Tap, Filtered, or Bottled Water? 

There are disinfection byproducts in tap water. What happened when Brita, PUR, ZeroWater and refrigerator water filters were put to the test?

although many distrust the safety of tap water, a study of 35 bottled water brands did not find necessarily safer, cleaner or of higher quality than water that comes directly from the tap. How much is that saying worth? Two studies published in the 1970s “forever changed the previous view that the safety of drinking water referred only to waterborne diseases.” In fact, it was our fight against microbial contaminants that led to a new type of contamination: in the form of disinfection byproducts.

The two emblematic articles of 1974 resolved The mystery of the source of chloroform in drinking water: we meet the enemy, and he is us. Chlorination of drinking water: “disinfection [that] is crucial for maintaining microbiological safety of water”—was interacting with natural organic matter in the source water and creating chlorinated compounds that can not only cause unpleasant tastes and odors, but also pose a potential risk to public health. More than 600 disinfection byproducts have been eliminated. identified until now.

After decades of research on the subject, it appears that constant ingestion of chlorinated drinking water results in a “clear excess risk” of bladder cancer. There is There is also some evidence of an increased risk of certain types of birth defects, but most of the concern has focused on the link with bladder cancer. Forty years of exposure can increase your chances of bladder cancer by 27 percent. The Environmental Protection Agency My dear that between 2 and 17 percent of bladder cancer cases in the United States are due to these disinfection byproducts in drinking water. However, this assume the link is one of cause and effect, which has not yet been firmly established.

The best way to reduce the risk is to treat the cause. Countries could prevent the formation of disinfection byproducts in the first place through better initial removal of “natural organic matter” from the source water (what my grandmother would have called nuisance). Some European countries, such as Switzerland, the Netherlands, Austria and Germany, have Newer, well-maintained drinking water systems can deliver tap water free of residual disinfectants, but the cost of improving the infrastructure of even a small city in the United States could run into tens of millions of dollars. As occurred in the Flint, Michigan tragedy, revealedWe seem to have trouble keeping even frank toxins out of the tap.

Nearly 40 percent of Americans wear some type of water purification device. I look at comparisons of these devices in my video. Is it better to drink tap, filtered or bottled water?. Tucson, Arizona tap water went head-to-head with two of the most common purification approaches: pour-over jugs and refrigerator filters. As you can see in the graph below and at 2:53 of my videoboth refrigerator filters (GE and Whirlpool) did equally well, removing more than 96 percent of trace organic contaminants and eliminating all three carafe filters. ZeroWater caught 93 percent and PUR casters got 84 percent. When the filters needed replacing, Brita was only capturing 50 percent. A similar discrepancy was found between PUR and Brita filters specifically tested against disinfection byproducts. They both started out about the same at first, but at the end of the filter’s life, PUR seemed to perform better, as you can see below and at 3:15 on my video. Reverse osmosis systems can work Even better, but the cost, wasted water, and loss of trace elements doesn’t seem worth it.

As you can see below and at 3:40 in my videoThe annual cost of purifying water with a pitcher or refrigerator filter was calculated be about the same, only about a cent per cup, with the exception of the ZeroWater brand, which is up to four times more expensive.

I always thought the “change by” dates on filters were just scams by the company to get you to buy more replacements, but I was wrong. Because I drink filtered water primarily just for flavor, I used to wait until the water started to taste strange. Bad idea. Not only do filters lose some of their removal capacity over time, but bacterial growth can also build up inside them, causing “filtered” water to have a higher number of bacteria than water that comes straight from the tap. . You’d actually be dirtying your water instead of cleaning it, so it’s important to replace your filters regularly.

By the way, I used to think the same about the advice to change your toothbrush every three months. Which Big Brush executive came up with that? But no, I was wrong again. Toothbrushes can build They form biofilms of bacteria from tooth decay or become breeding grounds for bacteria to flow into the air with each toilet flush before returning to our mouth. Fun fact: A single flush can spew “millions of bacteria into the atmosphere” that can settle on your nice, wet toothbrush. The good news is that instead of buying new brushes, you can disinfect the head of your toothbrush with just ten minutes of soaking in white vinegar or, even more frugally, vinegar diluted half with water.

Hydration is important. Watch the related videos below for more information.

It is also important to avoid waterborne contaminants if possible. see my videos Lead in drinking water and Friday Favorites: Benefits of Turmeric for Arsenic Exposure.

How many glasses of water should we drink a day? Watch the video to find out.

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