ezClear Water

Why Filter Your Water?

Are You Drinking Unsafe Water? Corporations Have Violated Clean Water Act Over 500,000 Times in Last Five Years
By Amy Goodman, Democracy Now!. Posted September 16, 2009.

Forty percent of the nation's community water systems violated the Safe Drinking Water Act at least once, exposing over 23 million people to potential danger.  Read more...

There's one great reason in the news 3/10/08:

Pharmaceuticals lurking in U.S. drinking water
AP probe found traces of meds in water supplies of 41 million Americans


By Jeff Donn, Martha Mendoza and Justin Pritchard
Associated Press Writers

A vast array of pharmaceuticals — including antibiotics, anti-convulsants, mood stabilizers and sex hormones — have been found in the drinking water supplies of at least 41 million Americans, an Associated Press investigation shows...

...In the course of a five-month inquiry, the AP discovered that drugs have been detected in the drinking water supplies of 24 major metropolitan areas — from Southern California to Northern New Jersey, from Detroit to Louisville, Kentucky...

...And while researchers do not yet understand the exact risks from decades of persistent exposure to random combinations of low levels of pharmaceuticals, recent studies — which have gone virtually unnoticed by the general public — have found alarming effects on human cells and wildlife.

The federal government doesn’t require any testing and hasn’t set safety limits for drugs in water. Of the 62 major water providers contacted, the drinking water for only 28 was tested. Among the 34 that haven’t: Houston, Chicago, Miami, Baltimore, Phoenix, Boston and New York City’s Department of Environmental Protection, which delivers water to 9 million people. (Read more.)

It's obvious that your water safety is up to YOU.  A water filter in your home is becoming an absolute MUST.  And a whole-house filter is certainly best, as chemicals are absorbed through the skin during baths and showers.  In addition, you should know that whole house water filters usually only filter out particulates and chlorine related to NSF Standard 42, which is a rating based on aesthetics.  Only water filters that are NSF Certified to Standard 53 involve the reduction of contaminants related to health effects.  Purchase your water filtration system carefully.

More reasons to filter your water:

waterdrop_bullet  Water is a Universal solvent.  As rain falls it absorbs pollutants from the air and from pesticides, fertilizers and other human activity.  It also retains chemicals and chemical byproducts from water treatment.  Here is a snapshot of a report from Physicians for Social Responsibility:

What are DBPs and Why is there Concern About their Presence in Drinking Water:

Disinfection byproducts (DBPs) form when chlorine or other disinfectants react with organic material (from the decomposition of leaves and other vegetation) naturally found in drinking water sources.  The use of chlorine to disinfect drinking water has been hailed as one of the major public health breakthroughs in the 20th century, resulting in a large decrease in mortality from waterborne infectious disease.  However, in 1976 the National Cancer Institute published data showing that chloroform, a chlorination byproduct, caused cancer in rodents (1).  There is now evidence that disinfection - though pivotal in fighting infectious disease - may also result in cancer and other health risks for humans.  Read more Under: Safe Drinking Water/Disinfection Byproducts.

Risks other than cancer are largely related to the effects on female reproductive health, including birth defects, SIDS, and spontaneous abortions.

waterdrop_bullet EPA standards do not cover water quality when it gets into our distribution systems.
waterdrop_bullet More than half the contaminants found in our water do not yet have safety standards:



260 contaminants found in nation's tap water, more than half have no safety standards.

Contaminants with no safety standards (unregulated)

Contaminants with safety standards


According to the Environmental Working Group's analysis of 22 million water quality tests, tap water in 42 states is contaminated with 141 unregulated chemicals that lack safety standards.  Public health officials have not set safety standard for these chemicals, even though millions drink them every day.

waterdrop_bullet Of the water quality violations, 50% of the water systems in the US violated the standards for
  microbes and cloudiness in their drinking water.
waterdrop_bullet According to the CDC 2006 national estimate of waterborne disease associated with public
  drinking water, a mean of 16.4 million annual endemic waterborne-disease cases has been
  estimated. These cases are not including the cases associated with non-public drinking water
  systems, bottled water, recreational water, and water not intended for drinking.
waterdrop_bullet In 2004 DC's lead-in-tap-water crisis thousands of city homes' tap water contained unsafe levels of lead and the public had not been informed about it.  The local water utility, the D.C. Water and Sewer Authority, had done everything it could to keep the facts from residents and city officials.

If you'd like more information on the tap water in your community, check out
: National Tap Water Quality Database  Or: Clean Water Network for State by State Water Quality information.

waterdrop_bullet Scale formation creates a problem for water heaters, boilers, and other water-using appliances.

Whole House Water filters make your water-using appliances last up to 50% longer!  With the cost of appliances and plumbing so high, that alone can pay for a water filter for your home and you get all the additional benefits.

Fluoridation:  The CDC conceded, in 1999 and 2001, that the predominant benefit of fluoride in reducing tooth decay is TOPICAL and not SYSTEMIC. To the extent fluoride works to reduce tooth decay, it works from the outside of the tooth, not from inside the body. It makes no sense to drink it and expose the rest of the body to the long term risks of fluoride ingestion when fluoridated toothpaste is readily available.

There are volumes of medical and scientific evidence that fluoride is a neurotoxin and that our children are seriously over exposed.  Lots of supporting evidence can be found at Fluoride Action Network.

Is Bottled water a better choice for drinking water?
* Note: I have personally seen the artesian well in Murrayville, GA that Jack & Jill and Inland Springs bottled water comes from.  It's tested and fantastic! There are exceptions.

Hundreds of millions of dollars are spent each week by water bottlers to create the perception that bottled water comes from some magical pristine mountain spring or pure underground aquifer.

The plain truth is that most bottled water is little more than tap water in a bottle. The Federal regulations (FDA) that govern the quality of bottled water only apply if it is transported across state lines, and only require it to be "as good as" tap water, not better. Most water bottlers bottle and sell the water in the same state to avoid Federal purity standards, read the labels! There are no assurances or requirements that bottled water be any safer or better than tap water.

The U.S. FDA says: "Companies that promote bottled water as being safer than tap water are defrauding the American public."

In March of 1999‚ the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) released a report called "Bottled Water‚ Pure Drink or Pure Hype?"

NRDC‘s report points out that more than 40% of all bottled water comes from a city water system‚ just like tap water. The report also shows that 60-70% of all bottled water is exempt from FDA‘s bottled water standards‚ because it is bottled and sold within the same state. According to the NRDC‚ "bottled water companies have used this loophole to avoid complying with basic health standards‚ such as those that apply to municipally treated tap water."

According to the NRDC study‚ "even when bottled waters are covered by FDA‘s specific bottled water standards‚ those rules are weaker in many ways than EPA rules that apply to big city tap water." For instance‚ if we compare EPA regulations for tap water to FDA‘s bottled water rules: (these examples are quotes from the NRDC report)

waterdrop_bullet City tap water can have no confirmed E.coli or fecal coliform bacteria. FDA bottled water rules
  include no such prohibition (a certain amount of any type of coliform bacteria is allowed in bottled water).
waterdrop_bullet City tap water‚ from surface water‚ must be filtered and disinfected. In contrast‚ there are no federal
  filtration or disinfection requirements for bottled water.
waterdrop_bullet Most cities using surface water have had to test for Cryptosporidium or Giardia‚ two common water
  pathogens‚ that can cause diarrhea and other intestinal problems‚ yet bottled water companies do not
  have to do this.
waterdrop_bullet City tap water must meet standards for certain important toxic or cancer-causing chemicals‚ such as
  phthalate (a chemical that can leach from plastic‚ including plastic bottles); some in the industry
  persuaded FDA to exempt bottled water from the regulations regarding these chemicals.
waterdrop_bullet   City water systems must issue annual "right to know" reports‚ telling consumers what is in their water.
  Bottlers successfully killed a "right to know" requirement for bottled water.

The Natural Resources Defense Council report concluded that; "Therefore‚ while much tap water is indeed risky‚ having compared available data‚ we conclude that there is no assurance that bottled water is any safer than tap water."

The reality is that people pay from $1 to $4 a gallon for the perception of higher quality‚ when in fact‚ the quality of bottled water is at best an "unknown"!

Home water purification‚ is by far the most economical‚ the most convenient and the most effective way of producing high quality, healthy water.

Also see: "The Bottled Water Lie" by Michael Landing

Some well-meaning activists, in an effort to reduce pollution and environmental destruction caused by the production of bottles and transportation of bottled water, are doing "taste tests" of bottled water vs. tap water. Their premise is that many people cannot taste the difference. Though I sympathize with their motives, I note that many toxins are tasteless; therefore taste alone is absolutely no proof of safety.

Is Clean Drinking Water Enough?

When we think about water purity and safety we automatically think of the water we drink and cook with.  But try this little experiment:

1. Get a water test kit at your local hardware or pool supply store.
2. Fill a glass with water from your tap.
3. Test the chlorine or chloramine level of the water in your glass.
4. Now swish two fingers in the water for just a second or two and test again.
Voila! No chlorine!

Where did it go? Into you, of course.  Yes, that fast!  Now think of all the chemicals in your water; and think about taking a shower.  Not only are you soaking up these chemicals through the largest organ of your body, your skin, but you are inhaling the gases as well.  Many people with asthma or emphysema are exhausted after a shower and never realize they have just overdosed on toxic chemicals.  (If their water is disinfected with chlorine, a shower head filter will bring a great deal of relief, but if their water is disinfected with chloramine, there is no shower filter on the market that will reduce or remove that.  Neither do shower filters remove other contaminants like disinfection byproducts.)

If your kids are like mine, they not only bathe in that chemical soup, but they "swim" in it, swallow it, and stay in the tub until their little fingers and toes wrinkle up like prunes - more than enough time for their skin to act like a huge sponge and soak up all the chemicals in that big tub of fun.


Unfortunately, it appears that for the moment the best thing we can do to provide ourselves with healthy water is to filter it at home, at school, and at the office.  At home we obviously need whole house water filters.

However...I'm old enough to remember when it was safe to drink straight out of my faucet, the creek that ran beside my home in the city, or any stream where we went to play!  We could go fishing and eat our catch!

We, our kids, and our grandchildren absolutely deserve this same quality of life.  We must guard against accepting the decline in quality of our natural resources - especially water and air quality - in our natural world as well as our municipal water systems.  If it's true that we lose what we fail to value, it's time to wake up and demand that the resources that literally sustain human life be safe!

At ezClearwater we want to make having clean, safe drinking water ez for you; but frankly, we'd rather see both our natural world and our municipal water systems so clean and pure we had to find another business!

Let's take Responsibility!

A recent Frontline Special called "Poisoned Waters" focused on the tragic pollution of the Chesapeake Bay and Puget Sound.  These two waterways were the focus, but the same problems are found in waterways all across the country.

Part of the story, and an important part, is the presence of EDCs or Endorice Disrupting Chemicals in the water.  In an interview with Vicki Blazer of the US Geological Survey it was revealed that fish and amphibians are exhibiting bacterial lesions, fungal lesions, and parasites. Even more disturbing...

"One of the major and most interesting findings was intersex in the male bass, which is not something you can see grossly, just looking at the fish. But when we look at it microscopically, or histologically, when we look at the male gonads, or testes, what we find is immature eggs within the male testes.

So you got a sort of feminization of male fish. Is that a big, alarming finding?

Yes. It's something that people have been recognizing for a number of years. ...

Is there any connection between the bad effects in the fish and human activity?

With the intersex issue, since we've been looking at it for quite a few years now, we've moved from just looking at the South Branch of the Potomac, which is a fairly sparsely populated area, but there is a lot of agriculture, and there is some industry. We've looked at a number of areas to sort of try to tease that out. We've been looking at the Shenandoah, because there's been major fish kills there as well. That's a more heavily populated area, also more ag, and we actually find a higher prevalence of intersex in the Shenandoah than we do in the South Branch. ... So we do think that there is a gradation, and it is associated with both human population density as well as agriculture. ...

[What kind of chemical compounds were you associating with the intersex?]

When we first discovered the intersex, we went into the literature and looked at what are the things that have been reported to cause that in other fish species. And estrogen -- natural estrogen, as well as the synthetic estrogens that are used, for instance, in birth control pills and estrogen replacement, are two primary ones. But then there's a whole group of compounds that can be what we call estrogen mimics. In other words, because of their structure, they can act like estrogen, and those include some of the pesticides, herbicides, things like nonylphenol.

How big a range of products are we talking here? ...

... Personal care products, some of the antimicrobials that are in those, as well as the fragrances, have been shown to have what we call weak estrogenic activity. But together they can cause some of these things. ...

Part of the problem of trying to identify specific chemicals, or even groups of chemicals, is just that [the range] is so large, and so many of these things act at very low concentrations. And so even getting the methods to measure them in the water at those low concentrations is something that's just developing, which is why we refer to this as an emerging-contaminants issue. These are contaminants we're just beginning to recognize can have serious effects. ...

Are [the fish] the canary in the coalmine for human beings in terms of potential health dangers?

To me, they're certainly the canary in the coalmine as far as ecological damage. How that will directly relate to human health still needs to be determined. In other words, the fish are constantly swimming in that water. ... People aren't necessarily constantly in the water. They may not directly be drinking that water, so how that relates specifically to human health is a whole 'nother step we need to take."

A Few Things We All Can Do - Avoid the Irresponsible Use or Disposal of These Chemicals:

waterdrop_bullet Human activities that release naturally occurring EDCs: the heavy metals lead, mercury, and cadmium.  (Dispose of batteries and computer equipment properly.)
waterdrop_bullet Pesticides
waterdrop_bullet Product additives such as the insecticide Dieldrin
waterdrop_bullet Bisphenol A in plastics (see our BPA-Free 3 & 5 gallon water bottles.)
waterdrop_bullet Phthalates in cosmetics
waterdrop_bullet DDT
waterdrop_bullet Akylphenols in detergents and cleaning supplies

All these, and others, degrade to different endocrine-active compounds. With a little thoughtfulness we can make choices that are "Good for You and Mother Earth Too!"

Some great educational organizations of interest:

We LOVE this one...


...a fun site in case you'd like to help others have access to clean drinking water.
  Kid-powered water pumps transforming lives!

To date, more than 900 PlayPump® water systems have been successfully installed in South African communities, benefiting
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Drinking Water provided by PlayPumps is supported by ezclearwater.com


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