You are on page 1of 2

Page 24 Healthy Cells Magazine Peoria May 2014

water and your health

test your tap water at home. Relatively inexpensive home water-testing
kits are available at hardware stores. You could also obtain profes-
sional tests on your water; the EPA recommends contacting your state
certification program for a list of certified laboratories at
Step 2: Understand Toxins
Drinking water contaminants come from many sources: radon,
radium, and arsenic are naturally occurring, while microorganisms,
pesticides, and pharmaceutical residues come from people, animals,
and industry. Chromium-6, a known carcinogen, has been found in
the water of 31 of the 35 American cities tested (89 percent). Atrazine,
a common herbicide that can cause endocrine (hormone) disruption,
To ensure the drinking water in your home is safe,
take these three steps:
Step 1: Learn Whats in Your Water
Every year, your water supplier will mail you an annual Consumer
Confidence Report (also called the Drinking Water Quality Report). You
may also be able to find your report on the EPAs website at cfpub. The EPA offers online tools to help
you learn how to read the report at You may
also find your local and state reports in the EWGs National Drinking
Water Database at While these reports offer
an analysis of your local water at its source, its also wise to directly
How in Touch Are You With the
Water You Are Drinking?
Part II of II
By Michele Couri, MD
Michele Couri,
May 2014 Peoria Healthy Cells Magazine Page 25
cancer, and reproductive disorders is commonly used on the crops in
the Midwest. Six states Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Mississippi,
and Ohio recently settled a lawsuit against Syngenta, the manufacturer
of atrazine, for millions of dollars to subsidize the chemicals removal
from the public water supply. Lead is a highly toxic metal. If your home
was built before 1986, its more likely to have lead pipes, fixtures, and
solder, according to the EPA. Drinking lead-contaminated water could
result in physical and mental development delays in babies and children
and increased blood pressure and kidney problems in adults. See the
NSFs full Contaminant Guide list at drinking_water/
Step 3: Select the Best Filter
When shopping for a filter, you will find many technologies to
choose from, ranging from carbon to ozone to UV. Dont worry; the
choices are surprisingly easy to navigate. Any filter you use should be
certified by a reputable, independent agency. To find the filter most
capable of removing specific contaminants (based on your water test-
ing results), look up the pollutant on the EWG website and find a list of
filters certified to effectively remove it. While many filtration technologies
exist, those most adept at removing contaminants include carbon or
charcoal filtration and reverse osmosis. Carbon block filters are very
effective in removing a wide range of contaminants but cannot effec-
tively remove inorganic pollutants such as arsenic, fluoride or nitrate,
according to the EWG. Reverse osmosis filters are effective in removing
inorganic contaminants not removed by carbon filters. You can some-
times find combination carbon/reverse osmosis filters, which remove
a wide range of organic and inorganic pollutants. However, reverse
osmosis filters are not efficient, using from 3 to 20 times the water they
produce, so limit their use to drinking and cooking water.
You will also find a number of filter styles, which range in price and
complexity of installation. Options include pitcher/dispenser, faucet-
mounted, faucet-integrated, on-counter, under-sink, or whole-house.
The best type for your home depends on your budget and the con-
taminants in your homes water (another reason to have your water
tested). The EWG offers an online water filter buying guide at ewg.
After you filter your water, what is the best vessel to put it in? Glass
bottles are the easiest to clean and the most recyclable. Most versions
come with a protective silicon sleeve to prevent breakage. Stainless
steel is lightweight, dishwasher safe, but can dent if dropped. Alumi-
num bottles look like stainless steel but have a big difference: aluminum
reacts with acidic liquids, so theyre lined with an enamel or epoxy layer
that can wear down. They are not dishwasher safe and some linings
contain as much BPA as their plastic predecessors. Plastic bottles are
typically inexpensive and since 2010, most are BPA-free. They are
not safe for hot liquids or microwaves and health concerns with other
leachable toxins in plastics still exist. My recommendation: go with
At the Couri Center, we believe in restoring health to Womens
Health care. Call about our TLC Program (Total Lifestyle by Couri)
to help women improve their healthy habits and reduce the risks of
chronic disease. Call 309-692-6838 or visit:
Photo credit: luchschen/Thinkstock
Daryl Wilson Photography
Family Portraits
Senior Portraits
Sports Action
Event Photography
30 years newspaper experience