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

 

 

 

Aquasana on The Ellen DeGeneres Show

Did you see Ellen this morning? We sure did!

Waves for Water Spotted: Aquasana made a flash appearance on Ellen this morning with Pam Anderson, actress and spokesperson for Waves for Water. Waves for Water is a non-profit organization dedicated to getting clean water to every single person who needs it. We believe so strongly in their mission and vision to provide families the world over with healthy and clean drinking water that we donated $10,000 to the organization. Pam accepted our donation to help get clean water to people in need on behalf of Waves for Water.

Find more about Waves for Water on their website.

3 Major Ways to Detox Your Life in 2011

Detoxing your life means more than just losing that holiday weight or nixing the caffeine. It’s a good idea to examine all aspects of your life to uncover places you can cut down on the number of harmful chemicals and contaminants that affect you every day. Here are some places to get the ball rolling.

Filter your water: You know how we feel about this one! I won’t go into all the detail so well covered on the rest of our site, but suffice it to say that filtering both your drinking and bathing water can do wonders for your health and well-being (and peace of mind).

-Did you know that in 2010, one of the top five recommendations of the President’s Cancer Panel for the prevention of environmentally caused cancer is to filter the water you drink? Every water source is different, even in taps from home to home. Variability is driven by local pollutants, water treatment techniques, the age and material composition of the pipes that deliver your water, and the faucet that you use. Even if you have the purest water being delivered to you by your municipal water source, your pipes may leach unwanted contaminants into the water in transport.  Unfiltered tap water can contain harmful contaminants like chlorine, lead, pesticides, herbicides and cysts, and what’s in your water varies by your geographic location and municipal water supply.

Healthy kitchenAudit your cupboard and fridge: That’s right, I said audit. Maybe the looming advent of tax season has my brain going crazy with the term, but there are a few things you might want to take stock of.

-Sodium tri-poly-what? Anything containing an ingredient you cannot pronounce has got to go. I’m not necessarily advocating a return to the hunter/gatherer diet regimen, but it’s a safe bet that all those complex chemical formulas for extending the shelf life of food is not doing a heck of a lot of good for your body.

-Sell by 1997: Whoops! Check your sell-by dates and toss/recycle the stuff that has expired. If it’s just a bit past the date and you feel comfortable eating it, that’s all right: what I’m going for here is to get rid of items that may have been named in an FDA recall sometime in the mid-90s.

-Green/Yellow/Red: Categorize your cabinet and fridge contents into Green, Yellow, and Red categories. Green being healthy: can eat whenever I want; Yellow being okay in moderation; Red being SPECIAL OCCASION ONLY. I’m not a nutrition expert, but I strive for a mix of 50% Green category foods, 35% Yellow, and no more than 15% Red. (Hey, I never said I was perfect!)

Trash harsh chemical cleaning supplies: Some of the airborne toxins and residues of popular cleaning supplies can do more harm than good to you and your families. And my suggestion for an alternative is… vinegar. That’s right, plain and simple old white distilled vinegar, which is natural, non-toxic, and friendly to the Earth. It’s mildly acidic, which allows it to clean effectively and help keep your family healthy and safe. See www.vinegartips.com for 1001 uses for our lovely (inexpensive) friend.

Check your clothing: The word for health these days is organic, and when it comes to clothing, the story is no different.

-Holy cotton! There’s new and trending research out there that states that the pesticides used to grow that cotton that makes it intoorganic clothes our clothing can be deadly. The manufacturing processes add in more chemicals and toxins, and some dyes and ink are also highly toxic.

-Detergent degenerates: And check what you wash your clothes in, too! Those fragrant and ultra-whitening detergents can exacerbate skin conditions like eczema and wreak havoc on people who suffer from allergies, which says nothing about the possible toxins seeping in through your pores. I know some of those organic and non-toxic detergents don’t have the same “get it whiter and brighter” promises that the Big Brands do, but I think I could buy a new blouse a little more often or be more careful if it meant remaining healthy for a few more years.

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.

The Importance of a Refrigerator Water Filter to Your Family’s Health Plan

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.

Do I Need a High Quality Water Filter or is a Water Softener Enough?

Many people are under the misconception that their water is perfectly safe and clean simply because they are using a water softener to clean their water. This is an unfortunate misunderstanding. Although a water softener may help to make your drinking water taste better, it does not make it a cleaner or safer drink. Using a water softener instead of a high quality water filter will not give you the cleaner water that you want to for drinking, cooking or taking showers.

Water softeners work somewhat like a chemical magnet. Water is forced through a bed filled with beads that are covered with sodium ions. The calcium and other chemicals that make water “hard” then exchange their ions with the positively charged sodium ions. When this happens, the calcium is no longer in the water, preventing those horrible rings in your bathtub and the nasty taste of hard water. However, all the water softener has done is remove calcium from your water and replace it with salt. This water is no safer than hard tap water.

A high quality water filter does more than remove the calcium from your drinking water. When your drinking water is run through a high quality water filter such as those made by Aquasana, you are getting water that is free from chemical contaminants. Chlorine and other chemicals that are left in the water by a water softener are swept away when you use a high quality water filter.

Additionally, the water softener removes nearly all the calcium from your water. Although too much calcium makes the water hard, a bit of calcium in your water benefits your body. By using a high quality water filter such as those made by Aquasana, you are removing the chemicals which will harm your body without disturbing the minerals which help your body. A water softener is clearly the wrong choice for providing your house with clean, healthy drinking water. A high quality water filter such as those made by Aquasana will give healthier, cleaner water.

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.

Why is Filtered Water so Important for Your Health?

They say that healthy water is life. And it is true. Water is essential to all living organisms, especially to us humans. Our bodies were designed to need healthy water and we rely on it for all of our bodily functions.

The earth mostly consists of water. Similarly, our bodies are mostly made up of water. In fact, 70% of your body consists of water. Even individual organs heavily rely on water such as the liver which is 90% water, brain 85%, blood 83%, and bones 35% water.

However, even though our bodies put great importance on water, many people do not understand this and deprive their bodies of the right amount of healthy water. They do not drink enough water, which makes them similar to a car trying to run on an empty fuel tank. That is an unhealthy thing to do to yourself and it puts an emphasis on understanding the need for healthy water in your daily life.

At least 75% of Americans are dehydrated. This doesn’t necessarily mean that they are sweating profusely and suffering from a dry throat. It just simply means that they do not have the right amount of water in their bodies and the result is that their health suffers. Dehydration is almost always mistaken as hunger. When you think you need more food, you might just need more water. This is an important fact that helps a lot of dieters in cutting down on overeating. One study conducted in Washington showed that drinking a glass of water when feeling hungry removed hunger pangs in 98% of their respondents. Almost all of them had mistaken dehydration for hunger.

Aside from that, studies show that drinking 5 glasses of healthy water a day decreases the risk of degenerative diseases in people. An even more surprising statistic is that drinking 8-10 glasses of water a day removed back and joint pain in 80% of patients. Your body relies on water so much that only a 2% decrease in the water amount in your brain can result in lack of focus, mental confusion, and short-term memory loss. Even daytime fatigue can be caused by lack of water.

So, how much healthy water do you need to drink each day in order to be free from all these? The formula is simple to remember. Divide your weight by two. The number you get is then the required ounces of water you need drink every day. For example, a 160-pound person needs to drink 80 ounces of water of clean and healthy water a day. This does not include juices, soda, or coffee. That is something else. You need to drink plain and pure water.

Most of us have not stopped and appreciated the importance of water in this way. The health benefits of keeping your water consumption up goes to show that water is vital not just to quench your thirst but also to keep your body going. Imagine all the uneasiness and illnesses you can avoid simply by drinking that tasteless and odorless liquid you so often take for granted.

Start being intentional about drinking water. Remind yourself to drink water throughout the day and not just during mealtimes. To have the quality of healthy water you deserve, turn to Aquasana. Aquasana is the nation’s leading water filter system provider. Aquasana filters will make sure that you have the purest and safest drinking water at all times. To be healthier, increase the amount of water you drink. Your body will take care of the rest.

Is a Water Faucet Filter All I Need to Protect My Family From Bad Water?

Many times as our awareness of the importance of healthy water grows, so do our questions, questions such as “What do I need to do to keep my family safe and healthy?” The most important element is what goes into your mouth because the mouth is the main entry point for chemicals into your body. That is why safe drinking water is so important.

An average person should be drinking a little more than 2 quarts of water a day. There are also other ways that water enters our bodies, such as through the skin or as we breathe. Water can enter your system through the food you cook. Almost everything you have or make in the kitchen needs water.

Bottled water rather than tap water is not a reliable solution for your family’s water needs. For one thing, it would cost too much to buy enough water for our drinking and cooking needs. A water filtration system such as those offered by Aquasana is an ideal way to provide safe and abundant sources of clean water for every water need your family might have.

What kind of water filter system should you consider? The minimum you need to get healthy water is a water faucet filter. The contaminants in your drinking water can be mostly dealt with by a water faucet filter. This will reduce the chlorine taste in your water and even improve your food quality. However, water faucet filters do not remove the contaminants completely. Water faucet filters also do not address the other places where you use water in your home.

A water faucet filter is usually the easiest type of water filter to install. All you have to do is attach it to your pre-existing water faucet. They are generally all-purpose filters which make them inexpensive and easy to use. One problem that this approach to water filtration presents is that you either need to have a separate water filtration faucet on all your water faucets or only get your drinking water from one sink.

Occasionally some people find that this type of water faucet filter gets in the way of their everyday use of the sink. This may steer you towards using a similar filter in a different location. Options such as refrigerator and under-the-counter filters are much less obtrusive. The option of installing an under-the-counter filter is probably the less expensive of the two, unless you are in need of a new refrigerator.

There are a number of water issues that water faucet filters do not help improve. Hard water and chemicals can affect you almost anywhere you use water. This includes the shower, the laundry, and especially when you clean your house. Hard water decreases the power of your soaps and cleaning solutions. That means that you have to use much more soap to get the job done, which can be bad for your health.

Hard water and chlorine dry out the skin in the shower and can cause problems such as chronic dry skin and dandruff. The easy solution for the issue in the shower is a shower filter for your bathroom. This solution does not take care of the other areas of the house.

The whole house solution is to get a whole house water filter. This is how you can avoid having multiple filters throughout the house. It may cost more, but this solution is the only way to make sure all the water your family gets is clean. Any of these water filtration systems can be supported by Aquasana. It helps to turn to an experienced manufacturer that supports a variety of water filtration systems like Aquasana, because they will give you the expertise on how to solve your water problems.

What is the Most Effective Type of Residential Water Filter?

Water is one of those things that people don’t think about until something is wrong with it. The main thing that determines the quality of your water is where it comes from. Many homes are hooked up to a personal or communal well. These wells tap into the groundwater which means whatever chemicals end up in the ground end up in your water.

There is a two-pronged approach that is very effective to treating problem water. The first solution is to be aware of what is going on in your environment and control what sort of chemicals end up in your ground. The second and most necessary solution is the use of a residential water filter. To determine how much filtering your water needs, it is important to have your water tested. The first time you have your water tested for contaminants, it will probably be necessary to have a professional come out and test the water. After that, you should test your water twice a year to see if there are any changes in the chemical levels. Depending on your environment and water source, you may need one or more pieces of equipment.

A UV residential water filter will kill any bacteria or germs in your water. You may need a water softener, which will filter out hard water and prevent the damage to your pipes that hard water causes. Additional types of residential water filters may be necessary to filter out things such as iron or pesticides.

The important thing is to treat the water before it enters your house. Clean water puts less strain on pipes and helps water-using appliances last up to twice as long. Clean water also has health benefits throughout the home. It has much more cleaning power and gives your soap the most possible cleaning power. Dirty water can clog your pores and cause dry skin. It is just much less of a headache having one effective residential water filter instead of having to install different kinds for different uses.

Most people within an urban area are hooked into a city water system. While city water is filtered, it also has chlorine added to it which affects its taste and dries out the skin. There are also contaminants in the water that get through the limited public water filtering that can still cause many health and lifestyle problems for your family. In general, tap water is not up to most people’s quality standards. This is why bottled water has become so popular. Bottled water is expensive and not as healthy as it is advertised to be. Filtering it yourself is much cheaper, healthier, and allows you to use as much as you want.

The most common residential water filter is a faucet filter. This filter directly addresses the taste issue at relatively little expense. If you want to remove all kinds of contaminants completely you need an inline water filter. This is the most effective residential water filter because it intercepts all of the water in the home and removes contaminants before they reach your drinking water, your shower, or your clothes- and dish-washing machines. An inline water filter costs more up front but they have a long service life. Faucet water filters are inexpensive but there is an added cost to get fresh filters. Above all, use a reliable residential water filter supplier like Aquasana because you will have a feeling of confidence that the equipment you buy will serve you well, keeping your family safe year after year after year.

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