All Water Not Equal in Terms of Health Benefits


Nutrition experts agree that people should drink six to eight glasses of water per day as part of a healthy lifestyle. But how much good drinking all this water is actually doing depends upon the quality of the water itself.

Plain tap water, for example, can contain microorganisms such as Cryptosporidium and Giardia that can cause serious illness that is potentially fatal. It may also contain other contaminants detrimental to health over the short or long term, such as lead or high levels of chlorine.

Links between microorganisms and illness are long-standing and well established. However, chlorine and substances linked to the presence of chlorine in drinking water, are only now being fully evaluated by the medical and scientific community. Recently, studies have proven links between chlorine byproducts found in chlorinated tap water, miscarriages and cancer.

It's little wonder that The Water Quality Association, which polls consumers annually on water-quality issues, reports that 72% of consumers were concerned with some aspect of their water quality, with almost half of consumers indicating they are concerned about possible health contaminants in their drinking water.

There are several ways to avoid drinking water containing unwanted contaminants. At-the-tap filtration units offer the most cost-effective and convenient method of water treatment in the home. Some health-conscious individuals who aren't near their kitchen choose bottled water that can come from questionable sources. There are also various kinds of water filtration systems on the market and they are not all equal when it comes to eliminating unwanted substances.

Many of the most popular filtration systems do an adequate job of removing unwanted contaminants. However some systems such as reverse osmosis also remove or substantially reduce the levels of beneficial fluoride. While there is some debate over the use of fluoride still today, groups ranging from the American Dental Association to the Centers for Disease Control still credit fluoride with providing substantial benefits for dental health and support its use in drinking water.

One of the most effective filtration systems, in terms of both removing unwanted contaminants and improving the taste of tap water, is the carbon-block filtration method. This method is used in filters such as the PureTouch filtering faucet system produced by Moen Inc., which supplies filtered tap water at the faucet whenever the filtering system is activated. Moen states that its system removes nearly all of the lead, chlorine and microorganisms from water while keeping beneficial fluoride in.

"With more and more people concerned about the quality of their water, and more of the health risks associated with contaminants still being fully investigated, our filtering system has proven very popular among the more health-conscious customers," said Kathleen Yates, senior product manager of filtration for Moen.

The best way for health-conscious consumers to protect themselves is to use a filtering system backed by certified testing and to make sure that the filter is kept in good working order with proper maintenance. With the alternatives to unfiltered tap water now available, and their ease of use compared to the devices of the past, there's little excuse for informed consumers to expose themselves to unwanted health risks from their own tap water.

Courtesy of ARA Content.