I cannot wrap my mind around this… every Republican in the U.S. House of Representatives, along with some Democrats from coal producing states, voted last week to repeal the Clean Water Act of 1972. They would like to get the federal government out of the picture and allow individual states to regulate water pollution–you know, with all that extra money they currently have. For more, see this link and watch the 7-minute video from MSNBC.
Archive for the ‘Water’ Category
One of my children has very dry skin, so I’ve been looking for a way to remove chlorine from his bath/shower water to see if that helps. I filter chlorine out of our drinking water so why not filter it out of bathing water, since your body absorbs chlorine through your skin as well as through your GI tract? Shower filters are pricey but there are several bath balls available. We recently purchased one from Rainshow’r that contains a KDF formula made of 70% copper and 30% zinc. As chlorinated water flows through the bath ball, which you need to pull through the tub water for 5-8 minutes, the filaments cause the chlorine ions to combine with a metal ion to form harmless chloride. So while KDF is not a “filter,” it does change chlorine from an element into a compound.
The Rainshow’r maker also claims that their bath ball can break the bond between chlorine and ammonia in chloramines, allowing the chlorine to be converted to chloride. Chloramines form in your tap water when chlorine combines with nitrogen-containing compounds, such as the ammonia that is added by water treatment facilities to disinfect. Chloramine smell is most often associated with the smell at indoor pools.
Pulling the softball sized bath ball through the tub for 5-8 minutes isn’t terribly convenient, but I do believe it’s helping as I can no longer smell chlorine during my children’s baths. I’ve only been using it for a week so I don’t know if it will help with my son’s dry skin. But if it does work for the price, it’s a great deal!
My husband has a t-shirt he got in college that says “Save Water, Drink Beer.” If only it were that easy…
We try to conserve water around our house by watering the grass less, using a high efficiency washing machine, running our dishwashers on the light cycle, and using low flow shower heads. But I recently learned of an even better way to save even more water–eat less meat.
It’s hard to think about the resources that go into the products we buy when we just don’t know. How much petroleum did it take to grow that vegetable conventionally? How many acres of virgin forests were cut down to provide the resources for the toilet paper your family uses? How much water was used to produce that steak you’re going to have for dinner? Continue reading »
A scary report out today says that traces of various pharmaceutical drugs, including antibiotics, have been found in the drinking water of 24 major metropolitan areas. The report says that the chlorine added to our water could make these drugs more toxic, that the drugs could be more dangerous than other pollutants because they are designed to act on the human body, and that the only way to remove them is through expensive reverse osmosis filtration. A few other interesting tidbits from the article:
- Recent laboratory research has found that small amounts of medication have affected human embryonic kidney cells, human blood cells and human breast cancer cells. The cancer cells proliferated too quickly; the kidney cells grew too slowly; and the blood cells showed biological activity associated with inflammation.
- Pharmaceuticals in waterways are damaging wildlife across the nation and around the globe, research shows. Notably, male fish are being feminized, creating egg yolk proteins, a process usually restricted to females.
- Over the past five years, the number of U.S. prescriptions rose 12 percent to a record 3.7 billion.
- Contamination is not confined to the United States. More than 100 different pharmaceuticals have been detected in lakes, rivers, reservoirs and streams throughout the world.
In order to kill any potential contaminants, almost all municipal water is treated with chlorine. It’s important to purify our drinking water, but unfortunately, we shouldn’t be drinking this chlorine either. Chlorine is listed in the 1990 Clean Air Act as a hazardous pollutant1. Exposure to chlorine has been linked to gastrointestinal and urinary-tract cancer2, and most recently, bladder cancer3. Chlorine also combines with other compounds in the water forming a whole host of chemicals we shouldn’t be consuming. Of course the quantities of chlorine in your tap water are minimal (we’re talking a few drops per hundreds of gallons) but considering that we are not only exposed to chlorine through the water we drink, but also through the water we use throughout the day–from washing dishes to showering–it doesn’t hurt to try to reduce our exposure.