Is It Safe To Drink The Water?

Our sources of drinking water are becoming polluted

We all have safe drinking water, right?

Water, we have all we need to drink, right? No, we are in a global drinking water crisis. One in six people in the world lack safe drinking water. Water-related illnesses are the leading cause of human sickness and death, especially in children. It’s estimated that half of all hospital beds in the world are occupied by people who have become sick from drinking contaminated water. When you look at the following statistics, you will see some very staggering facts:

  • One sixth of the world’s population (1.1 billion) do not have access to safe drinking water.
  • Over two million people in developing countries, most of them children, die every year from diseases associated with lack of access to safe drinking water, inadequate sanitation and poor hygiene. For children alone, this accounts for 6,000 deaths per day! This is equivalent to 20 jumbo airliners crashing each day!
  • In the past 10 years, diarrhea has killed more children than all the people lost to armed conflict since World War II.
  • Half of the people on earth lack adequate sanitation. Another way to put it is that nearly half of the world’s population fails to receive the level of water services available 2,000 years ago to the citizens of ancient Rome! (Statistical information provided by the Blue Planet Network)

In less developed countries, sunlight exposure is used to help make water safer for bacterial, parasitic or viral contamination.

water

One sixth of the world’s population has unsafe drinking water.

This “natural” disinfection process takes time (from six to 48 hours depending on weather conditions), but is hardly efficient for large quantities of water or people “on the go.” Researchers from the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health reported that they found a way to make this ‘natural” disinfection process more powerful and faster. They simply added lime juice to the sunlight process to water samples contaminated with various types of bacteria and viruses. They then exposed the water to sunlight and found that the levels of E. coli bacteria and MS2 bacteriophage virus were significantly lowered when compared to sunlight alone. Lowered, but not removed! Noroviruses (a leading cause of diarrheal disease) in drinking water were not significantly reduced so they concluded that this was not the perfect solution.

But I live in the “developed” world, so my water is safe!

Your drinking water may be contaminated even though you live in a “developed” country like the United States. Many of the “modern” disinfection processes used in these countries actually create their own set of problems by the methods that are used. If your water supply comes from a municipal water company, chlorine is the main chemical used to disinfect tap water in your house. These companies and the local governments are quick to assure us that there is no danger from drinking chlorinated water. But as long ago as 1997, the evidence that drinking or swimming in chlorinated water was not safe for us was published in the Federal Register. In fact, it was written that by consuming the chlorinated water, your chance of developing cancer, like esophageal cancer, was greatly increased. But there is another bigger danger from drinking chlorinated water – chlorine disinfection byproducts (DBPs).

So does adding chlorine to my water make it safer?

The government, whether local, county, state or Federal, is more concerned with providing us with water that will not kill us by causing diarrhea the way it does in developing countries. And it does a good job doing this, although some microorganisms, like cysts and parasites, do survive the chlorination process. This includes two of the more commons microorganisms, Giardia and crytosporidium. So we do get isolated outbreaks of theses illnesses, especially in those whose immune systems are compromised.

Now chlorine, itself, is relatively harmless, but these DBPs produced by chlorine reacting with biological material in our water are what is responsible for all of the side effects attributed to chlorine. DBPs are over 10,000 times more toxic than chlorine itself. (For more information on these DBPs, see my blog article on drinking chlorinated water. In fact, DBPs are the absolute worst of all the contaminants in our municipal drinking water including fluoride, miscellaneous pharmaceutical drugs and radioactive waste. The most common disinfectant byproducts formed when chlorine is used as the disinfectant are Trihalomethanes (TMHs) and Haloacetic acids (HAAs). The U.S. Environmental Agency (EPA) measures the concentration of these DBps in parts per billion since they are so dangerous. The maximum annual averge for these DBPs are 80 ppb for TMHs and 60 ppb for the HAAs. The Trihalomethanes are Cancer Group B carcinogens (cause cancer), which means they can cause cancer in laboratory animals. DBPs have been linked to reproductive problems in both animals and humans.

 

Every municipal water district is required by law in the United States to test their drinking water for 5 categories of contaminants. These are microorganisms, disinfectants and disinfection byproducts, inorganic chemicals, organic chemicals and radionuclides. The table below shows a comparison of some of the contaminants in four major cities in the United States. Not all of the contaminants were tested or the results were not made available to the public. These data are from the Environmental Working Group (EWG.org) Database.

Is there a better way to drink water?

In April, 2012, ARIIX introduced a patent-pending water filtration system in a bottle. This 3-stage filter makes any water source except sea water into a pure, fresh and delicious drink. The tables below show the results of an independent laboratory analysis of contaminated water samples.

St. Louis, MOLos Angeles, CAKansas City, MOLouisville, KY
AVG/MAXHealth
Limit
Exceeded?
Legal
Limit
Exceeded?
AVG/MAXHealth
Limit
Exceeded?
Legal
Limit
Exceeded?
AVG/MAXHealth
Limit
Exceeded?
Legal
Limit
Exceeded?
AVG/MAXHealth
Limit
Exceeded?
Legal
Limit
Exceeded?
TotalTMHs12 ppb
24 ppb
Yes
9.8 ppb
No
80 ppb
34.89 ppb
43 ppb
Yes
9.8 ppb
No
80 ppb
22.77 ppb
39.1 ppb
Yes
9.8 ppb
No
80 ppb
Total HAAs14 ppb
14 ppb
Yes
0.7 ppb
No
60 ppb
14.2 ppb
14.2 ppb
Yes
0.7 ppb
No
60 ppb
13.89 ppb
20.1 ppb
Yes
0.7 ppb
No
60 ppb
Radium-2280.29 pCl/L
1.08 pCl/L
Yes
0 pCl/L
No
5 pCl/L
0.09 pCL/L
0.38 pCl/L
Yes
0 pCl/L
No
5 pCl/L
Radium-2260.11 pCl/L
0.22 pCl/L
Yes
0 pCl/L
No
5 pCl/L
Lead2.87 ppb
20.2 ppb
Yes
0 ppb
No
Radon11.21 pCl/L
37.75 pCl/L
Yes
1.5 pCl/L
Legal
at
any level
Procedure for Microbiological Organisms: One thousand milliliters of Class I ASTM water (pH 7.5±2 lab deionized water) was passed through each filter at a flow rate of 5-6 ml/ second. For challenge studies, Class I ASTM water (pH 7.5±2) was placed into a sterile beaker and seeded with Raoultella terrigena, 3.0 micron beads, and MS2 bacteriophage. This solution was agitated by an IKA paddle stirrer and 500 ml was passed through each filter connected to the pressure source (Pressure Control Station, Strategene USA). The solution was passed through the filter using steady 1.5 PSI pressure. Each filter’s effluent was collected and assayed for the respective species. A sample of the influent was removed prior to the beginning of the challenge study and at the end. The number of microorganisms was determined in the filter influent and effluent water and the averages were calculated and are reported in the table as “Filter Influent Water” and “Filter Effluent Water”. The pH of the filter effluent water was measure to be 7.5±2 and did not differ from the influent water pH. All analysis was conducted in duplicate.

Microbiological Organisms
Water SampleContaminantPotential Health EffectReduction RateNSF Standard
Filter Effluent WaterBacteriaGastroenteric diseases>99.99994%EXCEEDS standard
by 10X
Filter Effluent WaterVirusGastroenteric diseases99.99%EXCEEDS standard
by 10X
Filter Effluent WaterParasiteGastroenteric diseases>99.994%EXCEEDS standard
by 100X
Procedure or Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC’s): One thousand milliliters of City of Gainesville tap water (pH 7.7) was passed through each filter at a flow rate of 5-6 ml/ second. For challenge studies, 4 liters of tap water tap water was spiked with the indicated pesticides (Pesticide Matrix Spiking Solution, Ultra Scientific, RI) and 1000 ml was passed through each filter connected to the pressure source (Pressure Control Station, Strategene USA). The solution was passed through the filter using steady 1.5 PSI pressure. Each filter’s effluent was collected in clean glass bottles provided by Advanced Environmental Laboratories (AEL, Gainesville, FL). The Influent and collected effluent samples were then delivered to AEL for analysis immediately following collection. AEL is NELAP accredited for the analysis of the above species in water (AEL Analysis: 89081A Pesticide, Preparation Method: SW-846 3510C, Laboratory Analytical Method: SW-846 8081A).

Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC's)
Water SampleContaminantPotential Health EffectReduction Rate NSF Standard
Filter Efferent Water4,4-DDTCancer>99.9%Exceeds Standard
Filter Efferent WaterAldrinCancer, Reproductive
system damage, Nervous
system damage
99.9%Exceeds Standard
Filter Efferent WaterDieldrinCancer, Reproductive
system damage, Nervous
system damage
>98.6%Exceeds Standard
Filter Efferent WaterEndosulfan SulfateCancer>99.0%Exceeds Standard
Filter Efferent WaterEndrinLiver problems99.80%Exceeds Standard
Filter Efferent WaterHeptachlorLiver damage, increased risk
of cancer
>99.9%Exceeds Standard
Filter Efferent WaterLindaneLiver or kidney problems98.70%Exceeds Standard
Filter Efferent WaterMalathionCancer96.60%Exceeds Standard
Procedure for Inorganics: One thousand milliliters of City of Gainesville tap water (pH 7.5) was passed through each filter at a flow rate of 5-6 ml/ second. For challenge studies, 4 liters of tap water tap water was spiked with the indicated species and 1000 ml was passed through each filter connected to the pressure source (Pressure Control Station, Strategene USA). The solution was passed through the filter using steady 1.5 PSI pressure. Each filter’s effluent was collected in containers provided by Advanced Environmental Laboratories (AEL, Gainesville, FL). The Influent and collected effluent samples were then delivered to AEL for analysis immediately following collection. AEL is NELAP accredited for the analysis of the above species in water.
** Results are in ug/L

Inorganics
Water SampleContaminantPotential Health EffectReduction RateNSF Standard
Filter Effluent WaterChromiumLiver, kidney, circulatory
disorders
93.4%Exceeds Standards
Filter Effluent WaterLeadKidneys, nervous system
damage
>99%Exceeds Standards
Filter Effluent WaterDieldrinCancer, Reproductive
system damage, Nervous
system damage
>98.6%Exceeds Standards
Filter Effluent WaterUraniumKidney damage, cancer>99%Exceeds Standards
Filter Effluent WaterMercuryKidney damage98.10%Exceeds Standards
Procedure for Disinfectants: One thousand milliliters of City of Gainesville tap water (pH 7.5) was passed through each filter at a flow rate of 5-6 ml/ second. For challenge studies, 4 liters of tap water tap water was adjusted to approximately 2.5 ppm total chlorine using house hold bleach. One thousand milliliters was passed through each filter connected to the pressure source (Pressure Control Station, Strategene USA). The solution was passed through the filter using steady 1.5 PSI pressure. Each filter’s effluent was collected in containers provided by Advanced Environmental Laboratories (AEL, Gainesville, FL). The Influent and collected effluent samples were then delivered to AEL for analysis immediately following collection. AEL is NELAP accredited for the analysis of the above species in water.

Disinfectants
Water SampleContaminantPotential Health EffectReduction RateNSF Standard
Filter Effluent WaterChlorineEye/nose irritation; stomach
discomfort
98.10%Exceeds Standards

 

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