor. If there’s been a spike in recent cases of water-borne illnesses or sickness related to contamination, they will know about it and be able to tell you what the danger is to you and your family, what symptoms to look out for and how to avoid it.

4)    Check the EPA’s website for information on contaminants that are prevalent in your area. This can be a good guide, but is rarely specific enough to really tell you enough information on your home or neighborhood. (Or try the Water Quality Association’s Interactive Problem Solver.)

5)    Have your water tested. This is only applicable if the problem persists and the local water treatment supplier is unable to correct the levels of contamination. Find out what, exactly, the problem is so you can take steps to correct the problem yourself.

Now, what to do if there is a problem? And worse yet, what if the problem is persistent? You can go the bottled water route, but that leaves you vulnerable while bathing. I’d go with a water filter, for both drinking and bathing water, with a carbon filter that is certified by one of the two main independent certification organizations: Underwriters Laboratories (UL) or National Sanitation Foundation (NSF). Also, check out this guide for how to choose a water filter.

Treat the problem, not the symptoms
We all have to work together to keep the federal, state, and local government accountable for how they treat the nation’s water supply. This is not an issue that lobbyists should be deciding, but sadly it does come to that from time to time. Make your voice and your opinions known. Write your regional and state representatives, let them know you feel water contamination needs more attention, help set the agenda and get out there and vote on Election Day.

Tap water contamination isn’t a hoax, and it’s no laughing matter. There really are contaminants in your drinking water. Small amounts of those pollutants aren’t usually harmful, but exposure to large portions of impurities affects your health.

For more information, check out some of the stories out there on water quality and the issues that surround it.

Does My Home Really Need a Water Filtration System?

It is easy to think that the water you are receiving in your home is clean and safe to drink. Local water providers maintain that the water that they provide is pure. But that water is actually not safe to drink. It is not even safe to use in the shower.

It is true that local treatment facilities routinely provide reports on the quality of their water to the homeowners in their area. They are required to do this by law. But did you know that water companies frequently change their numbers to make the quality of the water they provide look better than it is?

Sometimes, what you are told in these reports is not the whole truth but an edited statement. When asked about why they do this, water companies respond that the people will not comprehend the “relevance of these findings.” This is a carefully worded statement that is little more than, “They can’t handle the truth.”

Now that you know that you don’t really know what is in your tap water, you should not be so trusting. In fact, it is appropriate to think twice about drinking or showering in unfiltered tap water. The Washington Post reported that 65 of 3,000 large water purification systems in the country have lead in their water. Years ago, lead-based paint was banned from the country because of the harm it brings to the body. Lead can cause learning disorders and permanent brain damage in children.

It is also important to note that the lead found in your water can also be from your pipes and plumbing. Some pipes and fixtures are made out of lead, and this lead can seep into your water, especially when the water has been sitting for a while. This is a type of water contamination that happens between the local water treatment facility and your faucets and shower heads.

Almost all tap water provided to homes in the US has been disinfected using chlorine by local water processing facilities. Chlorine is not necessarily the best disinfectant to use, but it is the cheapest one available. The US Council on Environmental Quality said that those who drink chlorinated water increase their chances of getting cancer by 93%.

The microorganism called cryptosporidium is a parasite that can potentially cause death. Despite this being a very harmful parasite, it can still be found in tap water samples today. Even the government said that no local water treatment facility can completely remove this parasite from your drinking water. The technology that they are using today cannot handle it. Chlorine cannot even completely kill this microorganism.

Now that you know that your water may not be pure or safe and that it may have chlorine or the deadly cryptosporidium, it is time to think about how your tap water is affecting your health and the health of your household. Since water treatment facilities are not giving you the kind of water you deserve, you need to do something about your water.

The best thing you can do is buy an Aquasana water filter. These filters can remove chlorine, microorganisms, and other contaminants that can be bad for health. Aquasana water filters provide you with pure, safe, and tasty water that is beyond the standards of local tap water providers.

Are Your Denim Jeans a Water Contamination Threat to the Environment?

Denim jeans have long been a staple for many people’s wardrobe. However, could they be a water contamination threat? They certainly can be and that is a problem in many areas. For instance, lack of proper water treatment and the dyes used in coloring jeans are a concern as far as water quality.

The issue is more of a concern in some third-world countries. They don’t have the same resources for water treatment as other developed countries. However, much of the production of denim jeans often takes place in those third-world countries. Manufacturers find that they are able to get the labor done for less money by outsourcing However, the risks of this being a water contamination threat have caught the attention of many government officials around the world.

Other issues that lead to water contamination threats through the making of denim jeans have been identified. For example, the various types of dyes that are used to give them different shades of color can create a problem. There are also acid-washed jeans that are very stylish but they certainly introduce a variety of harmful chemicals to the water of the community near the facility that makes the jeans.

In response to this, the manufacturers are looking at some alternatives. They certainly don’t want to halt the production of denim jeans. There is a huge demand for them and that is a great money-making endeavor for them to be involved with.

For one thing, they are looking at alternative methods for how they grow the materials to make denim jeans. For example, the use of organic cotton is one possibility. Yet it is also one that will increase the cost of the jeans you buy. The process for growing anything organically means that no chemicals are used. Therefore, runoff from the crops can’t pollute the waterways. This process is more labor intensive and so it increases the overall costs relating to production efforts.

Another option is to look at recycling old denim. This could cut down on the amount of water used to create new denim jeans. It can also help to reduce the amount of contamination that occurs in our waterways in order to get the products that people are after. While you may love the look and feel of your denim jeans and other garments, the fact is that they are harsh for the environment.

Some of the companies that manufacture denim jeans are working to find good alternatives. They want to offer customers the same quality and look with the jeans that they have in the past. However, they are exploring the use of products that are eco-friendly in place of harmful chemicals.

Denim jean manufacturers have been identified as one of the water contamination threats out there. It is up to all of us to make positive changes that will help the environment. This may be one change you need to make when it comes to the clothing you wear. With more than 520 million pairs of denim jeans sold annually in the United States, you can see how the issue of a water contamination threat needs to be closely examined.

What Myths Should You Be Aware of Concerning Water Contamination?

Everyone needs water that is free from contamination. Many people keep their ears open to any news about water contamination. If you are paying attention to water contamination issues in your community, that is the right thing to do. It is important to stay informed regarding these things. You must be careful not to be swayed by myths lurking around. Here are some of the most commonly misunderstood myths that you should be aware of concerning water contamination:

Myth: Lead water contamination is caused by water treatment plants.

Truth: Lead usually does not come to you from water treatment plants, but from your own home plumbing. The pipes that carry your tap water to you may have lead in them and the lead in the pipes can easily be absorbed by the water going through them. If you want to know if you have lead in your water or how much lead you have, ask a professional laboratory to test your water for its lead content. If your lead content is more that 15 parts per billion (ppb), then you must take action. Lead is a very harmful chemical that can have an adverse impact on the health of young children and infants as well as pregnant and nursing mothers. Lead affects early childhood development and the result can be permanent health damage to their bodies.

Tip: Water that is left standing in lead-based plumbing can absorb lead even faster. Before using water, especially for cooking or for serving to your family, let the pipes flush by simply running the water until it becomes cold.

Myth: Once water goes down the drain, it is out of your life forever.

Truth: The water that you use today went down the drains of hundreds of other people before it reached your home. Actually, it might just be the water you flushed down the drain a few weeks or months ago. Some water might be used again the same week, while some water might remain unused for years. Water is not newly created every day. It is recycled and used again and again. It is another common myth that we have an endless supply of water. It is a limited and very precious resource.

Tip: Use water wisely and conserve water.

Myth: Water purifies itself.

Truth: Water goes through highly technical processes before it reaches your home. The community you live in processes water to catch some very basic forms of contamination. Public water processing, however, is in no way equipped to handle the thousands of forms of water pollution and contamination that enter the water supply every day. Every contaminant that we throw away, including chemicals, medicines, batteries, fertilizers, and industrial waste, finds its way back into our water.

Myth: Any home water purifying system will make your tap water healthier and safer.

Truth: Not all home water purifying systems will produce healthy and safe water. Some water filters will make your water’s taste, odor, and color better. That step of producing water that is clear and tastes good can give you an illusion that the water is healthy and clean. Just because your water is tasty, odorless, and clear doesn’t mean it is truly pure and safe to drink.

Tip: When buying a home water filter system, choose one that has been inspected and tested by industry professionals. This should be easy to identify on their labels and boxes. Aquasana has been tested and recommended by many industry professionals to provide you with pure and safe drinking water.

Talking the Kids Out of Their Bottled Water Habit

If your family uses a lot of bottled water, you are well aware of the costs. You may also be aware that bottled water is often full of water contamination and that the bottles represent a serious environmental problem. It is one challenge to give up the bottled water challenge yourself but if you have children, getting them to switch to filtered water that you make at home is a bigger job. Kids and teenagers in particular seem to just love buying and throwing away bottles of water. So how do you convince them?

If there is one thing that kids like even more than bottled water, it is the internet. So use their love of blogs and videos to get the word out to them that the bottled water habit must go. You can direct them to blogs that discuss how bottled water is the same as tap water. That alone is a compelling argument.

Kids are also environmentally conscious. So blogs that discuss good reasons to give up bottled water to save the earth are very convincing too.  By also directing their attention to a few videos outlining why bottled water is bad for everyone, you are using the tools teenagers understand to give them to kick the habit and save you a lot of money leaving bottled water where it belongs which is on the shelves at the store.

Why is Particulate Water Filtration Important?

Your drinking water leaves the water treatment plant and makes its way to the pipes through town and then into the plumbing system under your house. When that water gets to your home’s main supply line, it doesn’t have to simply go through the pipes “as is.” If the water first enters an Aquasana whole-house water filter, you then have one more level of protection against a wide variety of water contamination. After the contaminants in your water that the treatment plant doesn’t catch are captured by your Aquasana water filtration system, clean, pure water flows from your faucet into your glass.

Let’s take a closer look into the filters that you’ve come to depend on. All filters have an area where the contaminants are claptured That area is called particulate water filtration. This part is probably the most important when dealing with water filtration because without it you we wouldn’t have particle-free water.

Particulate water filtration is a mechanical operation that works in filters to remove small amounts of different particles. This filtration step cleans particles ranging from sand to clay from drinkable water. Because most home filters aren’t made to hold a large amount of particles, particulate water filtrations either work with another filter or by itself.

There are a number of different types of particulate water filtration devices. Which one is best for you will depend on what you need for your home. Surface screen and depth filters are the two different categories of particulate water filtration systems. Surface or screen filters remove particials near the surface. Two types of surface screen filters are ceramic filters and resin-bonded filters. Ceramic filters are cleanable which means they are reusable. They are made from a ceramic cylinder. Resin-bonded filters look like they are ceramic but are bound by resin. Both ceramic and resin-bonded filters work to catch contaminants that could harm you or your family.

Depth filters are wide filters that trap particles of various sizes. There are three different types: string-wound filters, spun-fiber filters, and pleated-fiber filters. A string-wound filter uses strings of polypropylene and nylon to form a criss-cross model. The second type of depth filter is a spun-fiber filter of synthetic fibers. These synthetic fibers make what looks like a fuzzy fiber tube. They’re made out of polypropylene and nylon or natural fibers. The third type of depth filter is a pleated-fiber filter of pressed and connected individual fibers. This filter can also be of a continuous membrane with small openings for water to flow through, but particles get trapped so they do not go on to be part of the drinking water that you and your family consume.

These particulate water filtration systems are meant to be used as part of a total water management program. They shouldn’t be left inactive for long periods of times to prevent things like bacterial growth, clogging, and release of collected bacteria when the particulate water filtration device is used again. By understanding the value of a particulate water filtration system and how to include this type of water filtering in your plan for making sure the water that comes to your home is safe and clean, you will be the one in charge of your water quality, not the city, state, or federal government. When you know it is you making the decisions about the quality of water your family gets, you know the job will get done right.

The Health Benefits of Using A Shower Filter

Aquasana Shower Filters

What is the first thing that goes through your mind when you see a filtration system designed for the shower?

Personally my first reaction was, why? At first I had no comprehension of the importance of filtering the water I shower in and thought it simply to be a nice luxury item. Only later did I learn that showering in filtered water is even more important than drinking filtered water……WOW!!! Curious and starving for information I decided to research the effects of showering in unfiltered water.

I learned that showering in unfiltered tap water exposes you to far more contaminants than drinking tap water does, 7-10 times more! When you drink unfiltered tap water, your liver and kidneys filter out some of the contaminants. But when you shower in tap water, the contaminants are absorbed directly into the skin and inhaled into your lungs, a much more direct route to the blood stream. Virtually all synthetic chemicals are “volatile”, meaning they vaporize faster and at a lower temperature than water. These “VOCs” (Volatile Organic Chemicals) are released into the air, creating somewhat of an invisible gas chamber in your bathroom.

Most cities use chlorine or chloramines to disinfect the water supply, which when heated evaporate into the air becoming a VOC known as chloroform or THMs. Chloroform gas is a strong irritant to the lungs linked to asthma and respiratory problems. THMs are known carcinogens that have been linked to breast cancer, colon cancer and bladder cancer. Our primary exposure to both THMs and VOCs are from tap water.

Some of the effects of swimming in chlorine are mentioned in this recent article published by MSN:

Swimming in Chlorine, Beware of hidden environmental risks while swimming.

More information on the risks of chlorine in drinking and shower water:

Water Contamination

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