Have you ever wondered whether filtered drinking water is better than tap or bottled water? The answer to this question is simple: yes! While many people have traditionally turned to bottled water as their source of clean, pure water, in reality, filtered drinking water is safer, cleaner, and healthier than tap or even bottled water. What’s more, with the recent push for conservation and the careful use of resources, filtered water stands out as not just the safe, but also the smart choice.
Years of industrial and environmental pollution have saturated the majority of tap and well water in the United States with unwanted, and often dangerous, contaminates. While some of these contaminates are naturally occurring, others are manmade chemicals and byproducts of hazardous processes. Runoff from pesticides and industrial waste pollutes our surface waters such as lakes and rivers; landfills, septic systems, hazardous agricultural and household chemicals contaminate the groundwater that supplies our wells and public water sources. Disease producing microorganisms, radioactive elements, hard water minerals, volatile organic chemicals, toxic metals—all of these things are floating around in our water, and only a few of them are regulated under drinking water standards.
Moreover, fluoride in unfiltered drinking water poses serious health risks in both the short- and long-term. Because fluoride has an acute toxicity greater than that of lead, and similar to that of arsenic, it has long been a staple in rat poisons, pesticides, and insecticides. It’s also the reason that your toothpaste warns you against the ingestion of more than the recommended amount for brushing your teeth! But the acute toxicity of fluoride isn’t the only danger. Chronic exposure to fluoride leads to a condition called fluorosis, which can cause the mottling of the teeth and calcification of the ligaments. In many parts of the world, groundwater contains extreme levels of fluoride, leading to uncountable cases of fluorosis and other health conditions.
You might think that reaching for a bottle of water will help you avoid consuming these contaminates. However, approximately 40 percent of bottled water has come from a tap! But there are further risks in drinking bottled water, since plastic bottles contain the chemical called bisphenol A (BPA). BPA has been linked to numerous health problems, including risk of cancer and obesity, disrupted or altered function of the immune system, and learning or behavioral problems.
This alone stresses the importance not only of drinking filtered water, but also of using filtered water in your daily activities, like brushing your teeth and washing your clothing or dishes.
Many consumers may already have point-of-use water purifiers installed in their kitchen sinks. These tap filters produce clean, contaminate free water at the site of the tap, providing the household with safe drinking water. Water purifiers, however, do not purify all of the water in the household. Moreover, they remove minerals from the water that are actually healthy to consume. That is why more and more homeowners are turning to whole house filtration systems to filter all of the water consumed and used in the household while still providing safe, mineral enriched water.
Unfiltered water affects the way your body is able to absorb nutrients and stay hydrated, making filtered water healthier and safer for your body both inside and out. This means that it’s not only important to drink filtered water, but to wash in it too. Besides cleaning your water for drinking and cooking, a whole house water filter provides safe water for use in your shower, too. This is the only truly effective type of water filter for your shower, since it filters at a low temperature to remove contaminates from the water.
But you’re not just keeping your family and yourself healthy by filtering your own water at home. Using a whole house filtration system also protects the environment by reducing the amount of plastic waste that comes from bottled water. This waste results not just from discarded bottles, but from the creation of the bottles too—a process that takes three times as much water as the bottle contains. Even recycling these bottles uses harmful substances like petroleum, in addition to the fuel and cost of transporting the recyclable materials.
A whole house filtration system may not be on the immediate horizon for every homeowner, but there are natural options you can use to filter water in your own home. Like charcoal, cilantro contains bioabsorbant materials, meaning it is able to capture metals in water. Crushed up cilantro leaves in a tube allow water to pass through while capturing metals and creating cleaner water. In addition, dried cilantro leaves can be placed in mesh or tea bags and left to soak in a pitcher of water. The cilantro-filled bags will leach out the heavy metals in the water to produce healthier drinking water.