I'm really talking about drinking water here--I actually have a Brita pitcher in my refrigerator and I change the filter every two months as recommended. Led me to research on a little larger scale.
The Environmental Protection Agency has pretty strict guidelines for lead because even in small amounts it can cause a number of health issues, (learning disabilities, physical and mental development problems, and kidney problems to name a few), but the ban on lead plumbing materials has only been in place since 1986. A lot of people can benefit from further removing lead from their drinking water.
Here's the common sense run down on chlorine: Chlorine is added to water to kill harmful micro organisms-that's a good thing. However, once all the little nasty creatures are dead, doesn't it make sense that we would want to remove the chlorine? After all, we are discussing drinking water--not going swimming! By the way, chlorine can also be absorbed through the skin.
Good news and bad news on this one. Copper is an essential element to the body-but in very small amounts. As part of the Safe Drinking Water Act of 1974, the goal (not mandate) for copper in municipal water supplies is set at 1.3 parts per million. This is one of the items that there seems to be some disagreement on just how harmful it is-perhaps better safe than sorry unless you have a known copper deficiency
The biggest risk here is kidney damage. The Safe Water Drinking Act of 1974 set the goal for mercury at 2 parts per billion-much lower than that for copper. The Environmental Protection Agency lists filtration as an effective means of lowering mercury levels as well.
Hard water is generally not regarded as a health hazard-but I really have to question the logic behind that. Hard water is defined as water that has a high mineral content. In industrial settings, water is filtered to reduce build up in equipment. In your home, hard water is what causes scaling in your plumbing. Isn't it hard to imagine that water that has such a negative impact on plumbing and equipment would have no impact on your body? Yuck!
While it is important to recognize that not all communities have all of these things in their drinking water, using a water filtration device can help in all of these areas as well as improve taste and even reduce or eliminate odor in your drinking water.
I always use my water filtration right from my regrigerator door. I even use it when I give my cats a drink of water as well. H5
Well researched list for a good education in water filtration.
Great list on water filtration. Our community voted on fluoride to be added to the water and most water filters do not get rid of it. Sigh.
select one here...