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Think about your water

Think before you drink

If you think the water you are drinking is just H2O, think again! According to studies, an astonishing 75,000 chemical compounds have been found in our water, yet the EPA has established enforceable safety standards for only 87. Many of these chemicals are potentially harmful and can spawn health problems. According to the Centers for Disease Control and PreventionInformationThe Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (or CDC) is a United States federal agency under the Department of Health and Human Services based in Druid Hills, unincorporated DeKalb County, Georgia. It works to protect public health and safety by providing information to enhance health decisions, and it promotes health through partnerships with state health departments and other organizations. The CDC focuses national attention on developing and applying disease prevention and control (especially infectious diseases), environmental health, occupational safety and health, health promotion, prevention and education activities designed to improve the health of the people of the United States., nearly one million people get sick from drinking contaminated water each year with about 1,000 cases ending in death, on average.

Think before you drink!

Using outdated technology, many municipalities simply weren't built to handle the influx of modern-day contaminants. A host of pollutants such as pesticides, herbicides, toxic waste from landfills, chemical and oil spills, acid rain and more find their way into our water supplies. Most often this water is treated with chlorineInformationChlorine is an important chemical for water purification (such as water treatment plants), in disinfectants, and in bleach. Chlorine is usually used (in the form of hypochlorous acid) to kill bacteria and other microbes in drinking water supplies and public swimming pools. In most private swimming pools chlorine itself is not used, but rather sodium hypochlorite, formed from chlorine and sodium hydroxide, or solid tablets of chlorinated isocyanurates. When added in small amounts to pool water or industrial water systems, the chlorine atoms hydrolyze from the rest of the molecule forming hypochlorous acid (HOCl) which acts as a general biocide killing germs, micro-organisms, algae, and so on. or chloraminesInformationNH2Cl is commonly used in low concentrations as a secondary disinfectant in municipal water distribution systems as an alternative to free chlorine chlorination. This application is increasing. Chlorine (sometimes referred to as free chlorine) is being displaced by chloramine, which is much more stable and does not dissipate from the water before it reaches consumers. NH2Cl also has a very much lower, however still present, tendency than free chlorine to convert organic materials into chlorocarbons such as chloroform and carbon tetrachloride. Such compounds have been identified as carcinogens and in 1979 the United States Environmental Protection Agency began regulating their levels in U.S. drinking water. to control bacterial growth which, according to some health experts, may also contribute to illness.

Even if the water that leaves the treatment plants meets EPA minimum safety standards, health threats don't stop there. The water may pass through unsafe water lines that recontaminate it on the way to your home. Examine your pipes and those of water distribution systems and you'll find the insides of some of these pipes caked with mineral, biological and chemical deposits. In some cases the pipes themselves may leach copper and lead! Another threat lurking inside older water pipes is bio-film, composed of layers of bacteria that can harbor pathogens like E. coli. And don't think well water is any safer because ground water pollutants may also seep into that source.

Add to that the chlorine and other chemicals used to treat well water, and you have water that is chemically altered.

The sad truth is that our water supply is compromised by harmful chemicals. EPA standards require water treatment plants to reduce certain contaminants. Annual reports issued by the EPA for 2002 indicated that there were 80,635 documented violations nationwide. When violations occur, "boil water" alerts are issued but, by then, you may have already consumed dangerously contaminated water.

You have to ask yourself the question, "Over the course of my life, how will these chemicals and trace pollutants affect my health and that of my family?" Consider what this means if, over the course of your life, you drink approximately 13,000 gallons of water. There could be undetected contaminants in each glass you drink having a cumulative affect on your health for the worse. That's why it's so important you make doubly sure the water you drink is 100% steam distilled. And with Waterwise, you can take control of your water quality today and enjoy peace of mind.

In the news...

The EPA is proposing to add 16 chemicals to the Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) list of reportable chemicals, the first expansion of the program in more than a decade. Established as part of the Emergency Planning and Community Right to Know Act (EPCRA), TRI is a publicly available EPA database that contains information on toxic chemical releases and waste management activities reported annually by certain industries as well as federal facilities. The proposal is part of Administrator Lisa P. Jackson's ongoing efforts to provide communities with more complete information on chemicals.

EPA has concluded, based on a review of available studies, that these chemicals could cause cancer in people. The purpose of the proposed addition to TRI reporting requirements is to inform the public about chemical releases in their communities and to provide the government with information for research and potential development of regulations.

Four of the chemicals are being proposed for addition to TRI under the polycyclic aromatic compounds (PACs) category. The PACs category includes chemicals that are persistent, bioaccumulative, toxic (PBT) and are likely to remain in the environment for a very long time. These chemicals are not readily destroyed and may build up or accumulate in body tissue.

The TRI, established as part of the EPCRA of 1986, contains information on nearly 650 chemicals and chemical groups from about 22,000 industrial facilities in the U.S. Congress enacted EPCRA to provide the public with additional information on toxic chemicals in their communities.

For a list of the 16 chemicals: http://www.epa.gov/tri/lawsandregs/ntp_chemicals/
index.html
More information on TRI:
http://www.epa.gov/tri

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