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Woman drinking from plastic bottle
Filtering waterWhy Reusing Plastic Water Bottles Is Damaging Your HealthOne million plastic drinking bottles are bought around the world every single minute. This creates a huge amount of waste that ends up in oceans and landfills. It's common practice for people to reuse plastic water bottles by refilling them. It saves money, avoids having to repeatedly buy new bottles, and reduces the amount of plastic waste. However, these bottles were not meant to be reused. Recent revelations about the toxic chemicals found in plastic bottles should be enough to prevent anyone from reusing them—or buying them in the first place. While reusing your plastic bottle is convenient, we've outlined why it’s not the best idea to carry on with this practice. Risks of Reusing Plastic Water Bottles Apart from the environmental impact of plastic water bottles, there are two significant health risks associated with reusing these bottles. Chemical leaching Most single-use plastic bottles are made from flimsy material, which gets damaged through normal wear and tear, and while being washed. Repeatedly using a plastic bottle significantly increases the chance that chemicals will leak out of the tiny cracks in the bottle that develop over time. One of these chemicals is bisphenol A (BPA), which has been linked to some serious health risks like fertility issues, breast and prostate cancer, diabetes, and metabolic disorders.Bacteria Plastic bottles also harbor harmful bacteria, which can be just as dangerous, if not more dangerous, than chemical leaching. Scratches and cracks can not only cause chemical leaching, but are the ideal spot for bacteria to thrive. Bacterial growth happens very quickly by simply placing your mouth on your bottle and it can be difficult to remove, even with a thorough cleaning. Studies have revealed that water bottles that go uncleaned for a week contain 300,000 bacteria cells per square centimeter, which is more bacteria than in a dog’s water bowl. How Long Can You Reuse A Plastic Water Bottle? Most water bottles will display a number printed inside a triangle, which shows what kind of plastic the bottle is made from. That number also determines how often the bottle can be reused before it becomes unsafe. Here are three of the most common plastics water bottles are made from: Polyethylene terephthalate (PET) If there is a "1" in the triangle, it means it was made using PET plastic. This is a very lightweight plastic that's commonly used for water bottles and containers like nut butter, sauce bottles, and other food packaging. It's intended for single-use applications, and repeated use increases the risk of leaching and bacterial growth.High-density polyethylene (HDPE) If there is a "2" in the triangle, it means it was made using high-density polyethylene. HDPE is a more sturdy, durable plastic, which makes it a good material for detergent bottles, soap bottles, and gallon-size liquid containers. HDPE is reusable.Other (BPA, Polycarbonate and LEXAN) If there is a "7" in the triangle, it means it was made using materials that don’t fit under any other category. Some water bottles in this category may contain BPA. These plastics are not for reuse. Safe Alternatives to Plastic Bottles There are several water bottle materials that are safe alternatives to plastic bottles, including: Glass Glass as opposed to plastic bottles may be fragile, but they are sterile, don't affect the taste of the water, and don't leach any harmful chemicals.Stainless Steel Stainless steel bottles are typically lined so that there's no metallic taste in the liquid they hold. They are sterile and durable.Reusable Plastic Bottles Plastic water bottles are not all bad. It depends on the type of plastic used to make the bottle. Most reusable plastic water bottles are manufactured from plastic polymers like polypropylene and copolyester. Make sure that the bottle you are choosing is BPA-free. Conclusion Reusing a plastic water bottle might feel like an eco-friendly alternative because you’re not throwing the bottle away after every use. However, with the potentially harmful effects of reusing plastic water bottles on human health and their impact on the environment, the best decision is to skip single-use plastic altogether.
Glass water bottle and water splash
Filtering waterGlass vs. Plastic Bottles: The Sustainable OptionPlastic tends to get a bad rep from environmentalists, especially because only 9 percent of all plastic is recycled. However, there's a lot more to consider regarding the manufacturing and recycling processes of both glass and plastic, and their impact on the environment. There's some debate about which is truly a more sustainable option. We've outlined everything you need to know in this article. Is Glass Really Environmentally Friendly? There are a few reasons why glass is viewed as more sustainable water bottle material than plastic. Glass is much more durable than plastic and can last many years when handled properly. Glass can also be cleaned and sterilized easily. Glass is endlessly recyclable (back to its original use) and never loses its purity or quality. However, just like with anything manufactured in the world, there will be an environmental impact. Here are three of the concerns around the environmental impact of glass: Resources Manufacturing new glass requires sand, and while we have tons of sand in deserts and on beaches, that's not the sand required for glass production. We use more sand than oil, and we're using it faster than it can be replenished. The sand needed for glass is harvested from seabeds and riverbeds. Removing this sand from the natural environment disrupts the ecosystem and causes flooding and erosion. Production The furnaces used to create the glass utilize fossil fuels, which create a lot of pollution. Glass also weighs more than plastic and is more prone to breaking during transit. This means the transportation involved with shipping glass produces higher emissions and costs more. Recycling Less than 35 percent of glass waste is recycled worldwide. While glass is completely recyclable, certain facilities choose to crush the glass and use it as landfill cover instead. Sustainability of Glass Bottles vs. Plastic Bottles A glass water bottle is still considered more eco-friendly and safer than a plastic bottle. Plastic is everywhere: it’s lightweight, waterproof, and doesn't break when it’s dropped. However, there are a lot of negative implications involved in its production: Resources Plastic is petroleum-based which is a non-renewable resource. Plastic is made from petroleum gas, natural gas liquids, and natural gases, accessed by drilling deep into the earth’s crust. Its production pollutes the air with greenhouse gas emissions, and the extraction process of natural resources often leads to contamination of waterways, rivers, and topsoil. Pollution Plastic bottles also end up in landfills, oceans, and waterways. Not all plastic is recyclable, and plastic never truly breaks down. It turns into microplastics that have been found in oceans, rivers, rain, and drinking water. Plastic bottles leach harmful chemicals into the earth. A single plastic bottle can leach up to 8700 different substances into the water and soil. Bisphenol A (BPA) People try to reduce plastic waste by reusing plastic bottles. However, this is unadvisable because plastic bottles also leach chemicals into the liquid they're holding. A study from the Harvard School of Public Health showed that people who drank from plastic water bottles for one week had an increase of two-thirds of the BPA chemical in their urine. BPA has been shown to have negative effects on human health. Comparison to Glass Bottles On the other hand, glass is made from sand, limestone, ash, and other recycled glass. Most of these resources are widely available, with a minimal impact on the earth. Glass bottles have higher durability and last much longer than plastic bottles. The lifespan of a glass bottle is years, while a plastic bottle is more often than not single-use. While both glass and plastic impact the environment, a glass bottle is 100 percent recyclable, and fewer emissions are released into the air through its recycling and production processes. The glass recycling process is fairly quick, and a new bottle is back on the shelf in about 30 days. Conclusion The use of natural resources and manufacturing will always result in an unwanted impact on the environment. However, a lot less glass is produced and discarded thanks to its reusable properties, making glass bottles a more sustainable option.
Pieces of microplastics on a finger
Water qualityHow and Why Microplastics Are Damaging Your HealthMicroplastics are tiny plastic particles 0.33 mm to 5 mm in size. Microplastics come from several sources, including larger plastic debris that degrades into smaller pieces, and microbeads used in facial scrubs. Microplastics are extremely persistent, meaning removing them from the environment where they accumulate is almost impossible. Scientists have warned that the microplastic situation is out of control. Microplastics have been found almost everywhere they have been looked for, including on mountains, in Artic sea ice, oceans, the air, drinking water, and the human body. This article outlines everything you need to know about microplastics and their effect on human health. How Do Microplastics Enter the Human Body? People don’t purposefully eat plastic, but that doesn't mean we're not consuming it every day. Microplastics are in our drinking water, food, soil, and air. We're constantly exposed to microplastics and once we've consumed them, they make their way to the gut, pass through the intestinal membrane, and enter the bloodstream. For the first time, researchers discovered that 17 out of 22 people had microplastics in their blood, and in March 2022, researchers published a study with another new discovery—11 out of 13 people had microplastics in their lungs. The most common type of plastic found was polyethylene terephthalate (PET), which is used to make plastic water bottles. The other culprits were clothing fibers and polystyrene. What Are the Effects of Microplastics on the Human Body? Plastic may be pervasive now, but it has only been widely used for the past 70 years. The discovery of microplastics is even more recent. Therefore, few studies are examining the effect of microplastics on human health and in what quantities microplastics are harmful. Scientists are still unsure of how the body processes, metabolizes, or eliminates these particles. Experts do have concerns regarding microplastics in humans: The effect of microplastics on inflammation in the digestive system is being studied. In a small study, people with inflammatory bowel disease had more microplastic in their stool than those without IBD.Microplastics are known to absorb pesticides and heavy metals, which we then absorb indirectly. This could increase our exposure to harmful chemicals that could lead to toxic effects on the body.Plastics also contain additives like bisphenol-A (BPA). BPA has been associated with cardiovascular disorders, diabetes, endometriosis, fertility issues, and prostate and breast cancer. Are the Effects of Microplastics Permanent? Microplastics have been linked to neurotoxic effects in wild fish, which increase oxidative damage and can theoretically lead to greater cancer risks. We do ingest microplastics, which pass through our digestive system, but scientists don't know whether they go somewhere else in the body after ingestion and what the long-term health effects are on humans, if any. How Do You Avoid Microplastics? Unfortunately, avoiding microplastics is impossible, but you can reduce some of your direct exposure. Here are some tips on how to cut down: Drink tap water over bottled water: while there are still microplastics in tap water, a study by Orb Media found that bottled water contains 50 percent more microplastics than tap water. Filter your water: using a water filter with a membrane that filters particles smaller than 5mm in size will drastically reduce the number of microplastics in your drinking water.Wear clothing made from natural textiles: synthetic fibers shed plastic microfibers while you wear or launder them.Vacuum your home regularly: microplastics can linger in dust, and regular vacuuming may reduce the amount you inhale at home.Avoid ordering food that’s served in styrofoam packaging: these containers contain polystyrene, which makes up many of the microplastics found in oceans. Conclusion While it’s likely that the world will never stop using plastic, we can all find ways to use less plastic, which will help reduce the overall amount of microplastic we put into the world.
A zoom-in on a tumbler glass about 2/3 filled with water, with another glass in the background, on a brown wooden table.
Water qualityMineral Water: What Am I Drinking?Different waters may all appear the same, but mineral water possesses its own distinctions. Mineral water is found in certain springs that contain salts and sulfur compounds and can be still or effervescent. By definition and FDA regulations, mineral water must contain at least 250 parts per million of total dissolved solids (TDS) from a protected underground water source. Mineral water contains lots of minerals that are good for you, and these minerals all occur naturally. Minerals Contained in Mineral Water The minerals contained in mineral water are different from the minerals found in tap water. Mineral water is rich in dissolved minerals and gases that benefit the human body, including the following: Calcium Essential for the regulation of muscle contraction, bone development, and transmission of nerve impulses.Magnesium Essential for protection from cardiovascular diseases and bone formation.Bicarbonate Promotes digestion by neutralizing gastric activity.Silica Possesses bone-strengthening properties.Potassium Regulates muscles and acid-base balance.Sodium Essential for the fundamental regulation of body fluids.Chloride Essential in the formation of hydrochloric acid (stomach juices).Sulfate Regulates intestinal peristalsis and possesses laxative properties. Are These Minerals Safe to Consume? Although mineral water is deemed safe for most individuals, there are a few drawbacks to be aware of. Water Intoxication This is the opposite of dehydration and refers to a medical condition where too much water is consumed over a short period. It can dilute the body’s salt and electrolyte levels, leading to a homeostatic imbalance and abnormal kidney functioning. Mineral water can accelerate water intoxication in cases of athletes and people performing high-intensity workouts. Gastroesophageal Reflux Disorder (GERD) GERD is the repeated backflow of stomach acid into the esophagus. Consuming excessive amounts of carbonated mineral water can exacerbate this condition in people who already suffer from regular acid reflux. Drinking non-carbonated mineral water is advised for those with GERD conditions. Microplastics There's always the concern that microplastics from plastic water bottles are an issue for human health. While the long-term health implications of microplastics are still unknown, some research suggests it could link to disruption of stomach functions, inflammation, obesity, cardiovascular disorders, induced oxidative stress, and cancer. High Sodium Levels Some mineral water brands may be too high in sodium for those who need a low-sodium diet. Excess sodium retains fluid in the body and causes an increase in blood pressure, increasing the risk of stroke, heart failure, stomach cancer, kidney disease, and osteoporosis. People at risk of metabolic syndromes and cardiovascular conditions should avoid sodium-rich mineral waters. Benefits of Drinking Mineral Water Because of the unique composition of minerals and organic compounds, mineral water offers some great health benefits. Improved Bone Health Mineral water is a great source of calcium which is important for bone health at all stages of life. In addition to magnesium and bicarbonate, calcium supports the body in the development and maintenance of bones. Calcium is also absorbed more efficiently from mineral water than from dairy products. Reduced Blood Pressure Magnesium and calcium levels in mineral water also contribute to lowered blood pressure. One study showed that 70 adults with high blood pressure found that drinking at least 1 liter of natural mineral water a day significantly reduced their blood pressure levels. Improved Heart Health Carbonated mineral water has been shown to protect against heart disease because it contains magnesium. Two studies found that postmenopausal women who drank 1 liter of carbonated mineral water per day significantly reduced their levels of LDL (bad) cholesterol and increased their levels of HDL (good) cholesterol. Eased Constipation Mineral water works to prevent and treat constipation. The sulfate and magnesium draw water into the intestines and relax the intestinal muscles. This makes the stool softer and easier to pass. Adequate fluid intake is important for regular bowel movements in general, but mineral water helps with this process even more. In Summary Pure mineral water bottled at the source contains rich levels of minerals that are beneficial to our overall well-being. However, keep it simple and reach for whichever type of water you’re most likely to drink enough of, including reverse osmosis water and remineralized water.
Image with vivid colours - a bottle of spring water (blue hues) on a white table, with lush greenery faded out in the background.
Filtering waterBottled Spring Water vs. Filtered Tap Water: Which Is Better?Drinking enough water is essential to your well-being. With that being said, there are so many different types of water on the market, so it can become slightly overwhelming to know which is the best option for you. People often wonder which is healthier and safer, bottled spring water or filtered tap water. Thankfully, you don't have to worry. We have summarized what you need to know about each one in this article. Differences Between Bottled Spring Water and Filtered Tap Water Spring water is a favored form of bottled water. Spring water comes from groundwater, which exists underground in aquifers that sit below the earth’s natural water table. Spring water collects at the opening of a spring when water naturally flows along the earth’s surface, and is considered pre-purified because it travels through natural filters. Filtered tap water has been mechanically processed or filtered to remove impurities like viruses, bacteria, lead, copper, and chemical pollutants like trihalomethanes. However, there are still essential minerals in tap water. Benefits of Bottled Spring Water The primary benefit of bottled spring water is its high essential mineral content and the fact that it undergoes natural filtration, unlike other types of water that need mechanical or chemical filtration. Spring water is naturally purified as it flows through underground rocks, clay, and limestone. This also gives the water its high mineral content, leaving it enriched and purified free of toxins and chemicals. The minerals in spring water are in ionic form, which means they are more easily absorbed into the body—more than minerals in food, supplements, and those added to other bottled water. Spring water contains the highest level of minerals compared to any other type of water. Additionally, the high mineral content enhances the water’s taste, providing a refreshing drinking experience. If the bottled spring water is obtained directly from the aquifer, it is pure and free of toxins, bacteria, heavy metals, and added chemicals like fluoride that are used to treat tap water. Benefits of Filtered Tap Water There are many benefits to filtering your tap water. Filtering tap water removes potentially harmful bacteria, viruses, impurities, and contaminants like chlorine, heavy metals, and disinfection byproducts. At the same time, water filters still ensure that important minerals like calcium, magnesium, potassium, and zinc are retained. Filtered tap water also tastes and smells better due to the impurities being removed. On an environmental level, filtering your tap water is much more eco-friendly due to the production of plastic for bottled water. Bottled water is a big source of pollution—it also uses three times as much water to produce the plastic bottle as it does to fill it. Using a water filter to purify your tap water at home will help the environment. Using a water filter is also more cost-effective than buying bottled water. The once-off cost of purchasing a water filter will end up saving you lots of money in the long run. So... Which Is Better? On a health level, natural bottled spring water is the best option due to its rich mineral content that is highly absorbed by the body. However, that is not to say that filtered tap water is unhealthy. Filtered tap water is still very beneficial because it does not contain any potentially harmful contaminants and still provides you with essential minerals. On an environmental and cost-effective level, filtered tap water is the better option. Filtering your tap water means less spent on bottled water and fewer bottles in landfills or the ocean. It is also important to remember that many bottled water companies do not disclose the source of their water, so you cannot always be 100 percent sure you are drinking natural, pure spring water. However, at the end of the day, both bottled spring water and filtered tap water are safe and beneficial, so the choice depends entirely on personal preference and what’s more convenient and accessible to you.
A person wearing a white t-shirt (we see a glimpse of their torso and arms), next to a silver sink, tap, and faucet, in the corner of a kitchen with a marble-like interior.
Filtering water7 Important Health Benefits of Filtered Water Water is an essential part of our survival, and often we don’t stop to consider where it’s being sourced and what the quality is like. We naturally assume we are receiving the best possible output, but is that always the case? In many places, it’s not possible to simply turn on the tap and drink a glass of water—the tap water is deemed undrinkable. That is where filtered water comes into play. Filtered water is essential because it gives people access to clean water that tastes good, is free of contaminants, and is a reliable source of hydration. Without water filters, there is the risk of becoming ill from contaminated water. There are many types of water filters out there, but all of them offer the basics of the water purification process. Water filtering involves water that undergoes the removal of bacteria, viruses, dirt, harmful chemicals like trihalomethanes, pesticides, and other particles that contaminate the water. There are systems in place that filter public water supplies, but these processes vary from state to state. The primary importance of water filtration is to prevent water-borne illnesses and diseases. Babies, seniors, and people with poor immune systems are more susceptible to getting sick from contaminated tap water. Home water filters allow everyone to hydrate themselves with safe, healthy water. Apart from filtered water being safe to drink, it has an array of health benefits that are valuable to our overall wellbeing, such as the following: 1. No Metals or Impurities Potentially harmful impurities are removed through the filtration process, including sediment, dirt, mold, and rust. These impurities come from dirty, rusty pipes that the tap water runs through and may give the water a metallic taste. That means whatever is lying in the pipes goes into your glass. Filtered water removes these impurities, so you don’t need to worry about them. 2. Removes Chlorine Chlorine is used to treat tap water to prevent water-borne illnesses and diseases. While chlorine is good for decontamination, high doses can also prove harmful to your health. Filtering water removes the chlorine and its health implications. 3. Better for the Environment People typically turn to bottled water in an effort to avoid tap water without realizing the harm it causes to the environment. The production of making the plastic bottle uses three times more water than just filling the bottle. Then there is the issue of plastic waste in the ocean and landfills. When you filter your own water, you can cut out the excess plastic and save the environment from the harmful impact of plastic production. 4. Improves Digestion Filtered water improves the healthy mineral content, which in turn improves and promotes better digestion and hydration. When you are properly hydrated with water that contains essential minerals, your body can more easily transport and process these nutrients to where they are needed. 5. Better Taste and Smell Filtering your water also improves its taste and smell. Tap water can have all sorts of strange flavors and unpleasant smells, which are not very inviting. This is especially the case with areas that have lots of natural water sources. Filtering your water allows you to enjoy a cleaner, more purified taste. 6. Removes Bad Bacteria A water filter removes thousands of potentially harmful microorganisms from your water supply. Some of the bacteria and viruses found in water can make people sick. Filtered water is safer for consumption because it contains no harmful microorganisms. 7. Provides Necessary Vitamins and Minerals Although filtered water removes the potentially harmful compounds, it retains the minerals, so you can still consume all the necessary essential minerals through your filtered water. Some of these minerals include calcium, magnesium, and potassium. Is Filtered Water Better Than Tap Water? Scientists say that most tap water is just as good as the water in bottles or streaming out of a filter, and there are still essential minerals in tap water. However, that is highly dependent on where in the world you live. Assuming that tap water complies with all health and safety codes, it is perfectly fine to drink—but there is always the chance that there may be unwanted sediment or microorganisms in your glass. Filtered water is the safer bet as it purifies the water and makes it safe for consumption while retaining the essential minerals the body needs. Filtered water does wonders for your health through optimum hydration and nutrient absorption.
Glimpse of a torso, with the person wearing a grey shirt and holding glass of water, with a green vase populated with dainty purple and white flowers on a wooden table in the middle of the room
Filtering waterPick the Right Water Filter to Improve Your Home Water QualityWater filters remove potentially harmful compounds and elements that cause drinking water to have an unpleasant taste and smell like bacteria, chlorine, and even metal. Home filtration systems can improve water quality and purity, but how do you pick the right one for you? Read on to find out. How Do Home Water Filters Work? There are many home filters, and each one works differently based on the kind of water it is designed to treat. Here is a look at the top five types of home water filters. Carbon filtration Carbon filters trap and absorb contaminants in the water, including sediment and harsh chemicals like chlorine. The contaminants are drawn to the surface of the activated carbon and bond to it, the same way a magnet attracts and holds iron filings.Ultraviolet filtration A UV filtration system uses UV light to disinfect water by removing harmful bacteria and pathogens.Distillation This filtration method is also called steam filtration and works by heating water until it reaches boiling point. The water vapor is then collected as it condenses. Distillation removes many of the contaminants, including trihalomethanes, in drinking water.Reverse osmosis A reverse osmosis system reverses the natural flow of water so that it passes through a semi-permeable membrane that removes contaminants. However, the reverse osmosis system is part of a comprehensive filter system.Ceramic filtration Ceramic filters stop contaminants larger than pore size, making them good for microbes and bacteria. Home water filters work to change the taste and remove unwanted impurities from the water out the tap like sediment, dirt, organic compounds, odor, and bacteria to create better quality water, generally with mineral content. 10 Different Types of Home Water Filters There are many different home water filter systems available, so we have outlined the top ten: 1. Water Pitcher Filters A water pitcher filter is a large pitcher with a built-in water filter. These are easy and affordable ways to get clean filtered drinking water in your home. 2. Faucet Filters A faucet filter attaches directly to your sink faucet. They have a pass-through that allows the sink to flow freely when the filter is not in use. To get filtered water, you simply flip the switch on the filter to activate it. 3. Countertop Filters There are two types of countertop filters: The first type has a large reservoir on the bottom with a filter on the top. This filter holds much more water than a pitcher but doesn’t fit into the refrigerator. The second type hooks onto your house’s main water at the kitchen sink. It has its own faucet that dispenses filtered water when turned on. These are smaller and take up less counter space. 4. Under-Sink Filters This filter fits underneath the sink and hooks directly onto the main water line, so you get an unlimited capacity of filtered water. They include their own small faucet mounted by the main faucet on the countertop. 5. Whole House Filters Whole-house filters are the largest type of home water filter and are designed to purify all the water for your entire home. These filters hook into the mainline of your house and typically require professional installation. 6. Water Bottle Filters These are some of the smallest and least expensive home water filters on the market. They often feature a filter straw that filters the water on its way to your mouth and is convenient for drinking water wherever you go. 7. Ultra-Violet Filters UV filters work by exposing the water to UV light that kills bacteria, viruses, and protozoa. These filters are small and lightweight and run on batteries. However, they do not remove sediment from the water. 8. Reverse Osmosis As discussed previously, reverse osmosis is a very involved form of filtration that essentially removes everything from the water, including minerals. Reverse osmosis water filters may have to be installed by a professional. 9. Squeeze or Gravity Filter This filter is small, portable, durable, and reliable and is mainly designed for backcountry or emergency use. The gravity filters have you hang the reservoir and allow gravity to pull the water down through the filter. A squeeze filter enables you to force water through the filter using a water bag reservoir. 10. Portable Pump Filter These filters are also designed for emergency or backcountry use. This filter involves you putting a hose into the water source and manually pumping a handle that creates suction. The water is pulled through the filter and expelled from the hose on the other side. Do At-Home Water Filters Remove Bacteria? In general, water filters do not kill bacteria; rather, they may remove some bacteria from the drinking water. Some filters are better at removal than others, which is why it is important to understand the different filters and which are more effective for what you’re looking for when it comes to drinking filtered water. UV filtration, reverse osmosis, and ceramic filters effectively remove harmful bacteria and viruses. It is important to always keep your home water filter clean as some water filters remove biocides, which are substances that control the growth of harmful bacteria like chlorine. Without biocides, the bacteria could regrow, unless the water filter is cleaned and the water is stored in a sterile, cool, and dark place.
Man in overalls and hardhat looking at smartphone while crouching next to body of water
Water qualityEverything There Is to Know About Trihalomethanes in Drinking WaterTrihalomethanes are a group of volatile and potentially toxic chemical compounds formed when water is treated with chlorine, which then reacts with organic matter in water. Trihalomethane compounds are colorless and evaporate from the water into the air. At elevated levels, trihalomethanes have been associated with negative health effects like cancer and adverse reproductive outcomes. We have outlined everything there is to know about trihalomethanes in this post. Examples of Trihalomethanes There are four significant trihalomethanes found in disinfected drinking water, and their combined concentration is known as total trihalomethanes (TTHM). To understand trihalomethanes, it is important to first consider methane, which is a single carbon with four bonds linked to four hydrogen molecules (CH₄). To make a trihalomethane, three of those hydrogen atoms are removed and replaced with three halogens. A halogen is any element from the seventeenth column of the periodic table. If all three of the substituted halogens are chlorides, it creates chloroform (CHCI₃). If all three molecules are bromide, it creates bromoform (CHBr₃). One bromide and two chlorides make bromodichloromethane (CHBrCl₂). Therefore, trihalomethanes are a group of four chemicals: bromoform, bromodichloromethane, chloroform, and dibromochloromethane. Bromoform Bromoform is a colorless liquid with a chloroform-like odor. It is denser than water and slightly soluble. It has been classified as a human carcinogen and is toxic by ingestion, inhalation, and skin absorption.Bromodichloromethane Bromodichloromethane is colorless and dissolves in water but also quickly evaporates into the air. Bromodichloromethane was formerly used as a flame retardant or solvent for fats and waxes because of its high density for mineral separation. It is harmful if ingested and causes liver and kidney damage.Chloroform Chloroform is a colorless liquid that quickly evaporates into a gas. Chloroform is harmful to the eyes, skin, liver, kidneys, and nervous system. These chemical compounds can be toxic if swallowed or inhaled, and exposure to chloroform could also cause cancer.Dibromochloromethane Dibromochloromethane is a colorless to yellow liquid with a sweetish odor. It has been classified as a possible human carcinogen. How Do Trihalomethanes Affect the Human Body? The standards of drinking water are called maximum contaminant level or MCL. MCLs have been put in place to reduce the risk of chemicals in drinking water. Some MCLs limit the levels of chemicals that pose a long-term risk, and others limit the daily amount consumed for chemicals that pose an immediate risk. The trihalomethane MCL is set at a safe level that balances long-term health risks but also keeps the drinking water safe from bacterial contamination. The Environmental Protection Agency has stated that the maximum level of trihalomethanes in large surface public water systems is 80 parts per billion. Individuals could be exposed to trihalomethanes in water by ingesting them or absorbing them through the skin. Trihalomethanes easily vaporize into the air, so inhalation exposure to these compounds can be significant, especially when bathing and showering. High levels of trihalomethanes are dangerous. Trihalomethanes have been associated with negative health effects. People who consume trihalomethanes over many years have an increased risk of developing cancer. These chlorination by-products have also been linked to heart, lung, liver, kidney, and central nervous system damage. Pregnant women are also at a greater risk as trihalomethanes have been shown to negatively impact reproduction and cause miscarriages. Can You Remove Trihalomethanes From Drinking Water? Fortunately, trihalomethanes can be removed from drinking water. The easiest way to reduce or eliminate trihalomethanes from drinking water is to use a water pitcher with a carbon filter or install a tap-mounted carbon filter. Other methods include reverse osmosis, enhanced coagulation, UV filters, and water softeners. In Summary The chlorination process is essential for purifying water to make it safe for human consumption. The levels of chlorine in water are carefully monitored to ensure they remain at a safe standard. However, the chlorination process also produces trihalomethanes, which can be harmful to human health. Trihalomethanes are known carcinogens and increase the risk of cancer and miscarriage in pregnant women. It is recommended to have your water tested to see the level of trihalomethanes.
Lady drinking water from a glass, looking directly at the camera
Structured waterAeration - On a Chemical LevelIn order to explore the science behind Mayu Water, we will refer to two key premises. Biomimicry is the concept that the earth's natural mechanisms provide the most efficient and elegant methods for life to thrive. In other words, emulating nature's intelligence will provide optimal results. The Human Angle - Body and Soul Life cannot exist without water, that is a universal and basic law of nature. The importance of hydration cannot be overstated. Aeration - On a Chemical Level Atmospheric Oxygen - In; CO2 - Out. What Is Aeration? Aeration is the process of bringing water and air into close contact. Aeration influences the water’s physical and chemical characteristics as well as taste, odor, texture, and overall quality. A flowing motion rejuvenates the water, allows it to absorb atmospheric oxygen, and gives the water its native living structure. How Does It Work? The swirling motion introduces atmospheric air into the water, allowing fresh oxygen to dissolve within it. The interface of water and air, expanded by the vortex motion, allows for increased gas exchange and air circulation, causing volatile compounds to release from the water and fresh oxygen to diffuse in. Fresh Oxygen Is Vital to the Quality of Water The benefits of aeration have been verified by the World Health Organization and other prominent institutions. The swirling motion – a transfer between gas and water takes place as we affect the surface and bring in oxygen. Simultaneously, undesirable compounds are released and evaporate. CO2 embedded in the water, for example, evaporates — and through this process, pH levels in the water are elevated. How Exactly Does This Happen? the swirling motion causes the aqueous CO2 (carbon dioxide) to become gas CO2 and leaves the water: CO2 (aq)->CO2 (gas).Carbonic acid (H2CO3) in the water then creates CO2 according to this reaction: H2CO3 ->CO2 + H2O.Bicarbonate (HCO3–) in the water creates carbonic acid (H2CO3) according to this: HCO3– + H+->H2CO3. The net result: H+ (an acid) is consumed, and pH levels go up. The swirling aeration process helps evaporate and remove dissolved toxic gases and volatile organic compounds (VOC) such as radon, carbon dioxide, hydrogen sulfide, nitrogen trichloride, trihalomethanes, trichloroethylene, dichloroethylene, chlorine, ammonia, methane, volatile organics (MTBE, PCE, TCE, toluene, and other industrial solvents). These substances are all considered hazardous materials and potentially dangerous when consumed in excess. It’s important to emphasize that the Mayu Swirl does NOT filter or purify drinking water. We highly recommend using a good filter to make sure you start with pure H2O. Taste - Aerated Water Tastes and Feels Better The chemical and natural processes described above bring the water to its optimized neutral state — that is, pH balanced, rejuvenated, and revitalized. In a double-blind taste test, 87% of subjects in our experiment perceived a clear, unmistakably improved, and almost sweet taste when compared to non-aerated water (interestingly, child samplers were particularly perceptive to the differences in water quality). Other studies have confirmed that swirled water is indeed sweeter and more delicious. Aeration balances the water’s pH level, quantifiably improving its taste, odor, and overall quality. Get our Swirl and see for yourself.