How Safe is the Water We’re Drinking?

We all need water to survive; in fact, we can’t last more than five days without it.  Water regulates our body temperature, flushes out waste, and transports nutrients to vital organs and joints.  Water is a daily necessity, and up to 60% of the human body is water.

But how safe is the water we are drinking? The Environmental Protection Agency is responsible for identifying and setting limits on the amount of contaminants in our tap water. But, according to the Environmental Working Group, the majority of possible contaminants are not screened, and chemicals, including micro-plastics, BPA, phthalates and even medications make their way into US drinking water. Glyphosate and Atrazine, two herbicides that act as endocrine disruptors, frequently contaminate tap water.  Amazingly, a biologist at UC Berkeley found that Atrazine can cause male frogs to  become “functionally female” or hermaphrodites.  We also know that even at low levels, chemical exposure can be cumulative and dangerous.

In the 1980s a huge marketing campaign convinced the US public that bottled water was safer and cleaner than tap water.  It was so successful that US consumers currently buy 50 billion water bottles per year.  The reality, however, is that bottled water is not so squeaky clean.   Bottled water is not subjected to the same screening and testing as municipal water and, although regulated by the FDA, these companies are largely left to self-police safety.  A 2019 study analyzed 259 bottled waters from around the world and found that 93% contained synthetic micro-plastic.  Furthermore, bottled water is stored in plastic #1 also known as PET ( polyethylene terephthalate), a known endocrine disruptor.  Bottled water may sit in hot warehouses before being shipped, which increases the leaching of estrogen-like chemicals into the water.

So what’s the answer?  Water filters that create clean drinking water.  There are home-use water pitcher filters, activated charcoal filters, under-counter reverse osmosis water filter systems, ion exchange units  and whole home systems. Reverse osmosis is the most thorough water filtration system.  It forces water through a semi-permeable membrane that blocks bacteria, chemicals, heavy metals and medications.

K-P Tips:

Carry filtered water in glass or stainless steel containers.   Save money and drink safer, cleaner water and your body will thank you for it.

All filters need replacement.  Write date of installation to remind you when to change the filter.

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