Water is the most critical component for our survival. Consider how much your health depends on water every single day. You drink water to stay hydrated to avoid numerous health complaints. You also use it to bathe, clean and even give to your pets. Not a day goes by where you are not 100% dependent on the water in your home. So, ask yourself this; Is the water in your home making you sick?
Not everyone considers such a question, however knowing the key role water plays in our health and very survival -we really should be asking. Just because we live in modern times does not mean we are no longer subject to unhealthy water in homes. Unless of course, you have a high quality whole house water filtration system. Let’s discuss the potential issues with the water in our homes.
The Importance of Quality: What Water Should You be Drinking
What water should you be drinking? This is an important question. When it comes to water, quality matters will be a major determinant of our health and well being. Water from the tap is certainly not water from the spring.
The Problem with Tap Water:
Tap water is far from safe and should be regarded as unsuitable for consumption. Despite governmental regulations, many dangerous contaminants are still present in your municipality’s drinking water, even after treatment. The EPA sets a maximum contaminant level (MCLs) for a broad range of drinking water contaminants. Because of this allowable “maximum contaminant level,” contaminants are still constantly present in our tap water, even if you cannot see, smell, or taste them.
Some of the Most Dangerous Contaminants in Your Tap Supply:
Chlorine – chlorine is a municipal additive used to treat the water. Chlorine is a powerful disinfectant, and thus used to kill off any biological contaminants. Unfortunately, it is also extremely toxic and poisonous to our bodies. When used as a water treatment, chlorine combines with organic matter to form compounds called disinfectant byproducts. One of the most common disinfectant byproducts formed is chloroform, a well-known carcinogen. Chlorine has been linked with bladder, kidney and rectal cancers, dysbiosis, and respiratory illness (such as asthma). It can also damage our hair, skin and lungs when we bathe or shower. It has also been shown to cause gastric upset upon ingestion and has been linked to dysfunction of the liver and immune system with long-term exposure.
Chloramines – Chloramines are formed by combining chlorine and ammonia. Chloramines are now added to nearly all municipal water. They are so strong that they tend to dissolve the inside your pipes and fixtures, releasing contaminants and heavy metals into the water. They have been linked to anemia, liver, kidney and central nervous system problems, as well as reproduction issues.
Fluoride – Fluoride is a deadly poison and should be a cause for concern and should be avoided at all costs. It is a xenobiotic (xeno = “anti”, biotic = “life”). It kills everything it comes in contact with. It is not only harmful to the germs that live on your teeth, but harmful to the rest of you body. Without even swallowing it, fluoride is absorbed into your body through your mouth. Fluoride goes into your bones, and the calcium in your bones hooks to fluoride as a means to prevent it from inhibiting other systems in your body. Fluoride makes joints arthritic, bones brittle, increases their mineral content & lowers their tensile strength, making them more likely to fracture. Fluoride has also been noted to lowers IQ. The CDC has acknowledged that fluoride works topically only and that taken internally does not prevent tooth decay (Think sunblock. Would you drink sunblock?). For reasons unknown, our waterways continue to be fluoridated. Silicofluoride is the form of fluoride added to our water supply. Silicofluoride is strong enough to remove lead from brass (in fact, an actual patent exists for this application). It continues to do this in our water supply pipes. Two huge studies consisting of 250,000 children have shown that those drinking “optimally” fluoridated water have a dramatic increase in their blood levels of lead. Lead in the blood has been linked to lower IQ, violent behavior, learning disorders, etc. A fantastic online resource for all things related to the fluoride issue, including many, many educational and informational pieces of information is the Fluoride Action Network (FAN), at www.flouridealert.org. Here is an example of a great article by FAN: Top 10 Ways to Reduce Fluoride Exposure.
The added fluoride and chlorine in your tap water supply can also interfere with the proper functioning of your thyroid. Both fluoride and chlorine are chemically similar to iodine (the chemical element vital to your thyroid), and can thus be mistaken for iodine by your body. Because of this, fluoride and chlorine can actually displace iodine in your thyroid. This is not good! Fluoride has actually been used to suppress thyroid function in people with overactive thyroids. Depression, low energy, fatigue, low concentration, poor memory, reduced sex drive, headaches, tendencies towards excessive weight, are just some of the common symptoms of suppressed or low thyroid function.
Other Heavy Metals & Contaminants that can Pollute Your Water:
- Pesticide residues
- Pharmaceutical residues
- Illegal drug residues (you read that right!)
The Problem with Bottled Water:
Much bottled water out there is simply overpriced tap water, and in some cases, worse. It is often unclear as to where exactly the water comes from and if it is purified adequately. A study found that 50% of bottled water is simply bottled municipal water that you are paying a premium for! Talk about a rip-off! Another concern is that some bottled water was found to actually be less regulated than tap water in terms of contaminants, and sometimes more polluted.
Bottled Water and the Issue of BPA:
Most of us are already familiar with the issue of BPA in plastic bottles. It’s been suggested that BPA has estrogenic effects on the body and may disrupt the endocrine system. BPA also disrupts your testosterone levels. This is bad news. You may have begun to notice that there are now a lot of “non-BPA” plastic water containers on the market, but I suggest we limit these alternatives as well, because new synthetics can be just as bad as the old ones.
There is also a large body of research suggesting that BPA may be harmful to your health in other ways, including:
- A 2008 review demonstrated an association between higher BPA exposure and cardiovascular disease, diabetes and clinically abnormal levels of liver enzymes.
- A 2012 study found that exposure to BPA during pregnancy decreases thyroid hormone levels in male babies at birth.
- A 2013 study showed an association between postnatal urinary concentrations of BPA and asthma in children.
- Another 2013 study showed environmental exposures to BPA may be associated with childhood behavioral and learning development.
Avoiding BPA: The Solution
There are a lot of alternatives to plastic that you can carry your water around in that don’t leach chemicals into it! One of my favorite options is the glass bottle. There are some fantastic ones, like this one and this one. You can also reuse glass bottles, like kombucha bottles, for your water.
If you have little ones, the idea of them carrying around a glass bottle may not sit well with you (understood!). Stainless steel bottles are another great option. I happen to love bottles by Klean Kanteen. They’re excellent quality, and they also make a really cute kids bottle too. Here is another stainless steel sippy cup option by Innate.
If for whatever reason, you cannot avoid drinking out of a plastic bottle, absolutely do not leave it out in the sun or in a hot car. If you ever want to do a little experiment, leave a plastic bottle outside and watch it slowly degrade over the summer.
So, now that you know what kind of water you shouldn’t be drinking, let’s look at your options for the water you should be drinking! Choosing a filtration system to meet your needs doesn’t have to be complicated. Before doing so, however, it’s important to actually know what’s in your own water first and choose the best fit from there.
Knowing What’s in Your Water
By July 1 of each year, you should receive a short report (Consumer Confidence report, or Drinking Water Quality report) in the mail from your water supplier that tells you where your water comes from and what’s in it. The EPA (US Environmental Protection Agency) also offers Local Drinking Water Information online for many municipalities. You can also try Googling: “[your town, your state] water supply” and you will often be directed to the latest quality report.
As of 2010, 66.2% of the U.S. population receives fluoridated water via public water systems. Don’t assume that your home does not have it. It’s likely that it does. One of the worst things about fluoride is that it is extremely difficult to remove from your water, and most filtration systems fall short. The Fluoride Action Network (FAN) at www.fluoridealert.org has a great article: Considerations When Buying a Water Filter, that reviews filtration systems according to how well they filter out fluoride.
Choosing a Water Filtration System
Along with the Fluoride Action Network’s article (above), WaterFilterComparisons.com is another great resource too, that lists the pros and cons of various water filters, including shower filters, whole house filters, and water softeners. RadiantLifeCatalog.com is also has a wonderful assessment tool and questionnaire that I highly recommend for helping you choose the perfect filtration system to meet your needs and your budget!
A Word on Reverse Osmosis or Distilled Water Filtrations
Reverse Osmosis (RO) and distilled water, though effective in removing fluoride, may pose a problem, especially if you are an athlete or living in a very humid or hot environment. Both RO and distilled waters contain zero minerals. There is some controversy around whether or not drinking these demineralized waters is safe, as it may dilute your body’s own electrolytes. If you do choose to drink RO or distilled water, I recommend always squeezing a lemon or adding a pinch of unrefined, mineralized sea salt into it.
Is your daily shower making you sick? Using a filtration system in your shower is absolutely critical because your skin absorbs toxins very easily. In fact, according to the American Journal of Public Health, up to two-thirds of harmful chlorine exposure can come from inhalation and skin absorption while showering. Check out the WaterFilterComparisons.com site to compare Shower Filtration Systems and see which one works for you!
The AquaVida (Water for Life) Whole Home System is one of the only companies that separates the media with its dual chamber tank. This makes it 10 times more effective. They use only the best carbon and resin on the market to filter and condition your water. There is no mixing, and the resin regenerates weekly so it is practically like getting a new system!
The BEST part is that the AquaVida Whole Home System requires NO FILTER CHANGES! You add salt to the system once or twice per year and that is it for maintenance. The system will last 10+ years!
The AquaVida System Removes:
- Hexafluorosilicic acid (which is the human made fluoride added to water)
- Volatile organic compounds (VOCs)
- Trihalomethanes (THMs)
- Pharmaceutical residues
- and much more
It will soften your water too which is excellent for those of you living with hard water.
Interested in the AquaVida System? Head on over to enter this GIVEAWAY to win a whole house filtration system (a value of $4995).
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