While the long, hot, sultry days of summer will soon end, there’s one thing remains a threat year-round…
Indeed, skimping on fluid intake can lead to a whole slew of health problems, like headaches, kidney stones, brain fog, and more.
That’s why I always encourage you to focus on your baseline hydration number—divide your body weight in half and drink that many ounces of water daily.
But let’s look at another piece of the puzzle. Because if you’re drinking contaminated water, the health risks won’t stop…
The hidden reality
I often get asked whether or not to invest in a water filter. So, let’s discuss…
Since 1974, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has been able to restrict the detectable amounts of harmful contaminants—heavy metals, bacteria, pesticides, and more—in our water.
And this form of water sanitation is often considered one of the greatest health advancements of our time.
But, nearly 50 years later, we’re looking at a lot more chemicals that may infiltrate our water treatment facilities—some of which have no way of being processed out.
I’m talking about things like per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) which have been found in the water supply. As you may recall, these monstrous chemicals are ubiquitous in our society and have been linked to cancer, liver damage, fertility issues, and more.
Not to mention, pharmaceutical drug residue—and, often times, lead pipes.
Plus, experts are starting to warn that water treatment plants aren’t even equipped for extreme weather events, potentially resulting in untreated, bacteria-laden water traveling through (old) pipes and into people’s homes.
In other words, worrying about potential contaminants in your drinking water is a VALID concern, whether your water supply comes from a public water system or a private water well.
Here’s what you can do about it…
Filter out the crud
When it comes to filtering your water, I say DO IT.
Most at-home water filters contain activated carbon to capture contaminants. And they’re quite versatile, with styles that can fit in water pitchers, refrigerator dispensers, faucets, or directly on the pipes.
While there aren’t federal requirements for water filters, the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and National Science Foundation have established standards for them. The caveat is, companies aren’t required to follow such standards (eye roll). So, make sure you choose one with an ANSI or NSF certification.
- “NSF/ANSI Standard 42”—the standard for taste, smell, appearance, and removing chlorine, and/or…
- “NSF/ANSI Standard 53”—the standard for safety, removing levels of heavy metals, pesticides, and industrial chemicals below the accepted limit.
(Rest assured, by reading the packaging, the water filter should specify all the contaminants it has been approved to reduce. And just so you know, activated carbon can only do so much… it doesn’t capture nitrate, a residue of fertilization, or most bacteria.)
By doing so, you’ll vastly improve your water quality.
In fact, a study published in 2020 found that, on average, pitcher and refrigerator filters reduce PFAS by nearly 50 percent. And advanced filtration systems, which use reverse osmosis, have been found to be over 90 percent effective.
“How Much Can a Water Filter Do?” The New York Times, 05/30/2023. (nytimes.com/2023/05/30/well/live/water-filter-bacteria-pfas.html)