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.
"The Bottled Water Lie"
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
proof of safety.
Is Clean Drinking Water
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
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!
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!
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
"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
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. ...
fish] the canary in the coalmine for human beings in terms of potential health
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
A Few Things We All Can Do -
Avoid the Irresponsible Use or Disposal of These Chemicals:
Human activities that release naturally occurring EDCs: the heavy metals lead,
mercury, and cadmium. (Dispose of batteries and computer equipment
Product additives such as the insecticide Dieldrin
Bisphenol A in plastics (see our
BPA-Free 3 & 5
gallon water bottles.)
Phthalates in cosmetics
Akylphenols in detergents and cleaning
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!"