Aug 03

SoLa Louisiana Water Story

From: http://www.solathefilm.com

Everywhere you look in Southern Louisiana (SoLa) there’s water – bayous, swamps, the Mississippi River, the Gulf of Mexico. And everyone in Cajun Country has a water story, or two or three. SoLa’s waterways are also home to the biggest economies in Louisiana – a $70 billion a year oil and gas industry and a $2.4 billion a year fishing business. Both are in the midst of sizable change.

Southern Louisiana has historically had a legion of insidious polluters. At the same time, SoLa has one of America’s most vital and unique cultures; if everyone who lives there has a water story they can also most likely play the accordion, dance, cook an etouffe and hunt and fish. Louisiana has long been known as both one of our most original and simultane- ously most politically corrupt states. One legacy of that corruption is a handful of environmental problems that has turned Louisiana into America’s toilet bowl:

  • A DEAD ZONE – the size of New Jersey – that grows each year in the Gulf of Mexico thanks to farming fertilizers sent down from 31 states to the north.
  • SMALL FISHERMEN squeezed out of business by a variety of pollutions, high fuel prices and international competition.
  • CYPRESS FORESTS that once stood as a barrier between hurricanes and humans have been clear-cut for garden mulch and profit.
  • COASTAL EROSION Thanks to man’s failed attempt to reign the Mississippi River, the state loses 25 square miles of coastline each year.
  • CANCER ALLEY An 85-mile stretch of the Mississippi River has been turned over to the petrochemical industry. The risks are great.
  • TOXIC WASTE Decades of exploration for oil and natural gas has cut 10,000 miles of channels through the wetlands and left a wake of toxic waste in Louisiana’s waters.
  • OIL SPILLS have long been business as usual in Louisiana, crowned by the ongoing BP nightmare which has focused attention on the region as our worst ecologic disaster escalates.

In SoLa, Louisiana Water Stories, we meet some of the most unique individuals working on each of the issues, giving voice and humanity to these man-made messes. The one-hour documentary cap- tures what is most at risk environmental- ly as we continue to take the Gulf coast state for granted, while simultaneously reminding us of the culture that binds the region. If these voices are not heard, too soon what remains will all disappear, drowned by pollution, erosion, storms and man’s neglect.

FROM 1932-2000, Louisiana lost nearly 2,000 square miles of wetlands, the equivalent to the state of Delaware.

FIFTY YEARS AGO, Southern Louisiana’s Gulf coast was fifty miles wide; today it’s barely twenty. By 2050, expectations are that another 700 square miles of coastal land will disappear.

HALF OF LOUISIANA’S 4.5 million residents live in the coastal zone, where the issue of wetland loss is literally in everyone’s backyard.

THE $70 BILLION a year oil and gas industry in Louisiana accounts for twenty percent of the state’s gross economic product; eighty percent of all offshore oil platforms in the United States sit off Southern Louisiana’s shores.

THOUSANDS OF MILES OF CANALS have been dug through SoLa’s coastal marshes to aid in the construction and transportation of natural gas and oil. Combined with the century-old levee system that wrongly attempted to rein in the Mississippi River, canals contribute to the state’s erosion problems.

THE DEAD ZONE is created each year by an estimated 83,000 tons of phosphorous and 817,000 tons of nitrogen that wash into the Mississippi from farm fields and river networks of 31 northern states. It all ends up at the mouth of the river in the Gulf of Mexico, creating the world’s first and largest dead zone, currently 8,000 square miles, the size of New Jersey. In the Dead Zone, nothing lives.

GULF OF MEXICO FISHERIES supply more than thirty percent of America’s seafood, including seventy two percent of our shrimp, sixty six percent of our oysters and sixteen percent of commercial fish. As the Dead Zone and oil spill grows, the fishery gets smaller.

TWO HUNDRED PLANTS along the 85-mile industrial corridor along the Mississippi River, linking Baton Rouge and New Orleans, produce twenty five percent of America’s petrochemicals. The stretch is known as Cancer Alley.

THE PETROCHEMICAL INDUSTRY, at its peak, accounted for one out of every three tax dollars collected by the state and more than 165,000 jobs. The industry also discharged 150,000 tons of pollutants into the air in the form of sulfur dioxides, nitrogen oxides, carbon monoxides and hydrocarbons.

LOUISIANA’S WATERWAYS are at risk due to illegal logging, soil erosion, natural gas and oil development, abandoned infrastructure and pollution from chemical plants.

THE ATCHAFALAYA SWAMP is the largest contiguous hardwood forest in North America at 1.4 million acres. It supports more than half of America’s migratory waterfowl, more than 300 species of birds and 100 species of fish.

OUR NATIONAL WILDLIFE is dependant on Louisana’s marshes, serving as nurseries for millions of birds, including wintering grounds for seventy percent of the nation’s migratory waterfowl.

THE BP DISASTER has become arguably he nation’s worst environmental mess to-date, sending millions of gallons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico. As our two-year-in-the-making film concludes, the leak keeps on gushing.

 

Be Sure To Visit: http://www.solathefilm.com

And Watch The Video!

Aug 01

Bottled Water – A “Healthy Drink” For Your Family?

This Everyday “Healthy” Beverage Poisons Your Body One Swallow at a Time
Posted By Dr. Mercola | January 15 2011 | 221,883 views

By Dr. Mercola

water bottlesYou’ve probably heard a lot about bottled water. That it’s healthier for you than tap water, that it can replace your vitamins, that it’s really only tap water and how environmentally unfriendly it is.

With this type of conflicting information about water, it’s easy to get confused. Let’s see if we can help you cut through the clutter and lead you down the path to healthier water consumption.

Environmental Impact

There’s no sense in sugar-coating it. Bottled water is destructive to the environment. It is a fact that 67 million water bottles are thrown away each day.

That’s a staggering amount of waste considering only 10 percent of these water bottles are ever recycled. Despite the good reputation recycling has, this practice is not always best for the ecosystem as it is labor-intensive, costly and burns natural resources. Also, just because you are throwing your used water bottles into the recycling bin, it does not necessarily mean they are able to be recycled.

Another problem with bottled water is the incredible amount of fuel needed to transport these heavy loads of plastic (and sometimes glass) bottles to your local supermarket, home or office.

Where Your Bottled Water REALLY Comes From

About 40 percent of bottled water is nothing more than bottled tap water! So not only might you still be drinking all the chemicals you were trying to avoid in the first place, you may be exposing yourself to even MORE chemicals by drinking from plastic bottles….

The Dangers of Plastic

Drinking water from a plastic water bottle poses serious health risks to you and your family. Let’s take a look at some of these dangers  to give you a better idea of why bottled water is not the healthy choice you’ve been led to believe it is.

Plastic would obviously be an issue for most bottled waters but it also comes into play for home or commercially filtered waters, or even raw spring water in that you need a container to store your water before you consume it. Obviously the best container is glass because when you choose plastic you are potentially exposed to the following chemicals.

BPA – Bisphenol A or BPA is an estrogen-mimicking chemical that has been linked to a host of serious health problems including:

  • Learning and behavioral problems
  • Altered immune system function
  • Early puberty in girls and fertility problems
  • Decreased sperm count
  • Prostate and breast cancer
  • Diabetes and obesity

If you are pregnant or nursing, your child is also at risk. If you are feeding your baby or toddler from a plastic bottle, switch to glass to avoid BPA contamination.

Phthalates — Phthalates are widely used in the United States to make plastics like polyvinyl chloride (PVC) more flexible.

Phthalates are endocrine-disrupting chemicals that have been linked to a wide range of developmental and reproductive effects, including:

  • Reduced sperm counts
  • Testicular atrophy or structural abnormality
  • Liver cancer

Further, in experiments on rats, phthalates have demonstrably blocked the action of fetal androgens, which affects gender development in male offspring, leading to undescended testes at birth and testicular tumors later in life.

Studies have also found that boys whose mothers had high phthalate exposures while pregnant were much more likely to have certain demasculinized traits and produce less testosterone.

Yet another study found that pregnant women who are exposed to phthalates gave birth more than one week earlier than women who were not exposed to them.

Pharmacy in a Bottle — As mentioned above, about 40 percent of bottled water is tap water. This means you are not only exposed to  dangerous BPA from the bottle, you may also be exposed to a variety of water contaminants such as fluoride, chlorine, arsenicaluminumdisinfection byproducts and prescription drugs.

Although you may have been told that disposing your unused prescription or over-the-counter (OTC) drugs in the garbage instead of down the toilet means this eliminates the threat of your water supply being contaminated, this is simply not true.Water that drains through landfills, known as leach rate, eventually ends up in rivers. Although not all states source drinking water from rivers, many do.

According to studies, human cells do not grow normally when exposed to even minute amounts of prescription or over-the-counter drugs.

Some drugs that were never meant to be combined are mixed together in the drinking water you consume every day. Millions of people have drug allergies. Are you one of them? If so, how do you know the unusual symptoms you’ve been exhibiting are not due to ingesting small doses of the drugs you’re allergic to from your bottled water?

Ticking Time Bomb

Though drinking bottled water directly from a store shelf poses serious health risks, leaving this bottled water in your car or strapped to your bike and exposed to the hot sun will cause even more serious chemical exposure. Ultraviolet rays from the sun or high temperatures will accelerate leaching of the plastic chemicals mentioned above into the water.

Adding to this health threat is a toxic substance called dioxin, which is also released into bottled water when it is left in the sun. Dioxin has been strongly linked to the development of breast cancer.

Health-conscious people like to transport filtered water from home to ensure a safe supply on the go. If you’re one of these individuals, using a glass or steel bottle instead will bypass the risks associated with carrying filtered water in plastic.

“Vitamin Water” – As Unhealthy as Soda

One of the biggest scams soda manufacturers have come up with is, “vitamin water”. The marketers for this cleverly disguised “health drink” take advantage of your growing interest in health and try to make you believe it can measure up to the vitamins and minerals in food. It can’t even come close.

In truth, vitamin water is one of the worst types of bottled water you can drink!

Most vitamin waters contain health-harming additives such as high fructose corn syrup, which is a primary cause of  obesity and diabetes, and food dyes that can wreak havoc on your physical and emotional health.

Don’t be fooled. Skip the vitamin water. If you eat a healthy diet and follow my comprehensive nutritional plan http://www.mercola.com/nutritionplan/index.htm , most of your vitamins will come from food. For more information about the health hazards of vitamin waters, please see this link.

Do Not Deliver

For years, you may have enjoyed the ease and convenience of having bottled water delivered straight to your door. The idea of being able to avoid the dangerous chemicals in tap water by having your very own water cooler full of fresh, mountain spring water to drink from may have seemed to good to be true.

Turns out, it was. Home water delivery is not an environmentally-friendly way to get the water you need.The plastic bottles they come in pose health risks that are less significant than the pint or quart water bottles as they have denser plastic and they typically are reused many times, unlike the smaller bottles.

Although some water home delivery companies will ship their water in glass, you still have no real idea where your water is coming from. Also, the load is that much heavier and requires that much more fuel to transport and heavy glass bottles can be difficult to manage and have been known to break and cut  seriously injure or even kill people.

The Truth about Fluoride

Tap water, and bottled water that originates from tap water, is loaded with fluoride. Though you may have been lead to believe this substance to be vital to the dental health of you and your family, this is simply not the case. Unfortunately, the belief that fluoride prevents cavities is a common misconception. In fact, the exact opposite is true.

As this  recent study done on children in India shows, fluoride is anything but a cavity fighter. Fluoride is a toxin that actually leads to an increased risk of cavities and can cause a wide range of health problems, including weakening your immune system and accelerating aging due to cellular damage.

One study, published in the September 2001 issue of International Journal of Pediatric Dentistry, found that South African children who drank water containing high levels of natural fluoride (3 ppm), had more tooth decay than children in other parts of South Africa who drank much lower concentrations (between 0.19 to 0.48 ppm). And fluoride-saturated American teenagers had twice the rate of cavities as the South African children drinking low levels of natural fluoride!

A new study in the Journal of the American Dental Association, published in October of last year, also found that, contrary to what most people have been told, fluoride is actually bad for teeth.The study found that fluoride intake during a child’s first few years of life is significantly associated with fluorosis, and warned against using fluoridated water in infant formula.

In response, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has updated the information on their website, stating:

“Recent evidence suggests that mixing powdered or liquid infant formula concentrate with fluoridated water on a regular basis may increase the chance of a child developing … enamel fluorosis.” “In children younger than 8 years of age, combined fluoride exposure from all sources—water, food, toothpaste, mouth rinse, or other products—contributes to enamel fluorosis.”

More importantly however, on January 7, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced that they will take another look at the standards and guidelines for fluoride in drinking water due to the increase in dental fluorosis.

This is the first time in 50 years that the federal government has recommended changing the amount of fluoride added to public water supplies. They’re now proposing the recommended amount of fluoride in drinking water be reduced to 0.7 milligrams per liter of water. The recommended range has been 0.7 to 1.2 mg/L, so for many communities this new level will equate to a fluoride reduction of nearly 50 percent!  The EPA is also initiating a review of the maximum amount of fluoride allowed. Depending on their findings, the maximum amount of fluoride allowed may also be revised. This is at least a step in the right direction!

However, this is likely not the last you’ll hear on this issue. According to a recent press release by The Fluoride Action Network, “Fluoridegate” is fast approaching as it’s becoming clear that dental fluorosis is “just the tip of the iceberg.” The press release states:

“A series of disclosures are surfacing about the actions of water fluoridation promoters that point to a likely tsunami of Fluoridegate investigations, hearings, and explosive courtroom entanglements. Tennessee state legislator Frank Niceley states, “There is a real Fluoridegate scandal here. Citizens haven’t been told about harm from fluorides, and this needs to be investigated by the authorities and the media.”

Washington D.C. toxic tort attorney Chris Nidel says, “I think when we look back we’ll ask why Fluoridegate didn’t surface earlier. There are serious concerns about possible conflict of interest and heavy editing of information being fed to the public about fluoride risks and impacts.”

Your Optimal Water Choices

Your most convenient solution is to filter your own tap water. African women spend five hours per day, on average, seeking out water and carrying it back to their villages. If you’re like most modern Americans, you have indoor plumbing in your home. So, why are you purchasing and transporting bottled water from your supermarket?

The most economical and environmentally sound choice you and your family can make is to purchase and install a water filter for your home. Alternatively, you can look around for sources of mountain spring water, which is about as close to ideal as you can get.

There’s a great website called FindaSpring.com where you can find a natural spring in your area. This is also a great way to get back to nature and teach your children about health and the sources of clean water. The best part is that most of these spring water sources are free!

Final Thoughts

Your body is made up of 80 percent water and you can only live a few days without this precious, life-giving substance. Most of you are dehydrated and not even aware of your body’s many cries for water. But the quality, and hence the source of your water is vitally important for maintaining optimal health. To learn even more about water, please visit my water index page for links to more articles on this important topic.

Jul 31

Is Your Water Bottle Really BPA Free?

Think your Water Bottle is “BPA Free”? Better double check.

JULY 14, 2011

By Margot Pagan, EWG Summer Press Intern

Is your reusable water bottle aluminum? In an effort to be more sustainable and protect my health, I made the switch from plastic water bottles to my reliable metal bottle that I carry with me every day. I thought this switch was a positive change, which is why I’m a little concerned to read headlines that “Metal Water Bottles May Leach BPA.” Just when I thought I was doing something good for my health and the environment, I learn otherwise. Just my luck!
Aluminum water bottles aren’t just aluminum

The issue is that some aluminum water bottles aren’t just aluminum – they’re lined with a resin meant to prevent that bad aluminum taste in your water. Problem is, the resin is epoxy, and epoxy is made with bisphenol A, or BPA, which is a synthetic estrogen. The epoxy molecule is unstable. It comes apart and releases BPA readily into whatever it touches.

This new study from the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine has discovered that switching from polycarbonate to aluminum might not protect you from BPA exposure as well as you thought. Keep in mind – The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has called for parents to take action to reduce their children’s exposure to BPA. The chemical isn’t healthy for any age group: it is linked to an alarming list of health conditions – breast and prostate cancer, diabetes and heart disease.

The study found that epoxy-lined aluminum bottles (including older SIGG bottles) leached BPA. But SIGG’s new linings, made of a synthetic the company calls Ecocare did not emit the troublesome chemical. Stainless steel bottles, which are unlined, were also free of BPA.

BPA is an essential ingredient of polycarbonate, a hard, clear plastic ideal for safety glasses, safety helmets and computer and cell phone houses. Until a few years ago, Nalgene water bottles were made of polycarbonate. Like epoxy, polycarbonate is unstable and, experiments show, readily leaches BPA into surrounded liquids, even cold water. Nalgene, Camelbak and some other sports bottle makers moved to a non-BPA-based plastic called Tritan. The University of Cincinnati study found bottles made with Tritan did not emit BPA.

BPA leaching by the “worst” water bottles is still less than the amount you’d get from a serving of most canned foods but still important to consider since exposures add up.

The study also examined the effects of BPA on heart muscle cells and found that increasing exposure to this estrogen-like chemical can result in potentially deadly heart arrhythmias in rodents. This finding leads the group to suggest that heart arrhythmias could be an issue for women specifically, because they already have natural estrogen in their bodies.

Does the Claim “BPA Free” Mean Anything?

“BPA free” is not a defined and consistent term, noted the study’s author Scott Belcher in an interview with Science News. For “BPA free” to have a useful meaning for consumers there should be regulations to limit its use, Belcher said.

Legislation to control BPA in food containers, especially those made for infants and children, is making its way through lawmaking bodies, with varying degrees of success.

In Maine, a bill to remove BPA from children’s products became law without the signature of Gov. Paul LePage. Now Maine’s Environmental Health Strategy Center is accusing LePage of foot-dragging and has petitioned the state Attorney General to force LePage to put the law into effect. LePage is famed for declaring that BPA is harmless, except that “some women may have little beards” if exposed to the chemical. (LePage confused it with another sex hormone, testosterone).

Meanwhile, in California, the state assembly is moving the Toxin-Free Infants and Toddlers Act, which would bar BPA in bottles or cups intended for infants or children three years of age or younger.

So what should you do to protect your health?

– Buy a glass or stainless steel bottle without an epoxy liner.

– Examine the inside of a bottle. A golden-orange coating indicates a material that can shed BPA, while a white coating doesn’t. Contact the manufacturer to see if it has tested its product for BPA leaching.

– Don’t put hot liquids in your water bottles.

Remember, BPA is most harmful during pregnancy and early childhood. Pregnant women, babies and children should take extra efforts to avoid BPA. Check out what EWG has been saying about kid-size Klean Kanteen bottles.
Buying a water bottle might seem like a simple purchase (it should be, right?), but doing your BPA research before you buy could grant you peace of mind that your bottle isn’t leaching BPA.

Jul 30

Beauty Underwater

Published in National Geographic, July, 2011

World Beneath the Waves – People do beautiful things in the water. They become braver and calmer, more fluid and playful. The freedom of buoyancy allows us to act as we truly are.

I grew up near the ocean in Australia, but I didn’t appreciate our ancestral ties to it until I’d spent years living abroad. When I returned, I noticed how people here are drawn to the beaches. The pull is shared—a human equalizer. When you see swimmers in the ocean together, you see them react intuitively to the tide’s push and pull.

I like the clarity of salt water. In the past dozen years my technique and equipment have stayed simple: a deep breath, a small camera, and transparency film, for its dense blacks and saturation. Despite new technologies, the magic of the darkroom still fascinates me.

On hot days I hang out where the waves are forming. Just before they break, I dive to the bottom. A flash of sunlight penetrates the curl and the churn, illuminating the swimmers above. They look like actors dancing or flying on an underwater stage. I take one picture, surface, breathe, and repeat. Shooting 36 frames might take a day.

We love the sea, yet we pollute it. As a mother, I agonize over what my children will inherit. But I’m also optimistic. If we can notice natural beauty, we might learn how to preserve it.

—Narelle Autio

Narelle Autio is a photographer based in Adelaide, Australia. Her images of the country’s coastal life are exhibited internationally.

 

Two girls frolic in a wave’s effervescent wake.
Jul 25

The Next Generation Of Turbines Go Underwater

The Next Generation Of Turbines Go Underwater, And They’re Coming Soon

BY MICHAEL J. CORENWed Jul 20, 2011

As the U.S. slowly abandons its dams, more and more pilot programs pop up for deriving power from tides and river currents. Welcome to a new age of water power.

Every day, enough water flows down America’s rivers and streams to power tens of millions of homes. With the era of big dams effectively over in the U.S., halted by the lack of suitable sites as much as environmental concerns, the time for hydrokinetic energy may just be dawning.

The ideas of using turbines, or other mechanical devices, to capture the energy of moving water is not a new one. Yet the technology for such hydrokinetic energy has met serious resistance from conditions below the surface. As water is 832 times denser than air, it poses tough engineering challenges for power generators who must contend with corrosion, stray electromagnetic fields, and rules to safeguard sealife.

“There’s a lot of electricity to be had from these device and probably fewer environmental impacts, says Glenn Cada, senior researcher at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, in the Department of Energy’s program to improve hydrokenetic technology and minimize the environmental impacts. “It’s not as easy as taking a taking a wind turbine and putting it under water. The forces are much greater. We are trying to understand how to make them sturdy enough to generate electricity from river currents.”

Demonstration projects in the Mississippi and New York’s East Rivers have been steadily perfecting the technology needed to capture this energy for almost a decade. Verdant Power’s Roosevelt Island Tidal Energy project in New York’s East River (soon to be expanded) has successfully operated six underwater turbines between 2006-2008, and delivering 70 megawatt hours to a nearby supermarket and parking garage in what the company called the “world’s first grid-connected array of tidal turbines.” Free Flow Power Power has installed its own turbines, resembling jet engines, in the Mississippi and is eying more than 50 expansion sites.

Now, everyone from state agencies to universities are racing to get into the game. Applications to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission for new hydrokinetic sites have soared in the last three years: 79   have been approved since 2009 (almost double those as of 2008), and 145 more are awaiting final approval in  Missouri, Maine, Louisiana, New Jersey and other states.

Eventually, based on the ambitions of several energy developers, underwater fields of hundreds of turbines could generating enough megawatts to power cities around the country.

“We’re trying to prove these things right now,” says Cada.

[Image: Atlantis Resources Corporation]

Reach Michael J. Coren via Twitter or email.

Read More: World’s First Floating Wind Turbine Installed, Ready for Testing

Jul 23

Multipure 5 Stage Reverse Osmosis – The Most Technically Advanced RO System Available

Water is one of your body’s basic needs. Water is a component of all the fluids in your body, including blood, digestive juices, lymph, sweat and urine. It also supports chemical reactions that regulate life processes.

But water could also quickly turn on you. The United Nations reported on World Water Day that contaminated and polluted water kills more people than violence or war, and that 60 percent of potable water supplies are lost because of leaky pipes and poorly-maintained sewage networks.

As a result, about 2.2 million people succumb to diarrhea, mostly from dirty water. Water-borne diseases have claimed the lives of some 1.8 million children aged under five, or one infant every 20 seconds.

While these deaths come mostly from developing countries, this doesn’t mean that Americans don’t have to worry about the quality of drinking water, Dr. Joseph Mercola warns. You simply can’t tell if your water is free from tap water contaminants just by how it looks, smells or tastes.

Here are 5 dangerous contaminants that may be lurking in your drinking water:

1.    Chlorine and Disinfection Byproducts 
Drinking water disinfected by chlorine in pregnancy can increase the child’s risk of heart problems, cleft palate or major brain defects. On the other hand, disinfection byproducts (DBPs) are formed when the disinfectants used to purify your water, like chlorine, react with natural organic matter like decaying vegetation in water, Dr. Mercola explains. DBPs are more than 10,000 times more toxic than chlorine, making them the worst type of contaminants.
Chlorine has been linked to health problems associated with drinking water but new studies suggest that DBPs, not chlorine, are responsible for almost all of the toxic effects of chlorinated water. The two most common disinfectant byproducts formed when chlorine is used are trihalomethanes and haloacetic acids. Trihalomethanes have been shown to cause cancer in laboratory animals and have also been associated with spontaneous abortion, stillbirths and congenital malformations.

2.    Drugs and Hormonally Active Chemicals
A comprehensive survey of drinking water in the U.S. reveals that your drinking water may also contain a number of pharmaceuticals and hormonally active chemicals, Mercola points out. The drugs that you take, or those that are given to livestock, do not necessarily become inert in your body. Some of the active components that are not absorbed are deposited into sewage treatment centers that are not always testing for, or removing, pharmaceuticals. Also, unused prescription drugs are sometimes flushed down the toilet or deposited into landfills by individuals, hospitals and pharmaceutical companies, where they ultimately end up back in the environment.
Among the drugs and chemicals found in tap water were atenolol, a beta-blocker used to treat cardiovascular disease; atrazine, a herbicide banned in Europe linked to the decline of fish population and in changes in animal behavior; meprobamate, a psychiatric tranquilizer; phenytoin, an anticonvulsant, and sulfamethoxazole, an antibiotic.

3.    Fluoride 
Fluoride is one of the toxic chemicals still at large in America. It was actually one of the toxic components evaluated for use in the production of the atomic bomb during World War II. For Dr. Mercola, water fluoridation is absurd and unethical because studies show that this chemical can damage your brain, and your immune, gastrointestinal system and skeletal systems. Fluoride is so dangerous that a family-sized tube of fluoridated toothpaste is toxic enough to kill a 25-lb child.

4.     Heavy Metals 
Heavy metals such as arsenic, cadmium, chromium, lead, mercury and nickel can seep into your water, are inorganic, have relatively high densities and are toxic even at low concentrations.Heavy metal poisoning can cause blood disorders, and brain, kidney and nerve damage. These heavy metals usually accumulate in your water supply through human activity, such as industrial and consumer waste. In homes built before the late 1980s, copper and lead can leach into passing water from water pipes and soldered joints on the way to your tap.

5.    Rocket Fuel
Perchlorate, a component of rocket fuel which is also used in fireworks and road flares, was found in the water supplies of 36 states. This chemical can inhibit the production of thyroid hormones, which are essential for pre- and postnatal development. The Environmental Protection Agency has also found that perchlorate exposure led to the development of thyroid tumors in rats.

Because of the dangers of tap water contaminants, water filtration systems are no longer considered a luxury; they’re health products. For most people a countertop water filter that effectively removes chlorine and inorganic and organic contaminants is the best, most practical and cost-effective choice. A reverse osmosis filter helps remove virtually all tap water contaminants, including fluoride and a muriad of other cancer causing contaminants.

The best water filter that we have found that virtually removes these contaminants is the Multipure MP750Plus RO unit.

The Multipure MP750PlusRO Unit is easy to install and simple to operate. It uses no electricity and the impurities removed through the reverse osmosis process are flushed down the drain. The pre-filter component provides 5 micron filtration to remove large particulate matter and extend the life of the reverse osmosis membrane. The reverse osmosis component reduces the level of Total Dissolved Solids (TDS), rust, dirt scale, and organic tastes and odors. The processed water is conveniently stored in a 3 gallon pressurized tank which is small enough to fit neatly under your sink. The post unit, is a solid carbon block filter that is considered to be the most effective method for reducing a wide range of contaminants of health concern, which may be present in the water.  The carbon is compacted into a dense structure, causing every molecule of water to be forced through microscopic pores of carbon, effectively reducing pollutants.  The Solid Carbon Block Filter is a replaceable cartridge designed so that it can be easily changed.  Some additional advantages of the Solid Carbon Block Filter are that it does not waste water, there is no electricity required, it does not remove essential trace minerals that are beneficial to good health, it does not add salt or silver to the water; and it provides fresh, delicious, healthy drinking water.

Multipure’s MP750PlusRO Unit includes pre-filter, RO membrane, and Multi-Pure’s Model MP750SB as a post-filter, giving you the highest quality water possible.

For more info on Multipure’s water filtration systems, visit our website at  www.indianawaterfilters.org

Jul 16

Arsenic in drinking water – How to protect yourself

A one-time oral dose of 60,000 ppb of arsenic will kill you. That’s no more than 1/50 the weight of a penny, which shows how dangerous arsenic really is.

It’s unlikely you won’t be exposed to that much arsenic at one time. However, there’s a very good chance you will be exposed to much higher levels over just a few years, merely through the water you drink, food you eat and air you breathe. Why? Unfortunately, the arsenic to which you are exposed is typically colorless, odorless and tasteless. So if arsenic is in your water, you won’t notice it by sight, smell or taste.

How does arsenic get into your drinking water?
Arsenic occurs naturally in some soil and rock. When water comes in contact with arsenic in soil or rocks, it’s absorbed naturally.

Industrial processes such as mining, smelting and coal-fired electric power plants contribute to the presence of arsenic in your water. Arsenic can either be discharged directly into rivers and streams or pumped into the air.

When arsenic is pumped into the air, it travels with the wind before settling back into lakes and rivers. Or if arsenic settles on the ground, it’s carried into the underground water supply by rain or melting snow.

Arsenic is also used in agricultural pesticides and chemicals used to preserve wood. The residue from these applications can be washed into rivers, lakes and underground water supplies.

So, it shouldn’t be surprising to you that arsenic is very common in ground water across the United States.

What are the possible health effects of ingesting even low levels of arsenic?

Skin cancer
Nervous system damage
Diabetes
Circulatory diseases
High blood pressure
Reduced intelligence in children
Studies have also linked long-term arsenic exposure to an increased risk of cancer of the bladder, lungs, liver and other organs. Arsenic can also damage chromosomes, which house the genetic material inside the cells of the body.

It’s believed the side effects from arsenic exposure in drinking water typically take years to develop. Much of it depends on the concentration of arsenic to which you are exposed. Most arsenic leaves your body within three days of exposure. But the arsenic that remains is stored in the brain, bones and tissue and continues to do serious damage.

How much arsenic in my water is considered safe?
The EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) has reduced the safe drinking water standard for arsenic in your water to 10 parts per billion (ppb). That standard — a dramatic decrease from the current standard of 50 ppb — goes into effect in January 2006. The agency reduced the level it currently allows in water because newer scientific studies found the old standard did not protect people exposed to arsenic for many years.

While the new standard is lower, it’s certainly not enough to eliminate all the risk of cancer and other side effects. Your exposure to arsenic in past years could cause problems to your health later in life. That’s why the EPA set a goal of zero as to the amount of arsenic that should be in your water.

But their goal is not enforceable.

You might feel a little safer knowing arsenic is not easily absorbed through the skin and doesn’t evaporate from water. But don’t get too comfortable… If arsenic is in your water, you will primarily be exposed to it from the water you drink, and not to bathe, wash dishes or clean your clothes.

Find out if arsenic or other harmful contaminants are in your water supply. If they are, get the appropriate water purification system to treat your specific problem. Then, see your health practitioner about removing the contaminants that are already in your body.

More about Arsenic & how to protect yourself
Arsenic (abbreviated As) is a naturally occurring contaminant found in many ground waters. Arsenic in water has no color, taste or odor. It must be measured by a lab test. Public water utilities must have their water tested for arsenic. You can get the results from your water utility. If you have your own well, you can have the water tested. The local health department or the state environmental health agency can provide a list of certified labs. The cost is typically $15 to $30. Information about arsenic in water can be found on the Internet at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency website: www.epa.gov/safewater/arsenic.html.

There are two forms of arsenic: pentavalent arsenic (also called As(V), As(+5), and arsenate) and trivalent arsenic (also called As(III), As(+3), and arsenite). In well water, arsenic may be pentavalent, trivalent, or a combination of both. Special sampling procedures are needed for a lab to determine what type and how much of each type of arsenic is in the water. Check with the labs in your area to see if they can provide this type of service.

Specially formulated Carbon Block systems are very effective at removing pentavalent arsenic. A free chlorine residual will rapidly convert trivalent arsenic to pentavalent arsenic. Other water treatment chemicals such as ozone and potassium permanganate will also change trivalent arsenic to pentavalent arsenic. A combined chlorine residual (also called chloramine) may not convert all the trivalent arsenic. If you get your water from a public water utility, contact the utility to find out if free chlorine or combined chlorine is used in the water system.

A study from the Water Quality Association (WQA) revealed that the top two contaminants which Americans are concerned about in their drinking water are LEAD and ARSENIC. Multi-Pure has been the leader in the drinking water industry with products which treat both lead and arsenic. Currently, MultiPure is the only manufacturer with a filter system NSF certified to reduce levels of Arsenic V.

The MultiPure MP880 Models are designed to remove only pentavalent arsenic. It will not convert trivalent arsenic to prevalent arsenic. The system may remove some trivalent arsenic, however, it has not been evaluated for its ability to remove trivalent arsenic. The system was tested in a laboratory to remove pentavalent arsenic. Under lab conditions, as defined in ANSI/NSF Standard 53, the system reduced 0.050 mg/L (ppm) pentavalent arsenic to 0.010 mg/L (ppm) (the U.S. EPA standard for drinking water) or less. The performance of the system may be different at your installation. Have the treated water tested for arsenic to check if the system is working properly.

* Only MultiPure’s MP880 Series is certified to reduce Arsenic V

Jul 10

Why do I need a water filter?

Never before has the need been greater for quality home water purification.

America’s tap water is contaminated with toxic heavy metals, synthetic organic chemicals, chlorination by-products, biological parasites and virtually thousands of harmful contaminants.

“E.P.A. reports show that U.S. water supplies contain over 2300 cancer causing chemicals…” — Ralph Nader Research Group

Studies also show that bottled water isn’t any purer than tap water, it simply costs more. Most quality home water purification products can provide water far superior to bottled water, at a fraction of the cost and in the convenience of your own home. The intention of this site is to promote the use of home water filtration, show what products are available and how to determine which ones are the best. Our goal is to also increase basic awareness of this critically important subject.

In America’s highly industrialized society we use over 80,000 toxic chemicals every day, and over 1000 new ones are being developed every year. We are learning the hard way that all of the chemicals we use, will ultimately show up in the water we drink. There is no “new water”, this planet keeps recycling the same water over and over. As we use more synthetic chemicals, the levels in our water supplies increases proportionately.

In contrast to popular belief, our water treatment facilities were not designed to take out synthetic organic chemicals and toxic heavy metals like lead. Municipal water treatment today is essentially the same as it was over 100 years ago, the water is flown through sand beds to remove visible particles and then bleach (chlorine) is added to kill most of the bacteria! We do not filter out the synthetic chemicals!

75 years ago, before all of these chemicals were present in our environment, 1 out of 50 Americans would get cancer in their lives… now, 1 in 3 Americans… 1 in 2 males, will become cancer victims! 1 in 8 women get breast cancer, childhood cancers have increased 300% in just the last 20 years… and much of this can be linked to the accumulation of man made chemicals in our body.

Cancer is not natural, it’s a man made disease, and for the most part… completely preventable. The purity of our water is one of the most critical factors in the prevention of cancer and other degenerative diseases. Water is our body’s only means of purifying its self. If our water already contains chemical contaminants, our body is not able to use it to its full benefit. When the risk is so great and the solution is so simple… why chance it?

In-home water purification is the most effective, by far the most convenient and most economical means of providing clean, healthy water for you and your family.

“Healthy water” is the best health insurance we can get… and home water purification is the best way to get it… possibly the only way.

Click here to see which water filter reduces more contaminants than any other water filter on the market.

Jul 07

Feeling Sick? It May Be Your Tap Water

Public water supplies in 42 U.S. states are contaminated with 141 unregulated chemicals for which the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has never established safety standards, according to an investigation by the Environmental Working Group (EWG).

Tainted Tap Water Used by Millions of Americans
Another 119 regulated chemicals—a total of 260 contaminants altogether—were found by the environmental group in a two-and-a-half-year analysis of more than 22 million tap water quality tests. The tests, which are required under the federal Safe Drinking Water Act, were conducted at nearly 40,000 utilities that supply water to 231 million people. If you are feeling ill, for no apparent reason, it really could be the water in your own home! Below are listed some contaminants found in your public water supply that truly could be making you sick!

Water Disinfection Byproducts

  • What are water disinfection byproducts?
    The term refers not to one chemical compound but a group of chemicals that are formed as byproducts of water treatment. Up to 600 disinfection byproducts have been identified but only a fraction of them — including bromate, total trihalomethanes (chloroform, bromodichloromethane, dibromochloromethane and bromoform) and haloacetic acids (dichloroacetic acid, trichloroacetic acid, monochloroacetic acid, monobromoacetic acid and dibromoacetic acid) — are monitored by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
  • How often do they occur in drinking water?
    According to the Environmental Working Group’s analysis of about 20 million drinking water tests conducted by water suppliers between 2004 and 2009, disinfection byproducts, many of which are unregulated, were the most common water pollutants found in US water supplies.
  • How did the water pollutants end up in water supplies?
    Chemical byproducts are formed when disinfectants used to treat water, such as chlorine, react with organic pollution washed off from cities, suburbs and agricultural farms.
  • What are the possible health effects of water disinfection byproducts?
    Disinfection byproducts can cause gene mutation, induce birth defects, accelerate the aging process, sets off an inflammatory response in the body, and even induce cancer after long-term exposures.
Associations have also been made between exposure to certain trihalomethanes and haloacetic acids at concentrations above the maximum contaminant level and injury to the liver, kidney, eyes, nerves and the reproductive system.
  • How to remove water disinfection byproducts from water?
    Water filtration systems using activated carbon filters can reduce levels of disinfection byproducts (such as trihalomethanes and haloacetic acids) as can a reverse osmosis unit. Look out for certification, or confirm with the manufacturer before making your purchase.

Nitrate and Nitrite

·What are nitrate and nitrite?
Nitrates and nitrites are common inorganic compounds that are found contaminating drinking water.
·How often do they occur in drinking water?
Nitrate ranks number five in EWG’s list of frequently detected water pollutants. Nitrate and/or nitrite contamination is also not uncommon in drinking water drawn from private wells in the US.
·How did the water pollutants end up in water supplies?
The major sources of nitrates and nitrites in drinking water are excessive use of nitrogen-containing fertilizers (e.g. potassium nitrate and ammonium nitrate) by farmers and homeowners, leaching from septic sewer systems, discharge by chemical, petrochemical and metal-finishing industries, human and animal organic wastes, as well as erosion of natural deposits.
·What are the possible health effects of nitrate and nitrite?
Infants are susceptible to ‘blue baby syndrome’, or methemoglobinemia, after drinking water containing excess nitrate. This potentially dangerous condition occurs when hemoglobins in the red blood cells are converted into methemoglobin in the presence of nitrate and/or nitrite and loses their ability to carry oxygen.
Although older children and adults can tolerate higher levels of nitrates, little is known about the possible long-term effects of nitrate ingestion. Some evidence suggests that nitrate exposure above safety limits may be carcinogenic.
·How to remove nitrate and nitrite from water?
Unfortunately, nitrate and nitrite cannot be removed by carbon-only water filters. Technologies that can reduce the water pollutants effectively include reverse osmosis and atmospheric water generation.
But these technologies have their drawbacks too.
Although reverse osmosis filters are effective in eliminating most disease causing organisms and chemical contaminants, they generally use about three times as much water as they treat. They also remove most of the minerals in the water and may worsen mineral deficiency in those who are already getting insufficient minerals from their diet.
Atmospheric water generator, which extracts water from humid ambient air, is slow, huge (almost the size of a medium refrigerator), and requires an environment with a relatively high humidity to generate water at an acceptable rate. Though you can connect it to a water supply and use it as a regular purifier, its water filtration capabilities may not be sufficient to remove the types of contaminants in your water.

Pharmaceuticals

·What are pharmaceutical contaminants?
Pharmaceutical contaminants refer to a cocktail of dissolved prescription pills, over-the-counter drugs as well as ingredients used for making drugs that are found in drinking water.
According to the 2008-2009 annual report presented by the President’s Cancer Panel, some medications found in water supplies include antidepressants, chemotherapy drugs, medications for hypertension and diabetes, steroid medications, oral contraceptives, non-prescription pain relievers, hormone replacement therapy medications, anti-convulsants, heart medications and antibiotics.
·How often do they occur in drinking water?
A shocking Associated Press report in 2009 revealed that at least 271 million pounds of pharmaceuticals have been poured into US waterways that often provide drinking water.
Unlike nitrate and other regulated contaminants, the presence of pharmaceuticals in drinking water is not monitored by government in most countries and hence, water suppliers are not required to test for them. To make things worse, conventional water treatment plants are also incapable of removing dissolved medications that have entered the water systems.
·How did the water pollutants end up in water supplies?
Dumping of active pharmaceutical ingredients by manufacturers into waterways, as well as improper disposal of medications by consumers into household drains and toilets. Drugs of all types also enter the water supply when they are excreted.
(If you’ve the habit of flushing expired drugs down the toilet, please stop!)
·What are the possible health effects of pharmaceuticals?
Currently, there is no study looking into the long-term effects of drinking water containing low doses of multiple drugs for extended period of time. However, considering that a number of medications are formulated to work at relatively low dosage, their long-term unintended effects cannot be ruled out completely.
· How to remove pharmaceuticals from water?
Water filters that use only basic carbon blocker are unlikely to remove pharmaceutical contaminants. Reverse osmosis system, however, is able to remove dissolved drugs, so is atmospheric water generator which skips contaminated water altogether and generates water from air.

Arsenic

·What is arsenic?
Arsenic is a natural occurring element found in soil, rocks, air, food and water. It’s also used for producing electronic parts, automotive batteries, wood preservatives, glass, pesticides and more.
·How often does it occur in drinking water?
Arsenic contamination of water is a global problem. According to the Wikipedia, over 137 million people in more than 70 countries, including America, are probably affected by arsenic poisoning of drinking water.
· How did the water pollutant end up in water supplies?
Arsenic leaches into water when water flows pass arsenic-rich soils and rocks. Mining activities, discharges from industries that use arsenic compounds, and runoffs from farms and homes that use arsenic-containing pesticides also add to the amount of the pollutant in water supplies.
·What are the possible health effects of arsenic?
Arsenic is a highly toxic substance and is classified as a carcinogen which can cause cancers of the skin, lung, and bladder as well as heart disease.
·How to remove arsenic from water?
Reverse osmosis is currently the most effective way to remove arsenic. Generating water through air is also another way to avoid arsenic. But take note of the cons highlighted earlier for each of them before purchasing to make sure you can live with the drawbacks.

Hexavalent Chromium

·What is hexavalent chromium?
Hexavalent chromium, or chromium-6, is a common industrial chemical used for the production of textile dyes, pigments, stainless steel, wood preservation, leather tanning, anti-corrosion coatings and other niche uses.
It was made famous by the film “Erin Brockovich”, starring Julia Roberts, that tells the real-life story of cancer-stricken residents of Hinkley who in 1996 won a $333 million settlement from Pacific Gas and Electric Co. for contaminating their tap water with hexavalent chromium.
· How often does it occur in drinking water?
A 2010 study commissioned by the Environmental Working Group found that water from 31 out of 35 US cities was polluted with hexavalent chromium. Of those, 25 had levels that exceeded the safety limits proposed by California regulators.
·How did the water pollutant end up in water supplies?
Discharge by irresponsible industries that produce or use hexavalent chromium, such as metal-plating and leather-tanning facilities as well as steel and pulp mills.
Other forms of chromium, such as chromium-3, also occur naturally in soil, rocks, rivers, plants and animals.
·What are the possible health effects of hexavalent chromium?
Hexavalent chromium has long been known to cause lung cancer when inhaled. There are also increasing scientific evidence linking the pollutant to liver and kidney damage as well as leukemia, stomach cancer and other cancers in lab animals.
·How to remove hexavalent chromium from water?
Use a water filter that is certified to remove hexavalent chromium (chromium-6). MultiPure’s Reverse Osmosis water filter unit is NSF certified to remove all or most of these contaminants.
Jul 01

Is Bottled Water Safer Than Tap Water?

Corporate giants like Coke, Pepsi, Nestle and others have done an great job selling us on the idea that bottled water is safer, better, perhaps sexier than tap water. However, there is a real dark side to bottled water as the movie “Tapped” has pointed out. When you seriously look at the petroleum needed to produce the plastic bottles, storage issues and potential water contamination by the plastic bottles themselves, the transportation needed to transport the water to the store shelves and environmental impact of plastic bottles have on the Earth, one can see that bottled water is not only wasteful, the discarded plastic bottles create one of the most dangerous environmental hazards known to man. This little video tells the story beautifully.

http://www.myspace.com/video/trailerpark/oceans-exclusive-use-less-plastic/104426743

One can easily see that filtered water not only is a better product, it costs significantly less. The fact is that roughly 25% of all bottled water is actually tap water that has been processed and repackaged. Corporate America treats local municipal sources as a commodity and sells it back to the community at a profit. When you really look at the cost of bottled water compared to filtered water, the numbers are staggering.

Example; bottled water averages around $2.50 per gallon. A Multi Pure 750 gallon filter is $69.95. To produce the same amount of bottled water you would spend $1850.00!! (750 gallons x $2.50= $1850.00)

To find out how your bottled water rates, check the Environmental Working Group Widget below. Simply enter your favorite brand or click the first letter to get the details on that product.