Worried about water, Should you be concerned about what’s on tap?
July 6, 2001 (NBC Today Show) - CONCERNS about tap water safety has prompted millions of Americans to reject water coming straight from the tap, resulting in two new growth industries — bottled water and filtration systems.
MUNICIPAL Tap WATER SAFETY
Standards set for water sent from the source do not take into account contamination from old lead pipes. Actually 90 percent of U.S. water systems are over 100 years old and can’t handle 20th Century contamination and waste. It will cost billions to upgrade the entire system and will take about 20 years. Another problem is the new and emerging microscopic viruses and parasites which can infect at much lower doses and are resistant to chlorine — like cryptosporidium, which can be deadly for the young, elderly, pregnant women, and those with AIDS and on chemotherapy. Toxic chemicals like lead, and copper are also frequently found in treated drinking water.
Many chemicals and metals are undetectable without specialized tests, but some problems leave telltale indicators. How can you tell if your drinking water has problems? Here are some signs:
- A chlorine taste or odor is caused by efforts to disinfect water supplies.
- A musty, fishy taste is caused by algae, mold and bacteria found in plumbing.
- Cloudy water is the result of sediment.
- A rotten egg smell is from hydrogen sulfide in the water.
- Colored water can result from decaying organic matter or metals.
But these are the things you can notice. Most chemicals and metals are undetectable without specialized tests.
Once you’ve determined that your tap water contains something you want to reduce — lead, chlorine or disease-producing organisms — you need to choose a filter system designed to take care of it. On any filtration product you purchase, look for the NSF certified seal. Along with the seal, the manufacturer will list the contaminants the system is designed to remove. The NSF certificate means that the product filters what the company claims it does, it doesn’t add anything harmful to the water and it’s structurally sound. Only about half of the products on the market are certified.
ARE YOU PROTECTED FROM UNSAFE WATER BY BUYING BOTTLED WATER?
Maybe. In one out of every five bottled water products there is little more than tap water with minor treatment. And, if the company says a protected underground source is used, there are no programs in place to certify such claims. Furthermore, nature’s water filters are becoming less and less able to keep up with the amount of pollution entering our natural water sources.
The March-April 2001 issue of emagazine.com said, "Microbes, pesticides, and solvents have been detected throughout groundwater supplies, and have subsequently found their way into bottles, regardless of disinfection. A third of the 103 bottled water brands tested in a four-year scientific study by the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) contained such contaminants in at least some samples, at levels that exceed state or industry standards. Chemicals typically used to disinfect water may react unpredictably with substances, adding their own potentially dangerous element, as well."
There is growing concern about the quality of bottled water. Bottled water is processed days, weeks, or even months before you see it! Plastic breathes and there is always the chance of contamination.
Hamilton & Whitney's Nutrition publication stated that problems of infrequent testing for contaminants and sporadic inspection of processing plants must be solved before bottled water can be assumed to be as sanitary as even regular U.S. tap water.
According to the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), bottled water regulations are inadequate to assure consumers of either purity or safety. In an investigation by NRDC, bottled water was sometimes found to be tap water. It is also reported that even bottled spring water can be contaminated.
Click here for Report from NRDC
The New York State Department of Health said that, "Unless it is distilled or pasteurized, bottled water may not be any safer than tap water." It is always good to be very cautious about the use of bottled water. Their statement confirmed what other sources tell us. They went on to say that, "Current standards for bottled water do not guarantee that the water is Cryptosporidium free."
In the May/June 1999 issue of The Sierra Club Magazine, it says, "Americans used to turn on their faucets when they craved a drink of clear, cool water. Today, concerned about the safety of water supplies, they re turning to the bottle. But is bottled really better?
Despite the hype, bottled water is neither cleaner nor greener than tap water.
Read more here - What's in your Bottled Water? by Brian Howard - September 4,2003
Let's assume that your store-bought water meets all the safety standards. What about the bottle? Because containers that sit for weeks or months at room temperature are ideal breeding grounds for bacteria, a bottle that met federal safety standards when it left the plant might have unsafe bacteria levels by the time you buy it. And because manufacturers aren t required to put expiration dates on bottles, there's no telling how long they've spent on a loading dock or on store shelves.
But even more troubling is what may be leaching form the plastic containers. Scientists at the FDA found traces of an endocrine distruptor that can alter the reproductive development of animals after 39 weeks in water held at room temperature in large polycarbonate containers."
In an Article dated April 17, 2002, from the WQA(Water Quality Association), they stated that "Bottled water sales surge past pop" They went on to say that, "IBWA reported that even though 63 percent of those surveyed knew they should be drinking eight 8-ounce servings of water per day, they actually consumed only 5.3 cups per day. The survey also revealed that 46 percent of Americans drink bottled water everyday, and that bottled water ranked third, only being outranked by filtered/non-filtered water and coffee as the most consumed beverage on a daily basis."
For more information from WQA Go Here-http://www.wqa.org/
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