Question: Is bottled water or filtered water better?
much bottled water is of good quality, there are little or no
regulations or means of ensuring bottled water quality... it is
a self-policed industry for the most part. In contrast, the home
water treatment industry is very heavily regulated.
Manufacturers must do extensive testing and reporting to prove
their products effectiveness at providing quality water.
Manufacturers are required to supply "Performance Data Sheets"
demonstrating the products ability to remove certain
contaminants; bottled water companies are not required to
demonstrate their waters quality.
Question: What is TDS?
Dissolved Solids, the total measurement by weight of all solids
that are dissolved in water. The dissolved solids in water are
primarily calcium and magnesium and would not be a measurement
of contamination. Tests which measure the conductivity of water
(often used by companies selling reverse osmosis and
distillation system ) only give a rough estimate of dissolved
solids, mostly minerals, and do not show
water quality. Implying that these tests show water quality is
highly misleading and should be considered unethical.
Question: Is Chlorine harmful?
was first added to a community water system in 1908 in Chicago
and was instrumental in eliminating many types of water-borne
disease such as Cholera and Typhoid fever. Prior to
chlorination, many major cities had death tolls of 1 in 1000
people from Typhoid alone. Chlorine has been used to disinfect
municipal water for over 80 years and has had some positive
effects on public health. In the 1970's it was discovered that
chlorine, when added to water, forms Trihalomethanes
(chlorinated by-products) by combining with certain naturally
occurring organic matter such as vegetation and algae. In 1992
the American Journal of Public Health published a report that
showed a 15% to 35% increase in certain types of cancer for
people who consume chlorinated water. This report also stated
that much of these effects were due to showering in chlorinated
water. The National Cancer Institute estimates cancer risks for
people who consume chlorinated water to be up to 93% higher than
for people who do not. The effects of drinking chlorinated water
have been debated for decades. However, most experts now agree
that there are some significant risks related to consuming
chlorine and chlorinated by-products in drinking water.
Question: Why do some areas test negative for chlorine?
all city water systems contain some level of chlorine. The level
will vary based on outdoor temperature, the season, distance
from water utility and current usage. While chlorine may
sometimes be undetectable on a certain day with a standard OTO
test kit, that level can change dramatically day to day. Also
some cities use ammonia at certain times as a disinfectant in
order to reduce chlorination by products. Without chlorine the
dangers of water borne disease would be too significant. An
undetectable chlorine level, on a certain day, does not
eliminate the need for an effective home filtration system.
Question: What do you do if you have water contaminated by
Radioactive water is not very common in this country and is a
more serious problem than should be dealt with by a home water
filtration system. Many people confuse the contaminant "Radon"
with radioactivity when in fact they are quite different. Radon
is produced from decaying Uranium ore and can be effectively
removed by carbon filtration.
Question: What are VOCs?
Organic Chemicals are synthetic compounds that turn into vapor
at relatively low temperatures. VOCs typically vaporize at a
much lower temperature than water. Most synthetic chemicals
found in water, such as pesticides and herbicides, are VOCs.
Question: Do people on private wells need to use shower
are many health and cosmetic benefits to removing chemicals and
compounds from shower water, even on non-chlorinated private
wells. Virtually all ground water contains traces of some
chemical or chemicals that can be absorbed through the skin or
inhaled. Also the Aquasana shower filter system helps balance
the waters pH, which is also a very noticeable cosmetic benefit.
Question: What is the best container for storing filtered
is always best, however if glass is not practical, then a high
grade polycarbonate material is best. Clear plastic bottles and
pitchers with a #1 in the recycle triangle on the bottom, like
the bottles used by Evian and the higher quality bottled waters,
are the best option for water storage since they have been shown
to release the lowest levels of plastic component chemicals into
water. Translucent, colored or bottles with a number other than
1 on the bottom should be avoided because there is the
possibility of higher levels of chemicals leeching into the
water from the plastic.
Question: Do water treatment products require FDA approval?
However, the certifications which apply to the Aquasana products
require proof that all wet component materials meet FDA
requirements for food grade materials. The performance claims of
the Aquasana 4000 system have been validated and certified by
the California Department of Health Services and include
toxicology extraction tests to show no harmful release of any
substance into the filtered water.
Question: Are whole house systems (P.O.E.- point-of-entry)
better than counter-top filters (P.O.U.- point-of-use)?
systems are by far the best way to ensure the highest quality
water since many water-borne contaminants come from the plumbing
in your house, especially lead and vinyl chloride from the
piping. By filtering water at the point-of-use you remove
contaminants just prior to consumption, eliminating the chance
of recontamination. Point-of-entry systems offer certain
benefits but do not replace the benefits of point-of-use
Question: What are the benefits of magnetic water treatment?
there are manufacturers that make beneficial claims for magnetic
water treatment, there are no credible studies or documentation
that magnetics offer any measurable benefits for drinking water,
consumers should beware of undocumented claims.
Question: How do you know if there are contaminants in your
public water systems contain some level of one or more
unhealthful chemicals. Regulations only require periodic testing
of about 90 chemicals. There are now more than 75,000 chemicals
used in our society with over 1000 new ones being developed each
year. Contaminant levels fluctuate throughout the year making it
impossible to know the actual level of contamination in a
central water system. So far over 2100 toxic chemicals have been
detected in America's water systems. The risk is high; the cost
for a sure solution is low, 9¢ per gallon with Aquasana.
Question: Are some people more sensitive to chemicals in
drinking water and shower water than others?
small children and the elderly are especially more affected by
contaminants in water due to a reduced capacity to deal with
toxins and an under-developed or less tolerant immune system.
Question: If my municipal water company's Annual Water
Quality Report shows that it meets all EPA guidelines, does that
mean its safe?
October 1st 1999 a new federal law went into effect that
requires water utilities to send each customer a detailed report
showing what is in their water, appropriately called "The Right
To Know Amendment." The most important thing to remember is that
no matter how insistent these reports are that "contaminants in
your water do not necessarily pose a health risk", any level of
contamination in our drinking water does in fact represent a
danger to our health. Of the over 75,000 toxic chemicals used in
our society, the EPA has only set standards (MCLs) for about 90,
and those 90 Maximum Contaminant Levels are not necessarily set
on "health effects." The EPA considers limited health studies
based on consumption of one certain chemical by a 175 lb. adult
when setting these standards. No consideration is given to the
effects on small children or the combined effects of two or more
contaminants, which some studies show are magnified by as much
as 1000 times. Water utilities are only required to test for the
90 contaminants that the EPA has set standards for.
Nobody knows how many toxic chemicals may actually be in tap
water. According to the Ralph Nader Research Group, after
reviewing thousands of pages of EPA documents acquired through
the Freedom of Information Act, more than 2100 toxic chemicals
have already been detected in U.S. water supplies. Virtually all
public water systems have some level of contamination. The water
utilities are usually quick to point out that the chemicals
found in their water are "below EPA's Maximum Levels", and in
most cases they are. The fact is that even the smallest trace of
a toxic chemical causes damage and science is just now starting
to realize to what extent. In a recent report from the National
Cancer Institute to the Surgeon General it was stated that "No
level of exposure to a chemical carcinogen should be considered
toxicologically insignificant to humans," and we are learning
the hard way the truth of this statement.