When crystal clear water flows out of your faucet at home, it’s all perfectly healthy water, right? Not necessarily!
Just like the Air Quality we discussed in ...our water may not be as clean as we think it is.
According to Seattle Public Utilities, we are considered to have some of the cleanest drinking water in the country, due to its pristine, protected mountain sources: South Fork Tolt River Watershed and the Cedar River Watershed. And that should assure us that we are drinking clean water, right?
Did you know that since 1970, fluoride is added to our public water source “to an optimal level” to prevent tooth decay? Additionally, chlorine and lime are added to our drinking water, as part of a 4-step process to make our drinking water “safe.” From a prevention standpoint, this is wise to eliminate harmful bacteria. Yet the question should linger – is the fluoride and residual chlorine good for us to ingest, as we do though both bathing and drinking?
Read On, and You be the Judge.
There has been wide-spread debate about the benefits of fluoridated water outweighing the potentially negative side effects, including gastrointestinal problems, low fertility, thyroid disease, endocrine disruption, arthritis, cognitive function, making bones and teeth brittle and cancer.
Recently, however, Harvard researchers studied health data for communities in China where the groundwater contained naturally occurring high levels of fluoride. The cause concern: “the children living in high-fluoride areas had significantly lower IQ scores than those who lived in low-fluoride areas.” With the average difference being 7 points, researcher Philippe Grandjean concluded that fluoride belongs among lead, mercury, and other poisons as a known neurotoxin and “chemical brain drain.” Grandjean suggested that the developing brain may be irreversibly damaged by fluoride exposure, and the exact “safe” thresholds, if any, are unknown.
Okay, but what about chlorine?
That depends upon who you ask. Naturally, answers may widely vary based on their specific interests like the EPA, or your doctor, or the local and statewater utilities, however research has uncovered that chlorine, once in water, interacts with organic compounds to create trihalomethanes (THMs) — which once ingested encourage the growth of free radicals that are destructive and damaging to vital cells in the body. Because so much of the water we drink ends up in the bladder and/or rectum, ingestion of THMs in drinking water can be especially damaging to these organs.
And fluoride and chlorine may just be common knowledge... but the average municipality's water in our country contains a lot of ingredients which are uncommon to us, much less hard to pronounce, as well as toxic; all the more reason you should learn about what you are drinking.
What's In Your Water?
One valuable source of information is EWG (Environmental Working Group) which provides a portal to input your municipality or zip code, and see the lab analysis of your local public water source.
Private tests provide the most current and accurate information about the water in your home and can tell you about the presence of unregulated toxins. Laboratory-certified kits test for bacteria, lead, pesticides, arsenic, nitrates, nitrites, chlorine, iron, pH levels, copper, alkalinity and mineral concentration. You can also try a local testing lab or a national company such as Suburban Water Testing Laboratories (800-433-6595; www.h2otest.com) or National Testing Laboratories (NTL) (800-458-3330; www.ntllabs.com). For about $130, NTL will test your tap water samples for 75 kinds of bacteria, heavy metals, inorganic compounds, volatile compounds, pH levels and mineral concentration. For a small fee, they will also test for pesticides and herbicides.
So, what exactly is “healthy water”?
Healthy water as it turns out is defined by its molecular nature - water that is clumped together in a fashion which our bodies can utilize. Healthy water lets us be hydrated. Being that 70% of our bodies are made up of water, this is important to every function in our body. Being slightly alkaline (8-9pH) is vital to our body’s health as well as having a negative ORP factor, an antioxidant property, allowing it to soak up free radicals in our bodies. Through stress, poor diet and an increasingly polluted environment, our bodies tend to be in an acidic state most of the time – which is a disease-prone condition. In this condition, healthy water is a must for tipping the body back toward a healthy (more alkaline) condition.
The best sources of fresh healthy drinking water for your home and family is filtered water. A carbon-based whole-system, or drinking water filter, which absorbs chlorine and other contaminants before they get into your tap, glass or body. Tap-based filters remove most if not all of the chlorine in tap water, and are relatively inexpensive to boot. If you’re interested in eliminating most or all of the potentially harmful contaminants in municipal water, then Google water filtration systems and you will find a ton of good research to educate and protect yourself and your family.
As your reward for reading this far…
Although not immediately obvious, your skin is porous and in hot showers and baths, readily absorbs chlorine. There are shower filters now that eliminate chlorine with a vitamin C cartridge and also negatively charge the water. The effects are extremely beneficial (personal experience). If you would like to experience the best shower of your life, here’s the shower filter I highly, highly, highly recommend: https://www.alkaviva.com/phresh-shower-filter.
In the end, you’ll make the right decision about continuing to drink and bathe with regular tap water, or, through education, decide that there may be a healthier path for you and your family. Through this article, we hope your choices lead to the healthiest and most fulfilling home-life possible.
Please stay tuned for the next post in this Healthy Home Evolution series.... Healthy Home Cleaning Practices.