Kitchen Water Filters Are Necessary for Healthy Living


The public in the United States is provided with water that is generally promoted as safe to drink. Yet the truth is that it contains carcinogens and chemical compounds that are clearly dangerous to consume. Only by buying the appropriate kitchen water filter by  can you be certain your water is safe.

USEPA regulates the contaminants in water. For each regulated contaminated they establish a Maximum Contaminant Level (MCL). You can see these listed in your local water quality report. But how is the MCL established and does it represent a safe level? Keep in mind that USEPA is a government agency. As such it is governed by political considerations. While the scientists at the agency may recommend MCLs they think of a safe, those levels are then subject to review by government officials whose primary concern is political.

For instance, for years arsenic in water had a limit of 50 parts per billion (ppb). During the Clinton administration that level was reduced to 10 ppb. But scientists had recommended lowering it to 3 ppb. That provides a clear example of what I’m suggesting. The issue has to do with cost vs health. When EPA implements a new limit every public water provider in the country must meet it. That costs a lot of money.

Another example is nitrate in water. USEPA has a limit of 10 parts per million (ppm). Yet recent studies suggest a link between nitrates at 5 ppm and bladder cancer in post-menopausal women. Fact is we are constantly learning about the health impact of contaminants. As we do the standards may (or may not) be adjusted. I anticipate the arsenic and nitrate standards to be lowered in future years.

Then there are the unregulated contaminants. A very serious example is pharmaceuticals in water. If your water source is a river and there are cities upstream of where you live then you have them in your water. Any drug taken by any person upstream of you enters the water when they urinate. No attempt is made to remove these by your water provider … because they have not been deemed dangerous by EPA.

Yet researchers in Europe have found that the levels of pharmaceuticals in river water affect cell function. Think of these as a toxic mix of all kinds of chemicals. Heart medications, hormones prescribed to women, pain meds, and illegal drugs like cocaine. Downstream of London in the Thames River there are two kilos a day of cocaine in the river. All coming through use and excretion. You name it, it’s in the water. When you drink water containing this toxic soup of drugs it affects your cells. If your young children or older parents are drinking it the effect may be increased for them.

Most people drink their tap water, assuming it is safe. In some cases it is. Cities like Seattle and San Francisco had the foresight to use protected watersheds as their water source. Problems like drugs in the water don’t exist in these locations. But the other issue facing city water users are the chemicals added to the water by the city themselves.

Years ago, Chicago was one of the first cities to add chlorine to water. The purpose was to kill bacteria and thus reduce disease associated with drinking water. This action has had some unintended consequences. It turns out that chlorine interacts with organic material in natural water sources to create a number of carcinogenic compounds.

Known as the trihalomethanes and haloacetic acids these compounds are known carcinogens. Accordingly they are regulated by EPA. You’ll find them listed in your local water quality report. The levels of these will be much higher for surface water sources, lakes and rivers, than for well water sources. These compounds are absorbed by the body when drinking water and also when showering or bathing. Having a home water filtration is indeed important and helpful.

Studies have linked these compounds to various cancers. For instance ingestion of the trihalomethanes has been linked to bladder cancer both through drinking and showering.  The Haloacetic acids have also been linked to cancer primarily through drinking water. If you want to be drinking healthy water at your faucet you need to remove these compounds as well as the chlorine that’s been added.

So there you have it. The list can be long. Regulated contaminants, unregulated contaminants, and the chemicals add by the city can all affect your health. The only way to prevent this is to take matters into your own hands and filter your water. But finding the right drinking home water filtration can be tricky. You have to know what’s in your water.

I always suggest that you start by finding your local water quality report. Your local water provider is required by federal law to provide you a copy. This will identify your water source and the regulated contaminants in your water. Knowing your water source you can look upstream and take a pretty good calculation about what unregulated contaminants are present. And the report will tell you what chemicals the city adds.

If your water source is pristine and your only issue is the chemicals added by the city then a good carbon home water filtration will suffice. If fluoride has been added then you’ll want a multi-stage system that can remove or reduce the fluoride. But if your water source contains numerous unregulated contaminants from farming or cities upstream then you’ll need a high quality reverse osmosis system. It is the reverse osmosis membrane that can remove pharmaceuticals and chemicals like nitrates.

Armed with this information you can buy the home water filtration that will serve you the best. In other words buy the filter that removes the contaminants in your water. If it’s not clear which filter you need it’s best to consult a professional who can advise you. Be sure to find someone who knows what they’re talking about. In all cases the research begins with a look at your own water supply. Stories in the press about drugs or lead poisoning in another city do not pertain to you. Look at your own water report and from there you can make an informed decision.

Live long and stay healthy!


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