#8: Drinking Water

Water.  Aqua.  H20.   It is essential to life.  Our own bodies are made up of over 60% water!  We need this stuff to live, and to live optimally.  So if you’re drinking water, pat yourself on the back.  You are giving your body the opportunity to stay balanced and function properly.  We couldn’t do much without water, it takes water to breathe, sweat, blink our eyes, speak, and move.  It even takes water to digest and absorb nutrients.  Water also supports our immune function by keeping our lymphatic fluid mobile and, excuse the pun, fluid.  When the body gets dehydrated the lymph fluid doesn’t move as well and as we learned in a previous post, lymph fluid contains health-supporting white blood cells that need to be circulated throughout the body to take care of toxins and abnormal cells that invade our systems.  Water also keeps our elimination system moving, so our waste products don’t stick around longer than they are welcome.  Studies have shown that the longer waste stays in the colon, the greater risk of developing colon cancer. 

Cheers!  Drinking those 8 glasses of water each day is one of the best things you can do for your health.  I always start my day with a big glass of water with a squeeze of fresh lemon which gently wakes up my digestive system and prepares my body and mind for the day. 


But wait - it’s not all sparkling, fresh, blue, cloud dreams here.  Clean water is actually very hard to find.  Did you know there are contaminants in your tap water (and sometimes even your bottled water) that are harmful to your health? Water is such a precious resource to this planet that is often taken for granted and overlooked. 

Pure water is probably more precious than even you realize.   In this country, we know that we have more potable water than most other countries in this world.  And for that we should be grateful.  But who is defining the requirements for drinkable water? What systems are in place to ensure the proper amount of filtration and purification is used before our water makes it into our homes and out of our faucets?  Turns out, the government does the minimum amount of filtration of water before it reaches your home. 

The EPA measures quarterly the amount of these contaminants in our drinking water and posts their results on their website. https://www.epa.gov/ground-water-and-drinking-water/national-primary-drinking-water-regulations#three

Take a look at the Maximum Contaminant Level Goal (MCLG) versus the Maximum Contaminant Level (MCL).  The MCLG is the ideal, the ‘goal’ amount of contaminants in which there is no known or expected risk to health.  The actual level, or the MCL, is the level that is actually allowed in drinking water.  Often, these numbers are equal but in many more cases than I feel comfortable with, the actual (MCL) level is higher than the goal (MCLG) levels.  It may seem like trace amounts, but when you are talking about water that we all drink (in some cases 8 glasses per day!), bathe in, cook with, make coffee with, wash dishes with, wash our clothing in, iron clothing with, water our plants and herbs with, and sometimes even clean with, the impact of these trace amounts of contaminants starts adding up quickly. 

Maximum Contaminant Level Goal (MCLG) - The level of a contaminant in drinking water below which there is no known or expected risk to health. MCLGs allow for a margin of safety and are non-enforceable public health goals.

Maximum Contaminant Level (MCL) - The highest level of a contaminant that is allowed in drinking water. MCLs are set as close to MCLGs as feasible using the best available treatment technology and taking cost into consideration. MCLs are enforceable standards.


MCLG (Goal level)

MCL (Actual level allowed)

Potential health effects from long-term exposure above MCL

Sources of Contaminant

Beta particles and photon emitters

zero 4 millirems per year Increased risk of cancer Decay of natural and manmade deposits of certain minerals

Radium 226 and Radium 228

zero 5 pCi/L Increased risk of cancer Erosion of natural deposits


zero 10ug/L Increased risk of cancer, kidney toxicity Erosion of natural deposits


zero .010 Skin damage, problems with circulatory systems, may have increased risk of cancer Erosion of natural deposits


7 million fibers per liter 7 million fibers per liter Increased risk of developing benign intestinal polyps

Decay of asbestos cement in water


zero .002 Eye, liver, kidney, spleen problems, anemia, 
increased risk of cancer
Runoff from herbicide used on row crops


zero .005 Anemia, decrease in blood platelets, 
increased risk of cancer
Discharge from factories; leaching from gas storage tanks and landfills

Benzopyrene (PAHs)

zero .0002 Reproductive difficulties; increased risk of cancer Leaching from linings of water storage tanks and distribution lines

 Carbon tetachloride

zero .005 Liver problems; 
Increased risk of cancer
Discharge from chemical plants and other industrial activities


zero .002 Liver or nervous system problems; 
Increased risk of cancer
Residue of banned termiticide 
Chlorine 4 4 Eye/nose irritation; stomach discomfort Water additive used to control microbes

1, 2-Dibromo-3-chloropropane (DBCP)

zero .0002 Reproductive difficulties; 
Increased risk of cancer
Runoff/leaching from soil fumigant used on soybeans, cotton, pineapples, and orchards

1, 2-Dichloroethane

zero .005
Increased risk of cancer
Discharge from industrial chemical factories
Dichloromethane zero .005 Liver problems; 
Increased risk of cancer
Discharge from drug and chemical factories


zero .006 Reproductive difficulties; liver problems; 
Increased risk of cancer
Discharge from rubber and chemical factories


zero .00000003 Reproductive difficulties; increased risk of cancer Emissions from waste incineration and other combustion; discharge from chemical factories
Fluoride 4 4 Bone disease; Children may get mottled teeth Water additive which promotes strong teeth; erosion of natural deposits; discharge from fertilizer and aluminum factories


zero .0004 Liver damage; 
Increased risk of cancer
Residue of banned termiticide


zero .001 Liver or kidney problems; reproductive difficulties; 
Increased risk of cancer
Discharge from metal refineries and agricultural chemical factories

Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs)

zero .0005 Skin changes; thymus gland problems; immune deficiencies; 
Increased risk of cancer
Runoff from landfills; discharge of waste chemicals

Vinyl Chloride

zero .002
Increased risk of cancer
Leaching from PVC pipes; discharge from plastic factories


Things like arsenic, asbestos, phthalates (endocrine disruptors), PCBs, benzenes, chloramines, run off from pesticides and herbicides, vinyl chloride, and discharge from drug and industrial chemical factories are just some of the contaminants that are NOT being filtered out of our water supply to meet the standard of the MCLG, or the level at which there is no known or expected risk to health.  I would hardly call this ‘potable’ water.  It is also clearly listed that ALL of these contaminants bring with them serious potential long-term health problems including increased risk of cancer.  

So what are we to do, left with water that has been insufficiently filtered?  I certainly wouldn’t ingest this water, none the less bathe in it, or even breathe in it's vapor while washing dishes.  Did you know chlorine vaporizes at a lower temperature than water? So even if you don’t use steaming hot water to shower in or to wash dishes in, chances are there are still chlorine vapors that are making their way into your lungs.   I don’t want to get too much into these scary scenarios so I’ll go ahead and tell you the best way to get pure, filtered, simple H2O.

You most likely already have a filtration system of some kind in your home already, on the countertop or in the fridge.  But does it really filter out some of these carcinogenic contaminants?  Popular brands usually say they will decrease the taste and odor of chlorine, but the fact of the matter is, the chlorine is still there.   The standard filter pitcher will remove copper, cadmium, mercury, and zinc. Period.  Popular faucet mounted filters will reduce or remove (not clear which one) lead, asbestos, benzene, TTHMs, parasites, atrazine, lindane, trichloroethylene, and particulates class 1.   This is better than the pitcher filter, yet still does not completely remove the contaminants listed above and doesn’t even mention chlorine, chloramines, fluoride (more toxic than lead), phthalates, vinyl chloride, VOCs, PCBs, heptachlor (possible risk of liver damage), alachlor (may increase risk of cancer), benzopyrene (may lead to reproductive difficulties), and arsenic.

To ensure you get the cleanest, more pure water right out of your faucet, and by the way, throughout your entire home, take a look at Pure Effects Entire Home Water Filtration System.  This is the system that was recommended to me by my Naturopathic Doctor because my thyroid is a little on the hypo side.  With my blood results in hand, one of his first questions to me was, "do you have a water filter at home?" Turns out, the chloramines, chlorine, and fluoride in the water attaches to the iodine receptors in the body better than iodine itself.  Looking at the thyroid, iodine is a nutrient that can provide balance but not if the chlorine and fluoride are getting to the receptors first.  They can actually block these receptors, leading to abnormal levels of thyroid hormones.  

After speaking with several specialists and plumbers in this field, I concluded that this was the best one which will remove the most contaminants.  They each actually thought they themselves had the best filtration system, in their own homes and those which they sell, but when they looked at this system they were impressed.  I believe the quote was, “I’ve been in this business a long time and this system is unlike anything I’ve seen.”

I’ve recently installed the under sink mounted filtration system for our kitchen sink and the shower head filter in our master bathroom.  This was the most cost effective way for us to limit the toxins we were being exposed to through drinking water, shower water and vapors.  Now, we can drink those 8 glasses of water worry-free, completely relishing in our 100% pure H2O.  We also don’t have to worry about chlorine vapor from those hot steamy showers we love so much.  And forget about the fluoride and other contaminants that we were absorbing through the skin!  Did you know you absorb about 60% of what is applied to the skin?  We can’t wait to take a hot steam shower and throw some organic eucalyptus essential oil on the walls to breathe in all that pure goodness!

gift for cancer patient

The entire home filtration system was just out of our price range, for now.  In the future we plan to add the entire home filtration system to ensure our water for washing dishes, cleaning clothes, and for our guests to bathe in will also be pure. 

Go ahead and treat yourself to a steamy eucalyptus shower with 100% pure water!  Click the link below to learn more about PureEffect and their amazing filtration systems...


Full disclosure:  By using the link above to make a purchase, we will be sent a small affiliate commission.  As a young company, we have to be creative in how we sustain our business and we also want to share with you all the good things we are doing at home so you can benefit and improve your own health too!

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