What is the best method of removing chemicals including Chlorine and Fluoride from drinking water? Which is better a water distiller, reverse osmosis or water filters?
Only a small fraction of the water on earth is suitable for human consumption. In Australia we have already resorted to building large desalination plants that purify saline water from the ocean via methods such as reverse osmosis and distillation, and unfortunately these methods are extremely energy intensive.
Sourcing healthy drinking water has become a major concern and many people are resorting to bottled water as a way to increase their water intake from a pure source. The implications of the production of bottled water are detrimental for the health of the planet (over 60 million plastic water bottles are thrown into landfills yearly in America) and also for the health of the individual (plastic bottles contain xenoestrogens which cause hormonal problems).
We are fortunate if we live in countries, where due to public water treatment facilities, our water supplies are of a very high standard. Unfortunately however, our water supplies often still contain heavy metals such as Chlorine, Flouride and Lead, traces of pesticides, herbicides, bacteria, industrial solvents and synthetic chemicals. These chemicals and heavy metals can be the cause of many modern diseases (they have been linked to cancer of the bladder, colon, breast and other degenerative diseases). Don Tolman (a well known American spokesman for nutrition) talks about water in bottles being stagnant and void of energy, likening it to a stagnant pond. By filtering the water you plan to consume the health benefits are exponential and it is a far more convenient alternative, as well as being environmental friendly.
Purifying water options
- Fitration systems - typically use carbon to attract contaminants to adhere to the porous surface of the carbon substance. Some of the sources of carbon are coconut, charcoal and ceramics This process helps removes odour, taste and particles in the water. There are many different filtration systems available and it seems the surest bet is the multi-stage filtration systems that use a range of different mediums to ensure that most contaminants are dealt with.
Contaminants removed by filtration are lead, PCBs, chlorine byproducts (chloramines and trihalomethanes), certain parasites, radon, pesticides and herbicides, the gasoline additive MTBE, the dry-cleaning solvent trichloroethylene, some volatile organic compounds, some levels of bacteria (such as Cryptosporidium and Giardia) and a small number of pharmaceuticals.
- Reverse osmosis - is a process where water is passed through a thin membrane under high pressure. This process requires a lot of energy and a large amount of water is wasted during the process. This system does remove a wide range of contaminants but molecules that are smaller then water molecules can not filtered as they are small enough to pass through the membrane, these include volatile synthetic chemicals.
Contaminants removed by Reverse Osmosis are perchlorate, sulfates, fluoride, industrial chemicals, heavy metals (including lead), chlorine byproducts, chlorides (which make water taste salty) and pharmaceuticals.
- The distillation process - involves boiling the water and then collecting the condensing water which has been purified to great extent. Distillation is also energy - intensive.
Contaminants removed by distillation are heavy metals (including lead), particles, total dissolved solids, microbes, fluoride, lead and mercury.
- The therapeutic actions of Ionizing water filters aim to promote health and minimise diseases caused by the alkaline/ acid pH balance and dehydration. Ionized water contains Hydroxyl ions (these are water molecules with an extra electron) which are found in vitamins such as Vitamins A, C and E. These potent antioxidants are free radical scavengers (reduce inflammation) thereby increasing hydration and oxygenation.
Many water filters also look at the correlation between health and our bodies’ overall state of relative acidity and alkalinity. Every cell in our bodies is affected by the pH level, too much acid creates an oxidation effect and causes cell destruction (cancer, arthritis, kidney diseases), whereas an alkaline environment is sustaining for the health of all bodily systems. The key for maintaining a healthy pH is to keep it above 7.1 on the pH meter.
The ionizing water filters are recommended by and for individuals who have chronic debilitating health conditions who require to increase their cellular health and vitality by ensuring proper hydration, pH balance, elimination of heavy metals and antioxidant status.
An international standard called The NSF (national sanitation foundation) International provides a range of certifications for filtration products.
- NSF 42 covers aesthetic effects such as chlorine, taste, odour and particles.
- NSF 53 covers health effects such as cysts (giardia, cryptosporidium), a range of organic chemicals (such as THM and pesticides) and heavy metals.
Check out this helpful website that lists a range of review sites for more information and comparisons of the best products: