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Toxins in the Tap

From the Show: Health Radio
Summary: What toxins are in your tap?
Air Date: 5/20/16
Duration: 10
Host: Melanie Cole, MS
Guest Bio: Todd Bartee
Todd BarteeTodd Bartee joined Aquasana in January 2010, and is leading the company’s charge to educate consumers on water wellness, including the health and environmental importance of drinking, showering, and cooking with filtered water. A trained environmental engineer with an expertise in recycling, water and waste-water treatment, Todd has a deep understanding of the chemical impact our actions have on our vital water supply and natural resources. Bartee holds an undergraduate degree from Texas A&M and an MBA from the University of Texas at Austin. Bartee lives with his wife and children in Austin, Texas.
  • Guest Facebook Account: www.facebook.com/aquasana/
Toxins in the Tap
What happened in Flint, Michigan can happen anywhere. The way the water was sourced changed, altering the water chemistry. Lead got into the water, people got sick and someone brought it to the attention of the media.

In the United States we have water treatment facilities. We're better off than many parts of the world, and we still had the problem in Flint. This can happen anywhere.

The top five potential toxins in tap water are as follows:
  1. Heavy metals (lead and mercury). Children are especially susceptible to the bad effects of heavy metals. Lead is odorless and has no taste.
  2. Pharmaceuticals. Don't flush them down the toilet because that moves them into the water supply.
  3. Herbicides & pesticides. Anything you put on your lawn and garden gets rinsed into the water supply. 
  4. Chlorine & chloramines. People don't like the taste of chlorine in drinking water but chloramines (chlorine and ammonia) don't have the same flavor. The problem with chloramines is they're more corrosive and harder to remove from water. It can damage the transit system from the plant to your house. Most filtration doesn't remove chloramines at a very effective rate.
  5. Industrial chemicals. Mercury is a biproduct of industrial processes.
Water treatment facilities were designed to kill water-borne diseases and keep them from making us sick. As more chemicals and processes are introduced into the water supply, our facilities haven't updated the water treatment methods.

The only way to know exactly what's in your tap is to test your water directly with a home testing kit. Any water filter is better than nothing. Invest in a water filter that's been certified by a third party.
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