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Hardness Minerals in Drinking Water

what causes hard waterWhen water is combined with carbon dioxide to form very weak carbonic acid, an even better solvent results. As water moves through soil and rock, it dissolves very small amounts of minerals and holds them in solution. Calcium and magnesium dissolved in water are the two most common minerals that make water "hard." The degree of hardness becomes greater as the calcium and magnesium content increases and is related to the concentration of multivalent cations dissolved in the water.

Water is a good solvent and picks up impurities easily. Pure water - tasteless, colorless, and odorless - is often called the universal solvent.

When water is combined with carbon dioxide to form very weak carbonic acid, an even better solvent results. As water moves through soil and rock, it dissolves very small amounts of minerals and holds them in solution. Calcium and magnesium dissolved in water are the two most common minerals that make water "hard." The degree of hardness becomes greater as the calcium and magnesium content increases and is related to the concentration of multivalent cations dissolved in the water.

Indications of Hard Water

Hard water interferes with almost every cleaning task from laundering and dishwashing to bathing and personal grooming. Clothes laundered in hard water may look dingy and feel harsh and scratchy. Dishes and glasses may be spotted when dry. Hard water may cause a film on glass shower doors, shower walls, bathtubs, sinks, faucets, etc. Hair washed in hard water may feel sticky and look dull. Water flow may be reduced by deposits in pipes.
Dealing with hard water problems in the home can be a nuisance. A number of hardness minerals in water affect the amount of soap and detergent necessary for cleaning. Soap used in hard water combines with the minerals to form a sticky soap curd. Some synthetic detergents are less effective in hard water because the active ingredient is partially inactivated by hardness, even though it stays dissolved. Bathing with soap in hard water leaves a film of sticky soap curd on the skin. The film may prevent removal of soil and bacteria. Soap curd interferes with the return of skin to its normal, slightly acid condition, and may lead to irritation. Soap curd on hair may make it dull, lifeless and difficult to manage.
When doing laundry in hard water, soap curds lodge in fabric during washing to make fabric stiff and rough. Incomplete soil removal from laundry causes graying of white fabric and the loss of brightness in colors. A sour odor can develop in clothes. Continuous laundering in hard water can shorten the life of clothes. In addition, soap curds can deposit on dishes, bathtubs and showers, and all water fixtures.
Hard water also contributes to the inefficient and costly operation of water-using appliances. Heated hard water forms a scale of calcium and magnesium minerals that can contribute to the inefficient operation or failure of water-using appliances. Pipes can become clogged with scale that reduces water flow and ultimately requires pipe replacement. Problems with red and black stains in dishwasher and dishes.

Potential Health Effects

Hard water is not a health hazard. In fact, the National Research Council (National Academy of Sciences) states that hard drinking water generally contributes a small amount toward total calcium and magnesium human dietary needs. They further state that in some instances, where dissolved calcium and magnesium are very high, water could be a major contributor of calcium and magnesium to the diet.
Researchers have studied water hardness and cardiovascular disease mortality. Such studies have been "epidemiological studies," which are statistical relationship studies.
While some studies suggest a correlation between hard water and lower cardiovascular disease mortality, other studies do not suggest a correlation. The National Research Council states that results at this time are inconclusive and recommends that further studies should be conducted.

Water Testing

If you are on a municipal water system, the water supplier can tell you the hardness level of the water they deliver. If you have a private water supply, you can have the water tested for hardness. Most water testing laboratories offer hardness tests for a fee. Also, many companies that sell water treatment equipment offer hardness tests. When using these water tests, be certain you understand the nature of the test, the water condition being measured, and the significance of the test results. An approximate estimate of water hardness can be obtained without the aid of outside testing facilities or testing kits or strips. Water hardness testing kits are available for purchase through water testing supply companies. If more accurate measurements are needed, contact a testing laboratory.

Interpreting Test Results

The hardness of your water will be reported in grains per gallon, milligrams per liter (mg/l) or parts per million (ppm). One grain of hardness equals 17.1 mg/l or ppm of hardness.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) establishes standards for drinking water which fall into two categories -- Primary Standards and Secondary Standards.
Primary Standards are based on health considerations and Secondary Standards are based on taste, odor, color, corrosivity, foaming, and staining properties of water. There is no Primary or Secondary standard for water hardness. Water hardness is classified by the U.S. Department of Interior and the Water Quality Association as follows:

Classification mg/l or ppm grains/gal
Soft 0 - 17.1 0 - 1
Slightly hard 17.1 - 60 1 - 3.5
Moderately hard 60 - 120 3.5 - 7.0
Hard 120 - 180 7.0 - 10.5
Very Hard 180 & over 10.5 & over

NOTE: Other organizations may use slightly different classifications.

Drops of Soap - A Hardness Test: Homemade Hardness Test - "Crude Test"

1. To 12 oz or 350 ml of water add dish detergent - one drop at a time.
2. Shake sample and look for suds. Count the number of drops.
3. When you see suds you are done.

Drops of Soap in 12 oz. Hardness - mg CaCO3/L Grains per Gallon Classification
10 0 - 17.1 0 - 1 Soft
20 17.1 - 60 1 - 3.5 Slightly hard
30 60 - 120 3.5 - 7.0 Moderately hard
40 120 - 180 7.0 - 10.5 Hard
50 180 & over 10.5 & over Very Hard

We Recommend either a laboratory test, Health Screening Test, or purchase some test strips.
For the water treatment professional/ water well drillers - we recommend a field test package.

Why Salt-Based Softeners are Being Banned?

old revert osmosisThe most common type of traditional water softener treats hard water through a process called ion exchange. The water softener runs the water through resin beads where the calcium and magnesium molecules switch places with sodium molecules, leaving the water soft. In more basic terms, the softener removes the hardness minerals – calcium and magnesium – from the water and replaces them with sodium. The salt brine water (sodium and chloride) is then discharged down the drain, wasting 150 gallons a week at a minimum.

Sodium and Chloride are not Eco-Friendly

The discharge of salt brines from the regeneration of water softeners can have a negative impact on the quality of water in groundwater basins, recycled water, and wastewaters. Higher sodium and chloride content increases the treatment costs and reduces the potential reuse of wastewater for farming and industrial applications. It can also impede the ability of a wastewater treatment agency to comply with discharge standards related to total dissolved solids (TDS). TDS is a measure of the total concentration of dissolved minerals in water, with chloride being just one of them. The problem is that most wastewater treatment facilities do not remove measurable mineral concentrations from the waste stream, so they are passed on to the environment.

California Sets the Example

California declared chloride the biggest contaminate affecting water supplies, the nation, and the world. Because individual municipalities usually control water sources, some states, like California, choose not to enforce statewide bans. The California solution was the implementation of Assembly Bill 1366 in 2005, enabling local communities to ban these types of water softeners to meet environmental discharge standards. Typically, city councils convene on this issue – in some instances, allowing residents to vote by ballot on banning these softeners in their communities. Sometimes this civic action is sparked by the threat of fines for not meeting discharge standards, and in other cases, by protesting farmers whose crops are damaged by sodium discharge. In the California community of Discovery Bay, leaders took action after repeatedly facing state fines for the high salinity levels in the wastewater it was discharging. In January 2014, the governing board approved rules banning the new installation of water softeners that use sodium, or potassium and discharge the salt solution into sewer lines. As of August 2014, salt water softeners have been banned in 25 California communities.

Other States Follow

- In May 2010, Hamburg Township in Michigan banned the use of salt water softeners, in order to protect their aquifers from excessive sodium.
-In Connecticut, brine discharge from salt water softeners is banned from entering private septic systems under the CT Public Health Code.
- In Texas, most softeners are banned from being installed in homes with private septic systems. A homeowner can legally install a water softener if it is labeled as “water-conserving,” and regenerates on demand, rather than on a schedule.
- In Massachusetts, brine discharge from salt water softeners is prohibited from entering private septic systems under Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection Title 5 regulations.
- In Arizona, Scottsdale was the first municipality to directly address salinity from water softeners, issuing an ordinance in March 2014. Under this new ordinance, residents can receive a rebate if they improve the efficiency of their existing ion-exchange water softener, choose a portable ion-exchange service, or remove their salt-based water softeners altogether.
- The debate still exists in local communities regarding the degree to which chloride causes harm to the environment. The trend right now is that many more communities are voicing and enforcing their support of salt-free water softeners.

Originally posted at https://www.pelicanwater.com

Why it's time to change your old revert osmosis?

old revert osmosisReverse osmosis as a method of water filtration can be described as one technology that is past its time. This method of purifying water, especially for drinking, can be said to be old and per say useless as compared to novel ways of purifying water that has been invented and developed over time. With an emphasis on desalination and removing of impurities from water that can be deemed safe for drinking, other newer ways of doing this are best suited to handle this task in comparison to the old reverse osmosis way of purification.

It's time to change your old revert osmosis system!

To understand how the most modern methods of water purification are better compared to reverse osmosis, it is best to know how the latter works. An analysis of this process shows that the desalination process is based on the cross filtration aspect to filter impurities and produce fresh water. So why is it considered old and useless? The fact that this process uses electricity since the water has to be pumped into the system leaves it a disadvantage of energy consumption if the water to be purified is of large quantities. Another reason is the wastage of water since not all of it will pass through the system hence leading to wastage.

Which alternatives exist to reverse osmosis? Well, the first one is the use of a water filter. The use of filters as a drinking water treatment system is the preferred alternative to the old reverse osmosis way. There exist several filters, most of which are eco-friendly and provide safe, soft and clean drinking water. An example of this is EcoFilters which offer solutions regarding the provision of water treatment. These filters are regarded as the best alternative to reverse osmosis based on the fact that the end product is safe for multipurpose use around the home with no harm to home machines but most importantly the water is considered safe for drinking.

Water for Sport Activities

water for sportThe water vs sports drinks debate has continued for the past 25 years or more. I find many athletes are still confused about which fluid is better for hydration, sports performance, and exercise recovery. Manufacturers of sports drinks must be doing something right because the sale of sports drinks continues to rise. However, many people continue to wonder, "Are sports drinks really more effective than water for hydration, performance, and exercise recovery?" As is the case with all health and fitness-related issues, there is rarely a one-size-fits-all solution. The need for fluid and electrolyte replacement depends on exercise intensity, duration, weather, and the rate of water loss through sweating, as well as the loss of electrolytes in the body.

Duration of Exercise Is the Critical Factor

However, the key factor to take into account when deciding whether to drink water vs sports drinks is the duration of exercise. Most experts agree that, in general, people who exercise for less than 60 minutes will rehydrate just fine with water, as long as they drink enough of it before, during, and after exercise. On the other hand, sports drinks have been proven to be more effective than water in improving performance and recovery for athletes who exercise for 60 minutes or longer. However, this does not mean that we should only consume sports drinks when exercising for more than an hour. No beverage replaces the need for drinking enough water regularly and throughout the day—regardless of the amount, duration, or intensity of exercise.

Other Factors for When to Drink Water vs Sports Drinks

There are a number of other factors that can increase fluid and electrolyte loss in the body while exercising. The most important ones include the following:

► High altitude

► Hot weather or warm indoor temperature

► Excessive sweating

► High-intensity exercise.

When these additional factors come into play, even if the exercise duration is less than 60 minutes, sports drinks can help to replenish not only the loss of water but also the loss of electrolytes and carbohydrates. Thus, the so-called water vs sports drinks debate is essentially nonexistent in mind. It’s not about choosing one or the other exclusively. Each has its unique benefits for health and safety, sports hydration, and exercise recovery.

All Drinking Water Is Not the Same

In addition, all drinking water is not the same, just as all sports drinks are not created equal. Most people think “water is just water.” But in reality, drinking waters are quite different in quality and even structure. Some drinking waters will hydrate better than others. For example, restructured ionized water is micro-clustered and thus can provide up to 6 times the hydration and absorption of tap or bottled waters. This also means that the water you drink will not sit in your stomach and slosh around while exercising. In addition, some waters, such as reverse osmosis and distilled water, are de-mineralized, which I do not recommend for athletes or anyone else for that matter (except for periodic cleansing).

What Is Demineralized Water?

In the WHO study, demineralized water is defined as water that contains little or no dissolved minerals in it. Demineralized water is not found abundantly in nature, except in rain water and ice. Groundwater and surface water that are found most abundantly in nature are not chemically pure water. These waters always contain small amounts of total dissolved substances (minerals, gasses, and organic matter). Artificially produced demineralized water (such as through distillation and reverse osmosis) were initially used in industries and laboratories. In the 1960s, these technologies became more accessible for drinking water treatment, especially where the source water was either ocean water or extremely hard or contaminated. However, according to the WHO, “It was clear from the very beginning that desalinated or demineralized water without further enrichment with some minerals might not be fully appropriate for consumption." The following categories explain some of the health effects associated with drinking low mineral water.

Demineralized water will tend to flush more electrolytes out of the body

To understand why de-mineralized water will actually cause your body to flush more minerals out, read more here. Since many athletes and fitness enthusiasts drinking bottled water, it’s important to note that most bottled water is either reprocessed tap water (containing unfiltered contaminants) or it is water purified via reverse osmosis or distillation. The best drinking water for sports and fitness performance and exercise recovery is water that is mineral-rich and is micro-clustered. Another factor that is critical to exercise recovery is whether the water we drink is acidic or alkaline in pH.

ecoagua™ filtered water for sport

ecoagua™ is keeping all natural minerals in your water. The additional nutrients are meant to supplement a healthy diet - not replace losses from exercise. ecoagua™ water, presenting all benefits of mineral water, could be compared to fitness waters, which fall somewhere between the sports drinks and plain water. They contain fewer calories and electrolytes than sports drinks but offer more than plain water. These fitness "super-waters" are advertised as being enhanced with everything from vitamins, oxygen, and glucose, to alleged fat-burning minerals. Keep in mind that the FDA does not require proof of this kind of claim. So think of these products as designer waters that serve the primary purpose of hydration and little more. Fluids are vital to helping your muscles function throughout your activity - but so is your blood sugar. You need to eat a light meal or snack of at least 100 calories about an hour or so before your activity. The nutrients from the snack will help you perform better and keep hunger from interfering with your activity.

Health risks from drinking demineralized water (part 2)

dangerous waterWater that is purified—primarily through distillation, reverse osmosis, or deionization—is demineralized water. The World Health Organization (WHO) released a study with sufficient evidence of health risks associated with drinking demineralized water. Data from the WHO study was based on experimental and observational studies. Experiments had been conducted on laboratory animals and with human volunteers, while observations were collected from populations who drink desalinated water as well as individuals drinking reverse osmosis water, and infants given beverages made with distilled water.

What Is Demineralized Water?

In the WHO study, demineralized water is defined as water that contains little or no dissolved minerals in it. Demineralized water is not found abundantly in nature, except in rain water and ice. Groundwater and surface water that are found most abundantly in nature are not chemically pure water. These waters always contain small amounts of total dissolved substances (minerals, gasses, and organic matter). Artificially produced demineralized water (such as through distillation and reverse osmosis) were initially used in industries and laboratories. In the 1960s, these technologies became more accessible for drinking water treatment, especially where the source water was either ocean water or extremely hard or contaminated. However, according to the WHO, “It was clear from the very beginning that desalinated or demineralized water without further enrichment with some minerals might not be fully appropriate for consumption." The following categories explain some of the health effects associated with drinking low mineral water.

Water and Mineral Balance in the Body

Demineralized water is reported to taste bad to most people and therefore may affect a number of water people consume and whether they stay hydrated or not. Drinking water of low mineral content conclusively showed that it had a negative effect on functions in the body that control water and mineral metabolism. This imbalance increases urine output (and thus the additional loss of calcium, magnesium, potassium, and chloride ions), changes the balance of minerals and water inside and outside cell membranes, and affects hormones that are key to the managing of body water balance. In 1993, the German Society for Nutrition came to the same conclusions and warned the public against drinking distilled or demineralized water. This society explained that water in the human body always contains specific concentrations of electrolytes that are controlled by the body. Electrolytes are electrically charged minerals such as potassium and sodium.

When demineralized water is consumed, our intestines have to add electrolytes to this water first, pulling them from body reserves. This leads to the dilution of electrolytes and insufficient body water redistribution which may compromise the function of vital organs. At the early stages of this condition, symptoms may include fatigue, headaches, weakness, as well as muscle cramps and even heart rate abnormalities.

Increased Risk of Water Intoxication

The symptoms of ingesting low mineral water over a long period of time may be gradual and with subtle changes. However, consuming demineralized water after intense or prolonged physical activity may cause acute symptoms such as delirium or shock. Water intoxication can occur with ingestion of a large amount of water within a short period of time.This risk increases with water that has lower mineral content. According to the WHO, “Acute health problems were reported in mountain climbers who had prepared their beverages with melted snow that was not supplemented with necessary ions.” In 1994, the CDC reported incidents of severe water intoxication symptoms with infants whose beverages were prepared with distilled or low mineral bottled water.

Reduced Levels of Calcium and Magnesium

Even though the food is a much richer source of calcium and magnesium intake than water, demineralized water can significantly affect the balance of these key minerals in the body. One of the reasons for this is because “the elements are usually present in water as free ions and, therefore, are more readily absorbed from water compared to food where they are mostly bound to other substances.” Many studies throughout the world have reported that people drinking water that is low in calcium and magnesium (i.e., soft water) are tied to higher incidence of death from cardiovascular disease compared to those drinking regular water. Recent studies also suggest that the intake of soft water may be associated with a higher risk of fracture in children and decreased bone density in adults. In addition, studies found that cooking with demineralized water caused a huge loss of essential elements from most foods. In some cases, the loss of calcium and magnesium was as much as 60%.

Increased Levels of Toxic Metals

Since low mineral water is unstable, it is highly corrosive. It will much more likely absorb metals and organic substances from pipes, tanks, and other water holdings. In addition, calcium and magnesium in food and water can help stop the absorption of heavy metals from the intestines into the blood. In general, people who drink low mineral water may be at higher risk of exposure to toxic metals compared to those who drink mineral water.

Conclusions

Drinking water that contains little or no essential minerals has been associated with various health risks related to water and mineral imbalance, increased risk of fractures in children and decalcification of bone in adults. It also is related to high blood pressure and heart disease, gastric and duodenal ulcers, pregnancy complications, thyroid issues, muscle cramps and weakness, fatigue, and several complications with newborns and infants. Drinking water should contain at least minimal levels of essential minerals and other natural substances. Unfortunately, the WHO did not recommend specific levels of essential minerals in the water. However, other researchers have recommended a minimum of 20 mg/l of calcium and 10 mg/l of magnesium. “Demineralized water that has not been remineralized . . . is not considered ideal drinking water," according to the WHO, and "therefore, its regular consumption may not be providing adequate levels of some beneficial nutrients."

Health risks from drinking demineralized water (part 1)

healthy water Demineralization of water was needed where the primary or the only abundant water source available was highly mineralized brackish water or sea water. Initially, these water treatment methods were not used elsewhere since they were technically exacting and costly. In this chapter, demineralized water is defined as water almost or completely free of dissolved minerals as a result of distillation, deionization, membrane filtration (Reverse Osmosis), electrodialysis or other technology.

Although the technology had its beginnings in the 1960’s, demineralization was not widely used at that time. However, some countries focused on public health research in this field, mainly the former USSR where desalination was introduced to produce drinking water in some Central Asian cities. It was clear from the very beginning that desalinated or demineralised water without further enrichment with some minerals might not be fully appropriate for consumption. There were three evident reasons for this:

► Demineralised water is highly aggressive and if untreated, its distribution through pipes and storage tanks would not be possible. The aggressive water attacks the water distribution piping and leaches metals and other materials from the pipes and associated plumbing materials.

► Distilled water has poor taste characteristics.

► Preliminary evidence was available that some substances present in water could have beneficial effects on human health as well as adverse effects. At one of the working meetings for preparation of guidelines for drinking water quality, the World Health Organization (WHO) considered the issue of the desired or optimum mineral composition of desalinated drinking water by focusing on the possible adverse health effects of removing some substances that are naturally present in drinking water (6). In the late 1970’s, the WHO also commissioned a study to provide background information for issuing guidelines for desalinated water. The final report, published in 1980 as an internal working document (7), concluded that “not only does completely demineralised water (distillate) have unsatisfactory organoleptic

At one of the working meetings for preparation of guidelines for drinking water quality, the World Health Organization (WHO) considered the issue of the desired or optimum mineral composition of desalinated drinking water by focusing on the possible adverse health effects of removing some substances that are naturally present in drinking water (6). In the late 1970’s, the WHO also commissioned a study to provide background information for issuing guidelines for desalinated water. The final report, published in 1980 as an internal working document (7), concluded that “not only does completely demineralised water (distillate) have unsatisfactory organoleptic properities, but it also has a definite adverse influence on the animal and human organism”. After evaluating the available health, organoleptic, and other information, the team recommended that demineralised water contain

► a minimum level for dissolved salts (100 mg/L), bicarbonate ion (30 mg/L), and calcium (30 mg/L);

► an optimum level for total dissolved salts (250-500 mg/L for chloride-sulfate water and 250-500 mg/L for bicarbonate water);

► a maximum level for alkalinity (6.5 mg/l), sodium (200 mg/L), boron (0.5 mg/L), and bromine (0.01 mg/L).

The WHO in the 2nd edition of Guidelines for Drinking-water Quality (1) evaluated calcium and magnesium in terms of water hardness but did not recommend either minimum levels or maximum limits for calcium, magnesium, or hardness.The first European Directive (62) established a requirement for minimum hardness for softened or desalinated water (≥ 60 mg/L as calcium or equivalent cations). This requirement appeared obligatorily in the national legislations of all EEC members, but this Directive expired in December 2003 when a new Directive (8) became effective. The new Directive does not contain a requirement for calcium, magnesium, or water hardness levels. On the other hand, it does not prevent member states from implementing such a requirement into their national legislation. Only a few EU Member States (e.g. the Netherlands) have included calcium, magnesium, or water hardness into their national regulations as a binding requirement. Some EU Member States (e.g. Austria, Germany) included these parameters at lower levels as unbinding regulations, such as technical standards (e.g., different measures for reduction of water corrosivity).

Drinking water should contain minimum levels of certain essential minerals (and other components such as carbonates). Unfortunately, over the two past decades, little research attention has been given to the beneficial or protective effects of drinking water substances. The main focus has been on the toxicological properties of contaminants. Nevertheless, some studies have attempted to define the minimum content of essential elements or TDS in drinking water, and some countries have included requirements or guidelines for selected substances in their drinking water regulations. The issue is relevant not only where drinking water is obtained by desalination (if not adequately re-mineralised) but also where home treatment or central water treatment reduces the content of important minerals and low-mineral bottled water is consumed.

Demineralised water that has not been remineralized , or low-mineral content water – in the light of the absence or substantial lack of essential minerals in it – is not considered ideal drinking water, and therefore, its regular consumption may not be providing adequate levels of some beneficial nutrients.

The possible health consequences of low mineral content water consumption are discussed in the following categories:

► Direct effects on the intestinal mucous membrane, metabolism and mineral homeostasis or other body functions.

► Practically zero calcium and magnesium intake.

► Low intake of other essential elements and microelements.

► Loss of calcium, magnesium and other essential elements in prepared food.

► Possible increased dietary intake of toxic metals leached from water pipe.

► Possible bacterial re-growth.

Salts are leached from the body under the influence of drinking water with a low TDS. Because adverse effects such as altered water-salt balance were observed not only in completely desalinated water but also in water with TDS between 50 and 75 mg/l, the team that prepared the 1980 WHO report recommended that the minimum TDS in drinking water should be 100 mg/l. The team also recommended that the optimum TDS should be about 200-400 mg/l for chloride-sulphate waters and 250-500 mg/l for bicarbonate waters (WHO 1980). The recommendations were based on extensive experimental studies conducted in rats, dogs and human volunteers.

Water exposures included tap water, desalinated water of approximately 10 mg/l TDS, and laboratory-prepared water of 50, 100, 250, 300, 500, 750, 1000, and 1500 mg/l TDS using the following constituents and proportions: Cl (40%), HCO3 (32%), SO4 (28%) / Na (50%), Ca (38%), Mg (12%). A number of health outcomes were investigated including: dynamics of body weight, basal and nitrogen metabolism, enzyme activity, water-salt homeostasis and its regulatory system, mineral content of body tissues and fluids, hematocrit, and ADH activity.

Sufficient evidence is now available to confirm the health risk from drinking water deficient in calcium or magnesium. Many studies show that higher water magnesium is related to decreased risks for CVD and especially for sudden death from CVD. This relationship has been independently described in epidemiological studies with different study designs, performed in different areas (with different populations), and at different times. The consistent epidemiological observations are supported by the data from autopsy, clinical, and animal studies. Biological plausibility for a protective effect of magnesium is substantial, but the specificity is less evident due to the multifactorial aetiology of CVD. In addition to an increased risk of sudden death, it has been suggested that intake of water low in magnesium may be associated with a higher risk of motor neuronal disease, pregnancy disorders (so-called preeclampsia, and sudden death in infants) and some types of cancer. Recent studies suggest that the intake of soft water, i.e. water low in calcium, is associated with higher risk of fracture in children, certain neurodegenerative diseases, pre-term birth and low weight at birth and some types of cancer. Furthermore, the possible role of water calcium in the development of CVD cannot be excluded.

TDS in Healthy Drinking Water

tds in waterTotal dissolved solids (TDS) is the term used to describe the inorganic salts and small amounts of organic matter present in solution in water. The principal constituents are usually calcium, magnesium, sodium, and potassium cations and carbonate, hydrogen carbonate, chloride, sulfate, and nitrate anions. Total dissolved solids are normally discussed only for freshwater systems, as salinity includes some of the ions constituting the definition of TDS. The principal application of TDS is in the study of water quality for streams, rivers and lakes, although TDS is not generally considered a primary pollutant (e.g. it is not deemed to be associated with health effects) it is used as an indication of aesthetic characteristics of drinking water and as an aggregate indicator of the presence of a broad array of chemical contaminants.

How to measure TDS?

The two principal methods of measuring total dissolved solids are gravimetric analysis and conductivity.[2] Gravimetric methods are the most accurate and involve evaporating the liquid solvent and measuring the mass of residues left. This method is generally the best, although it is time-consuming. If inorganic salts comprise the great majority of TDS, gravimetric methods are appropriate. The electrical conductivity of water is directly related to the concentration of dissolved ionized solids in the water. Ions from the dissolved solids in water create the ability for that water to conduct an electric current, which can be measured using a conventional conductivity meter or TDS meter. When correlated with laboratory TDS measurements, conductivity provides an approximate value for the TDS concentration, usually to within ten-percent accuracy. The relationship of TDS and specific conductance of groundwater can be approximated by the following equation: TDS = keEC where TDS is expressed in mg/L and EC is the electrical conductivity in microsiemens per centimeter at 25 °C. The correlation factor ke varies between 0.55 and 0.8.[3]

What is a permissible range of TDS in drinking water?

The different government has different regulations for the TDS level. TDS in water supplies originates from natural sources, sewage, urban and agricultural run-off, and industrial wastewater. Salts used for road de-icing can also contribute to the TDS loading of water supplies. Leaving aside the specific harmful chemicals such as chlorine, fluoride, and arsenic, drinking water for human beings should contain some level of minerals (TDS), but these levels should not be excessive. The U.S. EPA sets the maximum contaminant level for TDS 500 ppm where as WHO has limits up to 1000 ppm. In accordance with European legislation (directive 80/777/EEC), natural mineral water is defined as microbiologically wholesome water from an underground aquifer tapped via one or more natural or drilled wells. The only treatment allowed prior to bottling is to remove unstable components such as iron and sulfides and to (re)introduce carbon dioxide. Water from a natural source that contains few minerals is called spring water. In contrast to mineral water, which has to be bottled at the source, spring water may be transported first. Mineral water has to contain a minimum of 150 ppm of minerals.

tds table 1

The table shows the classification in accordance with the EU mineral water directive. Most mineral waters are in the class ‘low mineral concentration’ (TDS 50-500 mg/l). The German and Spanish mineral waters however primarily fall in the classes ‘intermediate mineral concentration’ (TDS 500-1500 mg/l) and ‘high mineral concentration’ (TDS > 1500 mg/l). The classes ‘very low mineral concentration’ and ‘low mineral concentration’ consist almost entirely of waters that can be designated as ‘suitable for low sodium diets’.

The optimal TDS was associated with the lowest incidence of adverse effect, negative changes to the human, dog, or rat, good organoleptic characteristics and thirst-quenching properties, and reduced corrosivity of water. In addition to the TDS levels, the team (WHO 1980) recommended that the minimum calcium content of desalinated drinking water should be 30 mg/l. These levels were based on health concerns with the most critical effects being hormonal changes in calcium and phosphorus metabolism and reduced mineral saturation of bone tissue. Also, when calcium is increased to 30 mg/l, the corrosive activity of desalinated water would be appreciably reduced and the water would be more stable (WHO 1980). The team (WHO 1980) also recommended a bicarbonate ion content of 30 mg/l as a minimum essential level needed to achieve acceptable organoleptic characteristics, reduced corrosivity, and an equilibrium concentration for the recommended minimum level of calcium.

Taste of Water with Different TDS Concentrations

tds table 2The presence of dissolved solids in water may affect its taste. The palatability of drinking water has been rated by panels of tasters in relation to its TDS level as follows: excellent, less than 300 mg/litre; good, between 300 and 600 mg/litre; fair, between 600 and 900 mg/litre; poor, between 900 and 1200 mg/litre; and unacceptable, greater than 1200 mg/litre. Water with extremely low concentrations of TDS may also be unacceptable because of its flat, insipid taste. In drinking water the following standards may apply for filtrated, natural and bottled one purified

► RO water 10 - 100 (demineralized)

► SGS filtrated water 150 - 450 (EcoAgua Drinking Filter)

► spring water 200 - 500 ppm (natural)

► mineral waters 250 - 900 (natural)

The Best Drinking Water

best drinking waterMany factors come into play when we think of choosing the best drinking water for ourselves and our families. Just a few of these factors include lifestyle, health objectives, finances, living accommodations, sports and fitness levels, and so forth. However, getting past the semantics, we could probably all agree that “good” drinking water is: safe to drink (relatively contaminant and chemical free) it tastes good. Drinking clean, healthy, chemical-free water is the foundation to health. However, just because water is safe to drink and tastes good doesn’t necessarily mean it is healthy. For example, experts agree that all tap and bottled water contain traces of unhealthy synthetic chemicals. So even though tap or bottled water may not make us sick initially, the cumulative effects of these chemicals (hundreds of which have never even been tested) in our body are significant. Even minute traces of these contaminants can lead to a weakened immune system (or worse) with long-term exposure.

The Healthiest Water Is Mineral Rich

Thus, many water experts today agree that the healthiest water is produced by home water filters and water filtration systems that selectively remove contaminants but not the naturally occurring minerals. Even though there are health studies that argue the benefits of de-mineralized water (such as reverse osmosis and distilled waters), the most recent and credible studies are conclusive that water that contains trace minerals is the healthiest and best drinking water. Dr. Mu Shik Jhon, considered by the scientific community to be the top water expert in the world, writes that the best drinking water contains a balance of essential minerals. In his book The Water Puzzle and the Hexagonal Key, Jhon says that from a biological and medical point of view, de-mineralized water is simply not healthy to drink. In fact, Japanese water experts consider de-mineralized water as “dead” water, while mineral-rich water is referred to as “living” water. De-mineralized water is not found in nature. Nor does is promote growth or health of living organisms.

Best Drinking Water Qualities

If your priority is health and wellness, your drinking water will have at least the first three of the following qualities:

► Contaminant-free. The water is filtered of unhealthy toxins, including synthetic chemicals, toxic metals, bacteria and viruses, radioactive substances, and other treatment additives such as chlorine and fluoride

► Mineral rich. The natural occurring minerals in the source water are not removed through purification processes, such as reverse osmosis and distillation.

► pH. The drinking water has a pH between 6.5 and 7.5, which means that the water contains a healthy level of minerals such as calcium and magnesium.

► Modified calcium. Water that has calcium in Aragonite chemical state does not form scale and gradually dissolves old deposits suggests similar behavior of such water in a living organism. It is probable that such water can dissolve nephroliths (kidney stones).

► Good taste. If it doesn't taste good, you'll simply won't drink enough water to stay hydrated enough to optimize the health benefits.

ecoagua Filtrated Water Has All 5 Qualities

After many years of research and developing new technologies in water treatment, we have found the type of water filtration media that provides all of these qualities. It is produced by ecofilters water filter system that is installed under the sink. For more information, check out our technologies page.

Chlorine Damages Fetuses in Pregnant Women!

chlorine damagesTwo Studies Confirm: Chlorine Is Very Dangerous for Your Health These Dangers Are Found In Your Shower Water (and also in Your Drinking Tap Water) by www.SixWise.com The long-term health effects of exposure to chlorinated water are becoming more common in the news headlines. The health effects of chlorine through inhalation (from the steam in your shower, for instance) and ingestion (from tap water) include: Cancers of the bladder, liver, rectum and colon, Heart disease, Atherosclerosis, Anemia, High blood pressure, Allergic reactions

And now two studies further confirm the risk of exposure of chlorine to the fetuses of pregnant women. Studies Link Chlorine to Birth Defects.
Two recent studies focused on the health effects for pregnant women who drank chlorinated water. One, published in the environmental Health Journal, reported that pregnant women who lived in areas with tap water with high concentrations of chlorine disinfectants nearly doubled their risk of having children with heart problems, a cleft palate or major brain defects. Other specific birth defects listed in the study were:

  • Anencephalus, a brain condition, rose to .17 percent in high THM areas
  • Hole-in-the-heart defects nearly doubled
  • Number of cleft palates rose from 0.029 percent to 0.045 percent in high THM areas
  • Risks of having children with the above three birth defects increased between 50 and 100 percent
  • Slightly raised risk of having children with urinary tract defects and Down’s syndrome

“Our findings don’t just add to the evidence that water chlorination may cause birth defects but suggest that exposure to chlorination by-products may be responsible for some specific and research common defects,” said Professor Jouni Jaakkola of the University of Birmingham who led the research team.

Exposure can happen by drinking the water, taking a bath or a shower or by standing closely to a boiling pot of tea. The danger of exposure to pregnant women happens when the chemical by-products of chlorination called trihalomethanes (THMs) are absorbed through the skin and then transmitted to the womb.

THMs are one type of disinfection byproduct (DBP) created when the disinfectants used to kill bacteria in the U.S. drinking water supply, such as chlorine, react with natural organic matter, such as decaying vegetation, or when certain compounds such as bromide are present in the water.Studies have linked THMs with low birth weight and neurological abnormalities in infants, along with increased incidences of neural tube defects, small body length, and small head size in babies born to women drinking water containing 400 ppb THMs.

Studies have linked THMs with low birth weight and neurological abnormalities in infants, along with increased incidences of neural tube defects, small body length, and small head size in babies born to women drinking water containing 400 ppb THMs.Research has also linked an increased risk of bladder cancer with exposures of 50 ppb, and

Research has also linked an increased risk of bladder cancer with exposures of 50 ppb, and first trimester miscarriage in pregnant women drinking water with 75 ppb -- both of which are under the EPA “safe” limit.The second study published by the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry showed that some birth defects such as spinal

The second study published by the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry showed that some birth defects such as spinal bifida and neural tube defects are linked to total THMs ingested in drinking water. Risks of neural tube defects were doubled among women with the highest exposure to THMs.How Did Chlorine Find Its Way Into the U.S. Water Supply and Who Regulates it?

How Did Chlorine Find Its Way Into the U.S. Water Supply and Who Regulates it?
Back in 1908, chlorine was added to a community water system in New Jersey as a way to get rid of many types of water-borne diseases such as Cholera and Typhoid fever. Before chlorination, many major cities experienced death tolls of 1 in 1,000 people from Typhoid alone.For over 80 years, chlorine has been used to disinfect municipal water and it wasn’t until the 1970s that it was discovered that combining water with natural, organic matter such as vegetation and algae produced Trihalomethanes. Today, chlorine is injected into drinking water in two ways: injected directly by bubbling chlorine gas into the reservoir of drinking water or by adding calcium hypo chloride (bleaching powder) to water.

For over 80 years, chlorine has been used to disinfect municipal water and it wasn’t until the 1970s that it was discovered that combining water with natural, organic matter such as vegetation and algae produced Trihalomethanes. Today, chlorine is injected into drinking water in two ways: injected directly by bubbling chlorine gas into the reservoir of drinking water or by adding calcium hypo chloride (bleaching powder) to water.The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) sets the standards for acceptable levels of contaminants in drinking water. Their defined standard for chloroform, the most common trihalomethane found in chlorinated water, is 100 parts per billion or 100 micrograms per liter of water.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) sets the standards for acceptable levels of contaminants in drinking water. Their defined standard for chloroform, the most common trihalomethane found in chlorinated water, is 100 parts per billion or 100 micrograms per liter of water.They base this on an estimate that this level of contamination results in an added lifetime cancer risk of about 2 per 100,000 person-years, assuming the average person is consuming about two liters of drinking water per day.

They base this on an estimate that this level of contamination results in an added lifetime cancer risk of about 2 per 100,000 person-years, assuming the average person is consuming about two liters of drinking water per day.Researchers from the Boston University School of Public Health believe that the cancer risk from chlorinated water may be up to 10-50 times higher than the EPA estimate. This is due to the fact that the EPA’s estimate is based solely on ingesting drinking water as the source of trihalomethanes. They didn’t take into account the chloroform exposure from bathing, showering and doing laundry.

Researchers from the Boston University School of Public Health believe that the cancer risk from chlorinated water may be up to 10-50 times higher than the EPA estimate. This is due to the fact that the EPA’s estimate is based solely on ingesting drinking water as the source of trihalomethanes. They didn’t take into account the chloroform exposure from bathing, showering and doing laundry.According to some studies, two-thirds of the harmful exposure to chlorine is due to inhalation of steam and skin absorption while showering. Taking a warm shower opens up your skin pores and clears the way for accelerated absorption of chlorine.

According to some studies, two-thirds of the harmful exposure to chlorine is due to inhalation of steam and skin absorption while showering. Taking a warm shower opens up your skin pores and clears the way for accelerated absorption of chlorine.The steam inhaled during showers contains up to 50 times

The steam inhaled during showers contains up to 50 times the amount of chemicals in tap water. This is because the chlorine, along with other contaminants and DBPs, vaporize at a faster rate and at a lower temperature than water. Once inhaled, the chlorine goes directly into your bloodstream.Leading experts are confirming the dangerous effects of inhaling chlorine while taking showers.

Leading experts are confirming the dangerous effects of inhaling chlorine while taking showers.

According to researcher Bruce Black during a meeting of the American Chemical Society:“Taking long, hot showers is a health risk. The chemicals evaporate out of the water and are inhaled. They can also spread through the house and be inhaled by others.

“Taking long, hot showers is a health risk. The chemicals evaporate out of the water and are inhaled. They can also spread through the house and be inhaled by others. House holders can receive 6 to 100 times more of the chemical by breathing the air around showers and bath than they would by drinking the water.”Further, a Professor of Water Chemistry at the University of Pittsburgh claims that exposure to vaporized chemicals in the water supplies through showering, bathing and inhalation is 100 times greater than through drinking water.

Further, a Professor of Water Chemistry at the University of Pittsburgh claims that exposure to vaporized chemicals in the water supplies through showering, bathing and inhalation is 100 times greater than through drinking water.And according to Dr. Lance Wallace, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, “Showering is suspected as the primary cause of elevated levels of chloroform in nearly every home because of chlorine in the water.”

And according to Dr. Lance Wallace, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, “Showering is suspected as the primary cause of elevated levels of chloroform in nearly every home because of chlorine in the water.”Also note that chlorine is not the only dangerous chemical in your water.

Also note that chlorine is not the only dangerous chemical in your water. PRescription Drugs are a recently observed, but fast growing hazard. Just as you would fear having your unborn baby and the rest of your family exposed to chlorine, I have no doubt that you would not want them exposed to birth control pills, ritlin and other antidepressants, powerful heart disease and anti diabetic drugs. A recent study found the residue from 52 different drugs in the Philadelphia, Pa public water! A simple chlorine filter will NOT remove the prescription drug residue.

The Health Dangers of Chlorine

chlorine danger It maybe never occurred to you that the chlorine in your shower and bath water could be just as damaging, if not more damaging than bad drinking chlorinated water. While Chlorine is necessary to disinfect our municipal water in order to protect us from pathogenic waterborne diseases, its job is done once the water leaves your plumbing system. At this point, chlorine becomes potentially harmful to your health. The hot water spray in the confined space of your shower liberates and concentrates the chlorine gas, subjecting you to much higher levels of exposure than you would receive from drinking the water. So, you have both chlorine gas that you will inhale and toxins that will go inside of body trough your skin.

We will explain to you why your hot shower and bath water is a health threat to you and your family.

Your skin is your largest organ, and it’s naturally gifted with the ability to absorb both nutrients and toxin. That’s because the amount of the carcinogenic compounds in chlorinated water that is absorbed by the skin is up to 600% higher than that absorbed from drinking chlorinated water. One of the most shocking components to all of these studies that shows the dangerous chlorine effects is that up to 75% of our harmful exposure to chlorine is due to inhalation of steam and skin absorption while showering.

A warm shower opens up the pores of the skin and allows for accelerated absorption of chlorine in the water. The steam we inhale while showering can contain up to 50 times the level of chemicals than tap water due to the fact that chlorine and most other contaminants vaporize much faster in high tempered water.

Inhalation is a much more harmful means of exposure since the chlorine gas (chloroform) we inhale goes directly into our blood stream. When we drink contaminated water the toxins are partially filtered out by our kidneys and digestive system. Chlorine vapors are known to be a strong irritant to the sensitive tissue and bronchial passages inside our lungs, it was used as a chemical weapon in World War II. The inhalation of chlorine is a suspected cause of asthma and bronchitis, especially in children, which has increased 300% in the last two decades. “Showering is suspected as the primary cause of elevated levels of chloroform in nearly every home because of chlorine in the water." - Says Dr. Lance Wallace, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

chlorine irritation

There is a lot of well-founded concern about chlorine. When chlorine is added to our water, it combines with other natural compounds to form Trihalomethanes (chlorination byproducts), or THMs. These chlorine byproducts trigger the production of free radicals in the body, causing cell damage, and are highly carcinogenic. “Although concentrations of these carcinogens (THMs) are low, it is precisely these low levels that cancer scientists believe are responsible for the majority of human cancers in the United States.“ - The Environmental Defense Fund says.

Dr. Robert Carlson, a highly respected the University of Minnesota researcher who’s work is sponsored by the Federal Environmental Protection Agency, sums it up by claiming, “the chlorine problem is similar to that of air pollution”, and adds that “chlorine is the greatest crippler and killer of modern times!” Chlorine is widely known to strip the natural oils from your skin and hair causing dry, itchy and irritated skin as well as making your hair brittle, dry, dull and damaged. By stripping the natural oils from your skin, you are removing a vital natural barrier and leaving your skin much more vulnerable to infection and disease. The breathing of this chlorine gas is known to aggravate respiratory conditions such as asthma and bronchitis. The long-term health effects of exposure to chlorinated water are becoming more common in the news headlines. The health effects of chlorine through inhalation (from the steam in your shower) and trough yours pores under a warm shower. The effects of chlorine and chlorine gas on you is possible cancers of the breast, bladder, liver, rectum and colon, heart diseases, atherosclerosis, anemia, high blood pressure, allergic reactions, asthma, bronchitis, damages to skin and hair etc. It is even more important to protect children, when they have a shower or a warm bath in chlorinated water, that they are not exposed to chlorine gas or toxins from chlorine. Now you know the serious damage chlorine and chlorine gasses released from warm shower water can do, Is it not a time to do something to protect you and your family from these major health issues that threaten your future health? Health problems that you can avoid if you do not expose you and your family on a daily basis to chlorine and the harmful gasses.

Chlorine is widely known to strip the natural oils from your skin and hair causing dry, itchy and irritated skin as well as making your hair brittle, dry, dull and damaged. By stripping the natural oils from your skin, you are removing a vital natural barrier and leaving your skin much more vulnerable to infection and disease. The breathing of this chlorine gas is known to aggravate respiratory conditions such as asthma and bronchitis.

The long-term health effects of exposure to chlorinated water are becoming more common in the news headlines. The health effects of chlorine through inhalation (from the steam in your shower) and trough yours pores under a warm shower. The effects of chlorine and chlorine gas on you is possible cancers of the breast, bladder, liver, rectum and colon, heart diseases, atherosclerosis, anemia, high blood pressure, allergic reactions, asthma, bronchitis, damages to skin and hair etc. It is even more important to protect children, when they have a shower or a warm bath in chlorinated water, that they are not exposed to chlorine gas or toxins from chlorine.

chlorine hair damage

Now you know the serious damage chlorine and chlorine gasses released from warm shower water can do. Is it not a time to do something to protect you and your family from these major health issues that threaten your future health? Health problems that you can avoid if you do not expose you and your family on a daily basis to chlorine and the harmful gasses. The most obvious solution is to filter the chlorine out of your shower water. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has approved Vitamin-C filters as the most effective, least toxic, and environmentally friendly way of treating water to completely remove free chlorine and chloramine, both of which have been proven to be toxic and damaging to your health.

EcoFilters shower filters remove 99.9% of all chlorine and chloramine from your shower water, no other filter types today is so effective like high granulated Vitamin C filters from EcoFilters.

The first benefits you will notice,softer, youthful looking skin, reduces dryness & itching, healthier, smoother & firmer skin, hair quality will be softer, thicker and have more shine. Invest in your and your family's health, install an EcoFilter shower filter that protects you and your family from unnecessary daily health threats from chlorine in your shower and bath water! One of the most shocking components to all of these studies is that it shows the dangerous chlorine effects is up to 75% of our harmful exposure to chlorine is due to inhalation of steam and skin absorption whilst showering.

References:

Meta-analysis of studies on individual consumption of chlorinated drinking water and bladder cancer
Drinking Water Mutagenicity and Urinary Tract Cancers: A Population-based Case-Control Study in Finland
Case-Control Study of Colon and Rectal Cancers and Chlorination By-Products in Treated Water