Austin, TX (PRWEB) May 31, 2013
Do you know what’s in your water? Do a little digging and it’s likely you’ll be disturbed when you discover the whole story. According to an Environmental Working Group (EWG) study of the country’s drinking water, 316 contaminants have been found in the nation’s drinking water. Over 60% of these contaminants have no safety standards and are not regulated by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Quite simply, government regulations and water treatment facilities haven’t kept up with the steady increase in contaminants resulting from new technologies like alternative disinfectants, increased use of pesticides, herbicides, natural gas drilling and the like.
So what’s the best way to ensure that you’re drinking the safest water possible? Bottled water is dismissed as an alternative as it’s often unregulated, expensive and plastic waste is taxing on the environment. According to the 2010 Presidents Cancer Panel Report, filtering home tap or well water can decrease exposure to numerous known or suspected carcinogens and the EWG’s February 2013 tap water report also recommends water filters for the cleanest possible water.
Do a little research and you’ll find all water filters are not created equal. In fact, the best water filtration systems will remove up to ten times the amount of contaminants as the best-selling filter pitcher. It’s also best to target the specific contaminants in your drinking water. Here’s a sampling of the worst offenders commonly found in municipal tap water.
Water treatment facilities are increasingly using chloramines – a combination of chlorine and ammonia – to disinfect tap water. This new chemical concoction is used to disinfect water for longer periods of time, from water treatment through delivery to your home. A nationwide study on water treatment contaminants conducted by the EPA reported that chloraminated drinking water had the highest levels of an unregulated chemical family known as iodoacids. Some researchers consider one of the iodoacids, iodoacetic acid, to be potentially the most toxic of all disinfection byproducts (DBPs) found to date based on its DNA-damaging capabilities in mammalian cell tests.
It’s common knowledge that lead poisoning can lead to a horrifying host of issues, including irreversible loss of IQ and developmental disorders in children. What’s little known is that chloramines – as opposed to the traditional disinfectant chlorine – corrode lead pipes, which can lead to the discharge of toxic levels of lead in drinking water. In 2004, Washington D.C.’s switch to chloramines -- and the subsequent cover up of dangerous lead levels in drinking water by officials -- caused a public health crisis and the eventual reversal of the use of the disinfectant.
The widespread use of pesticides and herbicides in agriculture results in the chemical runoff of these toxic substances to lakes and rivers. In many communities these chemicals directly contaminate the source water supply. Pesticides can affect human health and the environment depending on how much chemical is present and the length and frequency of exposure. In large amounts, some pesticides have been shown to cause long-term health effects such as cancer and organ damage in laboratory testing.
These toxins may top the list but tap water can also be contaminated with chlorine, other heavy metals and pharmaceuticals among others. The safest route for peace of mind -- and the best shot at long term health -- is to install a home water filtration system customized for individual issues. Home water test kits are easy to procure and advanced water filtration systems, such as Aquasana’s water filtration systems, can be customized to suit specific needs. Based on extensive research, Aquasana has developed water filtration systems NSF-certified to remove 97% of chloramines, reduce over 60 common water contaminants while retaining healthy minerals like calcium and magnesium. More information on the effects of contaminated water and the types of water filter systems including drinking water and shower filters available can be found at the Aquasana web site.