As a doctor, I prescribe water consumption as part of the remedy for just about anything and everything my patients complain of: Not losing weight? – Are you drinking enough water? Lacking energy? – Are you drinking plenty of water? Constant headaches? – How much water are you drinking each day?
Water is the fuel for life. Your body is 60 percent water and it is used in every physiological reaction in the human body. So, when I tell you to increase your intake of water, filling up a glass from the tap, pouring from a chilled filtered pitcher or guzzling a prepackaged bottle becomes a regular part of your daily routine. The trouble is – is all that water you are drinking really safe?
Recent reports have begun to suggest that your drinking water is less than safe for you and your family. The federal government makes the effort to test for only about 90 substances that can potentially contaminate water and be hazardous to your health and what is even worse – they only report averages of levels over the course of a year, failing to account for seasons when certain chemicals, like pesticides in the spring time, can run extremely high.
You and your family’s health may be at stake and it is a greater concern than a day of GI distress. Water contaminants can include anything from household drugs, like ibuprofen to deadly chemicals, like arsenic and nitrates to endocrine disruptors, like estrone that could literally destroy optimal functioning of your body. Endocrine disruptors are among the top concerns – these chemicals are numerous, not only in contaminated water, but also many cosmetics. These chemicals can change the levels of hormones in your body, leading to adverse health conditions like thyroid disorder, fatigue or even cancer. For most adults, the amounts in your drinking water are not enough to do significant harm, but for pregnant women, babies, children and teens, the effects are life-altering. High doses, which for a fetus or baby is not much, can disrupt growth and development, causing a shift in hormones that results in obesity, heart disease, certain cancers or learning disabilities that may not show up until later in life.
These are scary facts of life and as studies continue, the downward decline we have witnessed in the general health of society as whole may be fractionally contributed to by this widespread issue. The uproar has definitely sparked attention of some very influential groups, including the Endocrine Society, who rarely take an activist stance, but have determined that this is a cause worth fighting for.
In the meantime, you may be wondering what you can do to protect you and your family from these harsh toxins lurking in your water. The GH Research Institute, who has teamed up with major universities to collect data and delve deeper into this topic, spent time determining the effectiveness of household filtration systems and bottled water – with hopes of helping you protect yourself and your family as the battle for cleaner water wages forth. Read carefully, the results may surprise you.
- Refrigerator filters. These popular brands were tested and shown to remove 92 percent of contaminants and 90 percent of BPA – just remember to set reminders to change the filters as designed.
- Filter pitchers
- Zero water – removed 95 percent of BPA, estrone and ibuprofen and 80 percent of chemical herbicides for the entire life of the cartridge.
- Pur – removed 100 percent of estrone, 71 percent of all drugs and 80 percent of chemical herbicides and BPA
- Brita – removed 60 percent of all drugs and at about half-way through the life of the cartridge, a reduction in effectiveness was observed
- Bottled water
- Guess what? Bottled water is not heavily regulated because bottled water does not have to publish the results of testing. So, no matter the price – there is no guarantee your bottled water is safe for consumption.