Thursday, June 18, 2009

Child Safety: Why There is a Need for Home Water Purifiers and Filters

by: Renee Smallwood

Our children are our future. As responsible parents, we need to do everything in our power to ensure children have a safe environment to grow and thrive in. Some of the major threats to the health of our children include lead, air pollution and second hand tobacco smoke, pesticides, and drinking water contamination.

What can you do to improve your immediate environment? Consider carefully, all the chemicals that you use in your home, and store what you have out of the reach of children. Do not smoke. And, use home water purifiers and filters to provide the best water for drinking, cooking and bathing.

Enacted in 1974, the Safe Drinking Water Act, is administered by the Environmental Protection Agency to regulate the quality of public drinking water and protect the sources of that water. It currently sets safe levels for about 90 contaminants, and has methods in place to evaluate other contaminants.

One of the newer mandates of the Act, is the requirement that the local public utility that provides your water, send an Annual Water Quality Report. You should read and understand that report. It contains the contaminants that are found in the water in your area. It will also let you know the source of the water that comes out of your tap.

In the most recent report received from my water supplier, there was one statement that caught my eye: �Some people may be more vulnerable to contaminants in drinking water than the general population.� With further investigation, what this statement means, is that if you are not an average, healthy adult (which is what the safe levels for contaminants are set on), then the tap water may not be safe for you.

Included in this more vulnerable group are infants, children and pregnant women. If you think about it, our bodies are just a big filter. We filter out the nutrients we need from our food and water and our liver and kidneys filter out the toxins and waste we do not want. Adult bodies systems are fully developed. The vulnerable group has systems that are still maturing. Science is studying the cumulative effects and cancer potentials of contaminants on these developing bodies.

The EPA provides excellent information in a booklet called �WATER ON TAP what you need to know�. In the very first section, there is a box titled:�Sensitive Subpopulations�. In that box it states: �If you have special health care needs, consider taking additional precautions with your drinking water, and seek advice from your health care provider�.

One of the suggested additional precautions is the use of home water purifiers and filters. Use the information in your annual water report to research the system that will best remove the contaminants in your water. Make sure the product you choose is tested and certified by Underwriters Laboratories under NSF Standards numbers 42 and 53. Also, if the product has a State Health Certificate, such as California's, then that ensures further the maufacuturers claims for the level of removal for a specific contaminant.

Renee Smallwood has been a health care professional for more than 30 years. She sees first hand the health effects of proper hydration. To learn more about what you can do to ensure you are getting the best water to maintain a healthy lifestyle, visit her blog at

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