water qualityWater quality. The human body is constituted of roughly 50-75% water. This substance covers over 70% of the Earth’s surface, and all known life is contingent on the precondition that water is present in a given environment. Without water, there is no life to begin with; and without the presence of water, life cannot abide.

    Yes, this substance may be readily available to us, available from many sources, drinkable, and essentially everywhere we go in a country like Ireland, but! a problem many of us may have at this point in space/time is: figuring out how exactly we are supposed to get the best possible water quality for drinking, and use in our homes and elsewhere when our available supply is… shall we say not exactly the most pure water quality possible. The fact that this country has a functioning infrastructure that supports the flow of drinkable water into most households in the country in itself is remarkable. But, when we consider what is added to the water that eventually comes out of your tap, it might be worthwhile reconsidering whether or not that water is the best possible quality; fair enough that it might be of adequate quality to flush the waste from your toilet bowl after usage, but is the same water suitable to be consumed for the purpose of nourishment and hydration by you, and those you care about?

    Tap water even in developed countries is full of impurities. If we are trying to minimise our intake of toxins and pathogens, using our regular water supply for drinking, cooking, or even washing ourselves with might not be the best idea. Common water pollutants are: heavy metals, microorganisms, dissolved gasses, chemical impurities, colloids, and even human and animal waste. We cannot be sure our tap water is free of these nasties, and as a result it is good to filter one’s tap water further than it is already filtered if it is intended for human consumption. But, I think what is added to the water quality in this country is another reason to avoid the consumption of tap water here on our beloved Emerald Isle.

Fluoride

    To me, personally, I find forced water fluoridation kind of offensive. I know that the denizens of the planet Earth were all told a nice story about why it was put in our water supply to begin with – that it was inserted into the water supply to encourage good dental hygiene in underprivileged children (even though orally ingested sodium fluoride has never been proven to reduce dental cavities, as claimed) – but, when a substance is neurotoxic, and known to impede the neurological development of children, and even lower IQ(1)(2), avoiding water sources that have this compound artificially added might be a good idea. Links to thyroid dysfunction have also been observed in populations that have been subjected to a fluoridated drinking water supply(3). Sodium fluoride was even historically used in a medical context in order to disrupt thyroid function, and was used in the treatment of hyperthyroidism; and was also used as a pesticide(4).

Chlorine

    Chlorine is another ingredient added to our tap water, and although this chemical keeps our water safe to drink – due to its antimicrobial properties – its use is not without cause for concern. Chlorine very effectively kills a large number of microbial waterborne pathogens, such as those that cause typhoid fever, cholera, Legionnaires’ disease, and dysentery. Chlorine is widely credited with almost entirely eliminating large outbreaks of waterborne disease in developed nations across the world. But, something worth consideration is: that chlorine is not just harmful to microbes, but is harmful to us macro-organisms too. (5)

Solutions

    Simple Filters: There are a wide array of different kinds of filters available for home water filtration purposes that will greatly improve the water quality of what is coming out of our faucets. From Brita filters, and similar simple charcoal-based filters. These are quite effective for low-level filtration, but will not be able to clean your water like some of the more expensive kinds. Also available are special taps and shower-heads which can be installed. There are a wide array available, and some will filter certain impurities, and not others. It is always important to shop around and check what options are available to you.

    Reverse-osmosis Filters: Reverse-osmosis filters are very effective at providing water for you and you family with the fewest impurities possible. These filters work by condensing water from vapor in the air, producing pure H2O. While very pure, this water is devoid of the minerals such as calcium, magnesium, silica, and such, which are present in other water sources. If using a reverse-osmosis filter for drinking water, it is important to have a nutrient dense diet, or to be using a quality multi-mineral supplement to make sure you are not growing deficient of minerals that you otherwise would be getting from the water you ingest.

    Counter-top filters (such as Berkey/Berkenfield): This more expensive counter-top kitchen filters are probably the best quality available, while not resorting to using RO water devoid of mineral content. They are more expensive than something like a Brita filter, but they last a very long time – probably a lifetime if taken care of – once the filters are replaced every 6 months to a year. And there is the added benefit of them not being made of plastic. There are a number of filters available to install in these units; for removing basic impurities and pathogens, to more costly filters that will even remove heavy metals and fluoride. These filters have a very large capacity, and filter water at such a rate that it is not only for drinking, and can be used for cooking and washing, and other household tasks too. I would recommend this kind of filter over the others, and it allows you the greatest amount of the purest water in the least time, without removing vital mineral content from the water. (6)

    Water is vital to life, and quality is something to always be mindful of. What are you ingesting? Can you even be sure you know? It is difficult to tell. That is why it helps, as best one can, to remain vigilant, and choose wisely.

 

-Sage

 

1.https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/news/features/fluoride-childrens-health-grandjean-choi/

2.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25446012

3.http://fluoridealert.org/wp-content/uploads/peckham-2015.pdf (Direct link to scientific article)

4.http://www.fluoridealert.org/wp-content/uploads/merck-1968.pdf (Direct copy from Merck’s Encyclopedia of Chemicals and Drugs)
5.http://www.motherjones.com/environment/2014/07/case-against-chlorinated-tap-water

6.http://www.berkeyfilters.com/

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