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The Dirty Truth About Your Drinking Water
By Dr. Roy M. Speiser

You may think your drinking water is safe because it meets federal regulations, but recent studies have found that even low levels of contaminants that are within legal limits pose health risks.

A recent New York Times article reported that the 35-year-old federal law regulating tap water is so out-of-date that the water Americans drink can pose serious health risks. Only 91 contaminants are regulated by the Safe Drinking Water Act and yet more than 60,000 chemicals are used within the US according to Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates. Hundreds of these contaminants have been detected in drinking water sources across the U.S.

Toxic Contaminants Found in Source Water

Scientific studies have revealed the shocking truth that in addition to chlorine, toxic contaminants commonly found in source water include: industrial chemicals, pesticides, fluoride, arsenic, lead, parasites, and radioactivity. In the past several years, new contaminants such as pharmaceuticals, perchlorate (rocket fuel), and gasoline additives have also been detected in many water supplies.

Recent attention has been focused on "Trihalomethanes" (THMs), which are chemicals formed by the action of chlorine with naturally-occurring organic matter in water. Scientific studies have linked THMs to increased risk of bladder and colorectal cancer and possible heart, lung, kidney, and liver damage. Many public water systems have now added ammonia to disinfect the water and reduce the levels of THMs. However, this has created toxic byproducts called "chloramines."

Drinking contaminated water for decades contributes to an increased risk of cancer and other diseases such as Multiple Chemical Sensitivities (MCS), even at small concentrations. In addition, pesticides, plastic compounds like Bisphenol A (BPA), and contaminants from personal care products found in drinking water can interfere with normal hormonal function.

How to Protect Your Health from Water Contamination

In its official annual report, the President's Cancer Panel recommends people use home-filtering devices to decrease exposure to cancer-causing agents found in drinking water. With most drinking water containing a wide range of contaminants, how does one know which water filtration system is best?

Many consumers have tried small faucet filters or pour-through pitchers to remove toxins from their drinking water. However, these measures are inadequate for the types and levels of contaminants found in most water systems. Real protection requires a multibarrier filtration system that can effectively eliminate even the most harmful toxins that have leached into your drinking water.

Effective filtration at the sink utilizes the best available technologies such as ceramic microfiltration for parasites, VOC carbon for THMs, and Ion Exchange Filters for special contaminants such as fluoride and heavy metals. Filtration tanks on the main water line are used to reduce the total load of chemicals, pharmaceuticals, hardness, and iron in the entire home.

The first step is to have a water-quality expert review your local consumer water report, or if it is well water, test the well to determine the types and extent of the contaminants. Then, a specialized filtration equipment solution can be provided to eliminate the contaminants from your household water.

A customized system is the best way to address your water purification needs as well as your budget. In the long run, you will reduce the incidence of health disorders that result from drinking and bathing in contaminated water.

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