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Thread: Science of water filters? page

  1. #1
    abexman's Avatar
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    Science of water filters?

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    I've done some searching around this site and can find some forums where some posters praise water filters and warn against the evils of fluoride - but there seems little evidence presented backing up what makes for a good filter. Mark posted on how bottled water is not much better than tap and to beware of plastic contained beverages. He also said to get "a cheap water filter". So is a cheap water filter, any old one, the one to get?

    This seems a highly nuanced subject where you need to get your head around what is good for the body in water, what is safe and possible with technology to change water, what measurements of stuff in water means, etc. Can someone point me to someone that discusses this from a paleo or primal perspective that is skeptical of Conventional Wisdom (and the health authorities)?

    For example....see the below on Flouride removal from Aquasana. It basically says that flouride removal is a good idea... but! 100% removal requires aluminum filters that may be harmful to health so they use a different method (ion exchange) that only cuts a large portion out. What is weird is the flouride article used to be on their US site, but I cannot find it there anymore, only on their AU site... hmmm...

    I was considering a Cuisinart CHW-11 with built in filter, but was not sure how to judge the quality. I know people rave about Berkey. Aquasana has some pages that sounds good, but is it right or hype? I'll post below some of the issues to solicit feedback....

    Fluoride Removal | Aquasana: Pure Water Filters
    Fluoride Removal
    The Aquasana reduces fluoride by 40-60%.

    There are 5 isotopes which make up fluoride and the Aquasana will remove two of the isotopes with the ion-exchange technology. This reduces the influent levels to approx. 0.5 ppm.

    All research showing negative effects has shown levels above 1 ppm.

    Some water filters which remove fluoride contain alumina as their filter media, which is not recommended because fluoride has a strong affinity for aluminum, forming aluminum fluoride. It ‘tricks’ the body into thinking it is a hydrogen atom, allowing it access across the blood-brain barrier. . Research has shown a link between aluminum fluoride and kidney damage as well as brain cell damage, such as lesions in the brain similar to those found in Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia.

    Which 2 isotopes from fluoride are removed and what information do you have on them?

    Calcium fluoride: Also known as mineral fluorospar (fluorine – semi precious gemstone) which is found in nature as a solid and is insoluble in water. It is commonly used as a window and lens material, in the manufacture of Teflon and in the separation and concentration of uranium isotopes in nuclear reactors.

    Sodium fluoride: A colourless crystalline salt used in the fluoridation of water, toothpaste, as an insecticide and rat poison. According to Hazard Identification Data it is listed as toxic if swallowed or inhaled and affects the respiratory system, heart, skeleton, circulatory system and kidneys. Long term exposure may cause mottling of teeth and brittle bones (fluorosis), weight loss, anaemia, calcified ligaments, general ill- health and joint stiffness.

    References:
    Worksafe Australia (1996), Hazardous Substances Sodium Fluoride
    Lange, A (1946) Handbook of Chemistry, Handbook Publishers, Inc, Sandusky, Ohio,USA
    Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (1993), ToxFAQS Fluorides, Hydrogen fluoride, and Fluorine.
    full Q&A at Aquasana Water Filters - Frequently Asked Questions about Water Filters (could not fit here)
    Question: Is Chlorine harmful?
    Answer: Chlorine was first added to a community water system in 1908 in Chicago and was instrumental in eliminating many types of water-borne disease such as Cholera and Typhoid fever. Prior to chlorination, many major cities had death tolls of 1 in 1000 people from Typhoid alone. Chlorine has been used to disinfect municipal water for over 80 years and has had some positive effects on public health. In the 1970's it was discovered that chlorine, when added to water, forms Trihalomethanes (chlorinated by-products) by combining with certain naturally occurring organic matter such as vegetation and algae. In 1992 the American Journal of Public Health published a report that showed a 15% to 35% increase in certain types of cancer for people who consume chlorinated water. This report also stated that much of these effects were due to showering in chlorinated water. The National Cancer Institute estimates cancer risks for people who consume chlorinated water to be up to 93% higher than for people who do not. The effects of drinking chlorinated water have been debated for decades. However, most experts now agree that there are some significant risks related to consuming chlorine and chlorinated by-products in drinking water.
    Chlorine and Cancer

    Question: Why do some areas test negative for chlorine?
    Answer: Virtually all city water systems contain some level of chlorine. The level will vary based on outdoor temperature, the season, distance from water utility and current usage. While chlorine may sometimes be undetectable on a certain day with a standard OTO test kit, that level can change dramatically day to day. Also some cities use ammonia at certain times as a disinfectant in order to reduce chlorination by products. Without chlorine the dangers of water borne disease would be too significant. An undetectable chlorine level, on a certain day, does not eliminate the need for an effective home filtration system.

    Question: What is the best container for storing filtered water?
    Answer: Glass is always best, however if glass is not practical, then a high grade polycarbonate material is best. Clear plastic bottles and pitchers with a #1 in the recycle triangle on the bottom, like the bottles used by Evian and the higher quality bottled waters, are the best option for water storage since they have been shown to release the lowest levels of plastic component chemicals into water. Translucent, colored or bottles with a number other than 1 on the bottom should be avoided because there is the possibility of higher levels of chemicals leeching into the water from the plastic.

    Question: Are whole house systems (P.O.E.- point-of-entry) better than counter-top filters (P.O.U.- point-of-use)?
    Answer: P.O.U. systems are by far the best way to ensure the highest quality water since many water-borne contaminants come from the plumbing in your house, especially lead and vinyl chloride from the piping. By filtering water at the point-of-use you remove contaminants just prior to consumption, eliminating the chance of recontamination. Point-of-entry systems offer certain benefits but do not replace the benefits of point-of-use filtration.

    Question: What are the benefits of magnetic water treatment?
    Answer: While there are manufacturers that make beneficial claims for magnetic water treatment, there are no credible studies or documentation that magnetics offer any measurable benefits for drinking water, consumers should beware of undocumented claims.

    Question: How do you know if there are contaminants in your water?
    Answer: All public water systems contain some level of one or more unhealthful chemicals. Regulations only require periodic testing of about 90 chemicals. There are now more than 75,000 chemicals used in our society with over 1000 new ones being developed each year. Contaminant levels fluctuate throughout the year making it impossible to know the actual level of contamination in a central water system. So far over 2100 toxic chemicals have been detected in America's water systems. The risk is high; the cost for a sure solution is low, 10¢ per gallon with Aquasana.
    See What's in my water?

    Question: Are some people more sensitive to chemicals in drinking water and shower water than others?
    Answer: Definitely, small children and the elderly are especially more affected by contaminants in water due to a reduced capacity to deal with toxins and an under-developed or less tolerant immune system.

    Question: If my municipal water company's Annual Water Quality Report shows that it meets all EPA guidelines, does that mean its safe?

    Answer: On October 1st 1999 a new federal law went into effect that requires water utilities to send each customer a detailed report showing what is in their water, appropriately called "The Right To Know Amendment." The most important thing to remember is that no matter how insistent these reports are that "contaminants in your water do not necessarily pose a health risk", any level of contamination in our drinking water does in fact represent a danger to our health. Of the over 75,000 toxic chemicals used in our society, the EPA has only set standards (MCLs) for about 90, and those 90 Maximum Contaminant Levels are not necessarily set on "health effects." The EPA considers limited health studies based on consumption of one certain chemical by a 175 lb. adult when setting these standards. No consideration is given to the effects on small children or the combined effects of two or more contaminants, which some studies show are magnified by as much as 1000 times. Water utilities are only required to test for the 90 contaminants that the EPA has set standards for.
    (edited for length).

  2. #2
    Scott F's Avatar
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    Go to Home Depot and buy a reverse osmosis under the cabinet water filter. You'll have to read the instructions but can install it yourself. It'll require drilling a hole in your counter for the faucet. I'm sure there are YouTube vids on how to install one. You'll only need to change the filters once or twice per year. It'll cost around $200. If you do t feel handy enough to install it a plumber can put one in pretty quickly. You call also hook it up to the refrigerator's ice maker. ROs do the best job of filtering water. For an on the counter unit Berkly is suppose to be the best
    Would I be putting a grain-feed cow on a fad diet if I took it out of the feedlot and put it on pasture eating the grass nature intended?

  3. #3
    ryanmercer's Avatar
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    I use a brita pitcher just to clean up the taste a little at home, at work I just drink from the tap. I figure life is too short to stress some things... and if you cut a new brita filter open and a used one, you can see it's doing something.

  4. #4
    SarahW's Avatar
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    I got a Zero filter. It comes with a water tester, brings my 270+ tap water down to 0. It's supposed to catch mostly everything. Some think it may catch too much. But with my bone broths with kelp and pink salt, I think I'll live.

    5yo prefers to drink his water from it, if that means anything.

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    Find an artesian spring and invest in a few good water bottles. A dead thyroid is no fun for anyone. Just ask around.


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    SarahW's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Knifegill View Post
    Find an artesian spring and invest in a few good water bottles. A dead thyroid is no fun for anyone. Just ask around.
    Was that a reply to me, or just in general?

    People do worry that water filters take out too much good along with the bad, taking out iron and zinc along with the lead and mercury, for example. So if you take your water down to zero you have to be conscientious about adding those trace minerals back into your diet. Since I don't do "table" salt or fortified foods, a little kelp and pink salt in my broths seems like a healthy move.

    I have drank water straight off a melting glacier. I even filled a water bottle, looked at the floating things, and drank it. Yummy. But, sadly, there are none of those nearby in Florida.

  7. #7
    Knifegill's Avatar
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    I was just saying, fluoride (which directly destroys the thyroid, without question) is the #1 reason to get away from government water. Minerals come from food, etc. just fine. No normal/common home filtration removes fluoride. It's much more cost effective to just locate some real, wild water and collect it periodically. There have to be artesian springs in Florida. Florida is water incarnate. Just google your city with queries for "spring", "well", "free water" etc. The darn things are everywhere. You'll see cars parked nearby and people lined up with water jugs.


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    SarahW's Avatar
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    The Zero water filter does, according to their website, remove flouride:

    Q. Does the ZeroWater filter remove Floride?
    A. ZeroWater filters are not certified for the reduction of fluoride however fluoride is an inorganic compound. The TDS meter is designed to detect inorganic compounds. Fluoride levels in water are usually around 2 to 4 ppm, which will show up on the meter as 002 to 004. So when filtered water reads 000 it is not likely that fluoride is present in water.
    ZEROWATER Drinking Water Filters Home Purification Filtration

    I didn't realize that there was a certification for reducing fluoride. If it exists, it seems like that could be the epitome of red tape....

    Grok (what a nice guy, Grok) probably got his drinking water from a moving stream, where the water washes through constantly grinding rocks. This would make his water rich in trace minerals. And the soil of the food he ate was rich in minerals too. Lacking those two things...I think its worthwhile to pay attention to adding trace minerals into the diet.

    Come to think of it, I know a well which pumps out of an underground spring. I'll have to hack into it and use my nifty water-testing stick in it.

  9. #9
    ryanmercer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SarahW View Post
    The Zero water filter does, according to their website, remove flouride:


    ZEROWATER Drinking Water Filters Home Purification Filtration

    I didn't realize that there was a certification for reducing fluoride. If it exists, it seems like that could be the epitome of red tape....

    Grok (what a nice guy, Grok) probably got his drinking water from a moving stream, where the water washes through constantly grinding rocks. This would make his water rich in trace minerals. And the soil of the food he ate was rich in minerals too. Lacking those two things...I think its worthwhile to pay attention to adding trace minerals into the diet.

    Come to think of it, I know a well which pumps out of an underground spring. I'll have to hack into it and use my nifty water-testing stick in it.
    Hopefully it's good. On a property of ours we are trying to sell... it has a well, has for almost 100 years... used to be great clean water... then several acres north a guy turned his property into a auto salvage yard... 5-10 years later the water was magically horrible, I'm afraid to even wash my hands at the property because the water is probably so full of heavy metals from motor oil and gods know what else from radiator fluid/paint/brake fluid/etc etc. Used motor oil is one of the most carcinogenic substances a normal person can get their hands on and sadly over about 2 decades I bet hundreds of gallons have leaked into the groundwater.
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  10. #10
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    Great post!
    I was just starting to look into water filters and it is very confusing, a bit of a learning curve!

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