How Tap Water Makes You Sick and Fat – And What You Can Do About It
(This article is being reprinted with the permission of Environmental Water Systems. Copyright belongs to Environmental Water Systems and EWS, Inc.)
Most of us do not give much thought to water. We drink it, make our coffee with it, cook with it, shower in it, yet we do not think about the health problems associated with unfiltered tap water.
The tap water coming out of our sinks and showers contains carcinogenic chlorine, chloramine, obesogens, pesticides, and pharmaceutical residues. What does that mean for our bodies? Dry skin, eczema, brittle hair, weight gain, cancer, asthma, respiratory issues, and digestive disorders. These issues are all direct results of the disinfectants and contaminants on our water.
What do we do about this? How do we protect ourselves? The answer is filtration. We will show you how to identify and choose the right filtration among the gimmicks.
Good-Tasting Water Does Not Equal Healthy Water
Taste does not equate to health or quality. If it did, then McDonalds fries and Oreos would be health foods. (We wish.)
Water districts use chlorine or chloramine (or both) to disinfect our water supply. If you are one of the 22% that have tap water treated with chloramine (a chlorine and ammonia compound), you must be aware that this toxic chemical is lethal to marine life and highly corrosive to plumbing and household appliances. It cannot be removed by simple filters or letting the water sit out. Chloramine requires an advanced carbon filtration and a significant amount of contact time. If you were to try using a typical pitcher/fridge/faucet filter, it would be exhausted within a few weeks.
The President’s Cancer Panel reports that endocrine disrupters present in our tap water are directly linked to cancer, and that there are over 80,000 understudied and unregulated contaminants in our tap water. Can pitcher filters, faucet attachments, fridge filters, showerhead filters, and “multi-level marketing” filters effectively protect us from chloramine, pharmaceutical residues, pesticides, and other chemicals? Unfortunately, the answer is: no.
How is that possible? 1. There is not enough contact time with the water to remove the contaminants, and 2. The filtration materials are inexpensive and minimally compliant, which means they are not effective against tough contaminants and are exhausted quickly, hence their short 1-3 month lifespan.
It’s Not Just About Taste – It’s About Health
You can get better tasting water by filtering it through a tee shirt or a cheap filter. You can even get better tasting water just by leaving a glass of it out for 30 minutes to let the chlorine dissipate (though that will not work with chloramine). So now you have better tasting water, but chlorine byproducts, pesticides, pharmaceutical residues, and other contaminants are still in that glass of drinking water.
When we shower, bathe, or sit in a steam room, we absorb and inhale the chlorine and contaminants in that water. We absorb the same amount of chlorine in a 10 minute shower as drinking a gallon of unfiltered water. Small showerhead filters operate similarly to drinking water gimmicks – they reduce some of the chlorine to assist with taste/odor, but they do not remove the contaminants. Covering up the symptom instead of dealing with the root cause is not helpful to anyone.
Tap Water Can Make You Gain Weight
The American Medical Association, National Institutes of Health, and White House Task Force on Childhood Obesity have been cracking open the issue of “obesogens” and how they drastically affect our bodies, causing weight gain and contributing the obesity epidemic. According to the New England Journal of Medicine, over 66% of adults in the USA are obese or overweight.
What are obesogens? They are chemicals commonly found in our food and tap water. They increase the size of fat cells and encourage the storage of body fat, decrease the calories we burn, and promote insulin resistance (which leads to diabetes). According to Dr. Oz, “The main obesogen in tap water is atrazine. Banned in Europe, but found around the United States, atrazine slows thyroid hormone metabolism [leading to weight gain]. Another culprit found in tap water, tributylin, a fungicide…stimulates fat cell production.”
How do you get rid of obesogens in your water? Filter it with a high-quality filtration system that is designed to remove contaminants, as well as improving taste and odor.
How to Choose a Quality Filtration System
For drinking and point-of-use sink systems, look for the following features: multiple separate stages, full bed depth filters, at least one highly-rated granular activated carbon filter stage, and one highly-rated carbon block stage. Quality drinking system filters should last about 1 year. One of the only sink systems that meet these important criteria is the Environmental Water Systems ESSENTIAL advanced three-stage drinking water system.
Be aware that single-stage filters are for limited use or taste and odor only. Single-stage “multi-media” units that stack multiple types of filtration in one filter are not suitable filtration devices because there is not enough of one media to filter the water effectively.
Protection from absorbing contaminants through our skin and lungs during a shower or bath is just as important as having proper filtration at the sink. The need for central water filtration is no less a standard of health and home comfort than the standard of central heat and air conditioning.
High-quality home filtration systems will meet the following criteria: minimum 1000 iodine rating of carbon media, automatic backwashing to prolong filtration media lifespan and keep it from packing/channeling (“upflow” devices that do not backwash create a reverse channeling effect and have short lifespans), and a flow rate of at least 15 gallons per minute.
In regards to multiple media (“multi-media”) systems, a tank would have to be 20 feet tall to contain all the different media to work as advertised. Stacked media in a tank is similar to stacked media in cartridges – there is not enough of any one media to be effective beyond simply improving taste. Quality whole home filtration should last a family of four on chlorinated water (not chloramine-treated) about 10 years. High-end, USA-made filtration appliances that meet or exceed all these criteria include the Environmental Water Systems EWS Spectrum whole home filtration and conditioning and CWL Spectrum whole home filtration. These appliances are incredibly well-made and built to last, and are the exclusive filtration of the National Association of Home Builders’ (NAHB) New American Showcase Home.
Filtration to the whole home is recommended by countless health authorities, including the President’s Cancer Panel, which stated in their annual report, “filtering home tap water or well water can decrease exposure to numerous known or suspected carcinogens or endocrine-disrupting chemicals.”
On his national television program, Dr. Oz stated, “the most important thing I’m going to say today [is]…I don’t think you should be bathing your kids in the tub unless you know that water is clean. All those chemicals get absorbed through the skin, and therefore your child has been contaminated.”
It Is Time to Get Serious about Serious Water Filtration
Water filtration is not a rich man’s “want.” It is a necessary barrier for all families, to protect us from the chemicals we would normally drink, absorb, and inhale from our unfiltered tap water.
To ensure that you and your children are not actually drinking, absorbing, or inhaling chlorine, chloramine, pharmaceuticals, and pesticides, and putting yourselves at risk for developing health issues, you need to look toward high-quality filtration systems. It’s time to quit treating filtration like a joke or an afterthought. The time has come for serious water filtration.