Sam Carpenter wrote a book on business organisation that really impressed me, and he travels the world helping small businesses like ours to become better operators.
But on a recent trip to Romania, Sam, the master planner, upset his plans with one small mistake.
“On my trip to Romania I drank from a public drinking fountain. I was told I shouldn’t have, and sure enough, over the months since I got back I’ve been feeling more and more horrible every week until it got to the point that it came time for me to go back to work. I was finding myselof feeling exhausted by 11am.
I went to a doctor I realised I had something serious going on, and found that I had parasites and bacteria!
I got these powerful antibiotics to kill the parasites and another one to kill the bacteria.”
Now.. Sam, much as I respect your organisational ability.. look what that slipup cost you! Weeks of discomfort, exhaustion, business disruption, and not one but TWO rounds of the dreaded antibiotics, laying waste to your internal flora!
And Sam, all you needed to do was take an AlkaWay Fill2Pure portable water bottle with you. It has the best filtration in the world for portable bottles. I NEVER travel without it!
For people who want to control their weight or reduce their intakes of sugar, sodium and saturated fat, there’s something in your kitchen sink.
It seems that tap water may be what the doctor ordered.
A new study that examined the dietary habits of more than 18,300 U.S. adults found the majority of people who increased their consumption of plain water — tap water or from a cooler, drinking fountain or bottle — by 1 percent reduced their total daily calorie intake as well as their consumption of saturated fat, sugar, sodium and cholesterol.
People who increased their consumption of water by one, two or three cups daily decreased their total energy intake by 68 to 205 calories daily and their sodium intake by 78 to 235 milligrams, according to a paper by University of Illinois community health professor Ruopeng An. They also consumed 5 grams to nearly 18 grams less sugar and decreased their cholesterol consumption by 7 to 21 milligrams daily.
Here’s what he said: (and here is the report)
“The impact of plain water intake on diet was similar across race/ethnicity, education and income levels and body weight status. This finding indicates that it might be sufficient to design and deliver universal nutrition interventions and education campaigns that promote plain water consumption in replacement of beverages with calories in diverse population subgroups without profound concerns about message and strategy customization.”
In plain words?
Drink water. Lose weight.
Ian: Of course the study didn’t take into account water quality which has reared its head recently with the discovery of a vast avoidance of water quality testing in hundreds of locations across the US. here in Australia my friend and water technologist Neil Sweeney has this to say:
“I would encourage all families to get the news out about the dangers lurking in our drinking water. Encourage them to join here or read up as much as they can about the hidden risks in the water supply. Connect my page to any groups you are in if you feel I am right after reading and considering this.
For the past 2 years I have been writing articles about the dangers of Bioaccumulation in the body from Heavy Metals, Chemicals and Pharma in our Potable (Tap) Water.
If you have been following the news you will have seen, finally, this year, Sydney Water and the NSW govt are now coming clean about the dilapadated state of our ageing water pipe system and the impossible and restrictive costs placed on replacing the thousands of kilometres of 60 to 100 year old pipes in this country. The costs runs into the billions PLUS we just dont have the manpower to replace it quickly.
Have you noticed the increase in water main bursts?
So why are we JUST being told now?
The growing presence of Endocrine Disruptors in our reservoirs, the increased concentrations of pharmaceuticals, in particular; antibiotics, the development of organic super bugs and the ever-growing concentration of heavy metals from mining are polluting our catchment and dam systems in this country like never before.
This means that every time we have a heavy downpour of rain the concentration levels of bio-toxins and metals increase exponentially in the reservoirs creating new mutations at the molecular level of harmful chemicals, larger concentrations of soft and heavy metals and more virulent and resistant super bugs and microbial infestations which effect our G.I. tract, Neurological and Endocrine systems.”
Ian: We are about to field test our new UltraStream UltraH2+. It’s still in prototype but the BIG news is that we’ve been able to enhance the already excellent filtration of the present UltraStreams. It will increase its ability to filter out:
>99.9 % of viruses, (polio, rotovirus, norovirus)
>99.99% of bacteria (e-coli, legionella, pseudomonas, etc)
>99.95% cysts( giardia, cryptosporidium)
>80% Ferrous Iron
>95% Arsenic V
PCB’s and BPA
This takes the UltraStream, already an unchallenged leader in water filter and ionizer filtration, to a level unparallelled anywhere in the industry, yet still at a price ordinary people can manage.
You don’t even have to wait for the ‘new improved model’ with an UltraStream. If you order our present model, you’ll get the new model when you order a new replacement filter. That’s the joy of the UltraStream. It never gets obselete!
Most water filters should remove VOC’s (Volatile Organic Chemicals.
Contrary to what many people think, volatile organic chemicals (VOCs) aren’t necessarily harmful, writes Dr. Joe Cotruvo in the latest issue of Water Technology.
“VOC” describes a chemical’s physical property. Because volatility can increase the potential for chemicals to be exposed to humans, VOCs can be health concerns if the chemical is also toxic.
“The principle environmental aspects of VOCs are the ability of some to be released into outdoor air and contribute to smog due to photochemical formation of ozone in the lower atmosphere or ozone reduction in the upper atmosphere and the presence of some in drinking water from external contamination and as disinfection byproducts,” says Cotruvo.
View the full article at water tech online
How to protect yourself.
Drinking Water: The UltraStream uses the world’s best catalytic carbon. It’s almost 8 x the efficiency of ‘big box’ carbon, a.k.a granular active carbon and we have sufficient quantity to protect you for over a year.
Shower water: A shower filter when you have chlorine in your water is, to me, an essential of life. Not just to reduce VOCS and chlorine, but you’d be amazed at the improvement in your skin when you give up showering in a gas chamber. (Which is hugely more dangerous than drinking chlorinated water!
The UltraStream water filter, water ionizer, water alkalizer and hydrogen infused water system isn’t a one-off product.
It’s an evolution from electric water ionizer to natural, from high cost and maintenance to simplicity and high end filtration. Ian Blair Hamilton is the designer of the UltraStream and is founder of AlkaWay in 2000. He is regarded as an ‘elder’ of the water alkalizer and alkaline diet community internationally.
Take a few minutes to learn the ‘why’ of the UltraStream.
Common contaminants found in our drinking water
This toxic element is found naturally in soil and bedrock. Ingestion in high amounts can lead to serious health problems.
Small amounts of salt are natural. Higher levels are unnatural and may indicate a faulty water softener, road salt, septic waste or fertilizer contamination.
A natural part of the microbiology of soils, insects, and warm-blooded animals, coliform bacteria is the primary indicator for the presence of disease-causing organisms in water.
Found naturally in water, but now artificially added. While low levels of fluoride are desirable, excessive amounts may stain teeth.
Interferes with cleaning tasks 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 leave film on glass shower doors, shower walls, bathtubs, sinks, faucets, etc. Hair washed in hard water may feel sticky and look dull. These deposits also collect in household plumbing lines, water heaters and appliances, reducing their efficiency.
A gas dissolved in water. It is easily detected by its rotten egg odor.
Not considered hazardous to health, but when the level of iron exceeds 0.3 mg/l water may leave behind red, brown, or yellow stains on laundry, glassware, dishes and fixtures. The water may have a metallic taste and an offensive odor, or even restrict or clog piping and fixtures.
Houses built before 1985 may contain lead pipes or lead-based solder. Lead can cause serious health problems in young children.
A metal found in rock, which does not occur naturally in its pure form. It is often accompanied by iron and hydrogen sulfide and causes black stains. Evidence of manganese staining is typically found in the dishwasher.
Elevated levels can be an indication of farm chemical or lawn fertilizer contamination, or even septic saturation. Nitrates can pose a serious health risk to infants.
High levels of sulfates can cause odors, leave spots, taste bitter and have a temporary laxative effect.
Ian: There are many, many more now in our water beyond this list. The US EPA tells us that there are 600 identified toxins for which they ahev insufficient data on danger levels.
Then, of course, there are the toxins added by water supplies, including chlorine, chloramines and (see list) fluoride. Chlorine can combine with organics to create even more toxins.
Just 5 years ago, the US EPA was asked by Congress for a study of impacts of hydraulic fracturing (fracking) on drinking water.
Fracking has propelled a boom in U.S. oil production and added to the steep fall in gas prices. However.. the environmental impact of this technique are not well understood or researched.
The draft study—released last June —concluded that fracking has already contaminated drinking water, stating in the report:
We found specific instances where one or more mechanisms led to impacts on drinking water resources, including contamination of drinking water wells…
Approximately 6,800 sources of drinking water for public water systems were located within one mile of at least one hydraulically fractured well … These drinking water sources served more than 8.6 million people year-round in 2013…
Hydraulic fracturing can also affect drinking water resources outside the immediate vicinity of a hydraulically fractured well.
Despite the findings, and EPA’s own admissions of “data limitations and uncertainties” and “the paucity of long-term systemic studies,” the agency concluded that “there is no evidence fracking has led to widespread, systemic impacts on drinking water resources.”
Industry cheerleaders ran with it, proclaiming “the science is settled” on fracking and that any concerns are just crazy greenies pursuing their own agenda.
Now it turns out that the EPA’s own science advisers have repudiated the study’s major conclusion, saying that it is “inconsistent with the observations, data and levels of uncertainty.”
The 31-member scientific review board said on Thursday “Major findings are ambiguous or are inconsistent with the observations/data presented in the body of the report,” .
The conclusions have already aroused suspicion of political meddling. Add the fact that EPA neglected to include high-profile cases in Pennsylvania, Texas and Wyoming “where hydraulic fracturing activities are perceived by many members of the public to have caused significant local impacts to drinking water sources.”
The draft report also found that failed wells and above ground spills may have affected drinking water resources, with evidence of more than 36,000 spills from 2006 to 2012.
“Spill data alone “gives sufficient pause to reconsider the statement” that there’s no evidence of systemic, widespread damage, said panelist Bruce Honeyman, professor emeritus at the Colorado School of Mines.
“It’s important to characterize and discuss the frequency and severity of outliers that have occurred,” said panelist Katherine Bennett Ensor, chairwoman of the Rice University Department of Statistics.
And panel member James Bruckner, a professor of pharmacology and toxicology at the University of Georgia, said the report glosses over the limited data and studies available to the agency.
“I do not think that the document’s authors have gone far enough to emphasize how preliminary these key conclusions are and how limited the factual bases are for their judgments,” Bruckner said.
Young, the University of California professor who suggested rewriting the top-line conclusion, faulted the document for trying “to draw a global and permanent conclusion about the safety or impacts of hydraulic fracturing at the national level” given the “uncertainties and data limitations described in the report.””
It would appear there may be heavy pressure to revise the EPA’s conclusion in the final report, and the oil and gas industry will have a PR mosh pit to contend with.
Fracking was pushed into use before the environmental impacts could be assessed. Public health and environmental quality took a back seat to profits of an industry that long ago cemented its grip on federal and state governments.
The oil and gas industry tried their hardest, with the help of government agencies, to keep the identity of fracking fluids from becoming public knowledge. But as that information has come out, we are finding that these chemicals pose catastrophic risks to human health, as a study by the Yale School of Public Health points out.
In an analysis of more than 1,000 chemicals in fluids used in or created by hydraulic fracturing (fracking), researchers from the School of Public Health at Yale found that many of the substances have been linked to reproductive and developmental health problems, and the majority had undetermined toxicity due to insufficient information.
Further exposure and epidemiological studies are urgently needed to evaluate potential threats to human health from chemicals found in fracking fluids and wastewater created by fracking.
Contamination of drinking water is not the only threat that fracking poses. Oklahoma, which has gone full speed ahead with fracking operations, has seen a 730 percent increase in earthquake activity since 2013. Since the start of the new year, 69 earthquakes have struck, with two registering a magnitude of 4.7 and 4.8.
The state’s own Geological Survey admitted, “we know that the recent rise in earthquakes cannot be entirely attributed to natural causes.” They say the earthquakes are caused by wastewater injection wells, not fracking, but this is dubious considering the tremendous influence of the oil and gas industry in that state.
A report released last year by a group of seismologists, researchers, and oil and gas industry representatives “overwhelming connected hydro fracturing to the surge in earthquakes.”
It is past time for government to stop endangering public and environmental health by protecting the fossil fuel industry with bogus conclusions in its risk assessments.
With thanks to Naturalblaze.com
TV News alleges:
In 2013 and 2014, Sacramento residents were exposed to a carcinogenic chemical in their drinking water called aluminum chlorohydrate.
During those 2 years, Sacramento tested aluminum chlorohydrate (ACH) at its main water treatment plant and according to TV station ABC10, alarm bells sounded almost immediately.
But… the city didn’t warn locals or take action for a year.
It appears Sacramento residents were exposed to disinfection byproducts (DBP: considered likely carcinogens). They have already been linked to an increased risk of bladder cancer. DBPs are typically found in products like deodorants, body washes and soaps. In addition to being potential cancer-causers, they’ve been shown to disrupt hormones and congest the lymph system when absorbed through the skin. These byproducts have also been known to cause low birth rate and even miscarriages.
Even though the testing generated DBPs at levels considered unsafe by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), especially with long-term use, it seems the city of Sacramento allowed the testing to continue. Sacramento’s Utility Director, Bill Busath says that the testing of ACH to replace another water treatment chemical called ALUM was intended to be a short-term trial, but continued for a full year because of the almighty dollar.
“There was an expectation that we would be able to save quite a bit of money,” he told ABC10.
Sacramento officials have finally admitted that the test created a dangerous situation, saying it allowed DBP numbers to rise to “historically high levels when using (ACH) aluminum chlorohydrate.”
ACH and ALUM are used to take river water and bond with impurities after they enter a treatment plant, but the ACH proved ineffective. To cope with the problem, city officials pumped in more chlorine, which bonded with the organic compounds, turning the chlorine into DBPs.
Busath said, “As soon as the levels got to where we thought that we wouldn’t be in compliance, and hence wouldn’t be protective of public health, we stopped the trial.”
But the trial didn’t end until May 2014, a full year after it began. Internal tests performed by the city show that time after time, the DBP readings went above what the EPA considers safe for long-term exposure. A city chemist noticed the problem three days into the test.
In an e-mail to managers, the chemist wrote: “I’m nervous about the distribution samples.”
Bob Bowcock, a man who grew up working in the water treatment industry and is an adviser to Erin Brokovich, explains that DBPs are especially dangerous for pregnant women and unborn babies.
“In first trimester pregnancies, there’s a significant rise in miscarriages, and in third trimester there’s evidence of low birth weight,” he said, describing how the water contaminated with DBPs is even more dangerous when its mists are breathed in while showering or washing dishes.
“I think the testing should have stopped immediately,” Bowcock said. “I think they should have called the Division of Drinking Water.”
But the lives of mothers and babies didn’t seem to matter to Sacramento city officials, who, it appears, ignored the warnings and, instead, expanded the test and told city council they needed enough money allocated, $850,000, to buy a truckload of ACH every week for a year for more testing.
In July 2013, Busath and other utility heads officially signed Sacramento residents up to be guinea pigs for a full year, telling the city council in a staff report that the State of California “has now mandated that the trial be extended from three weeks to a full year.”
But there is one little problem: the California EPA Division of Drinking Water claims it never told the city that it had to conduct a year-long trial of ACH or any other chemical. It was just the opposite.
“The city approached us,” said Division of Drinking Water Deputy Director Bruce Burton. “It was the city who asked us if they could use that chemical at their water treatment plant.”
When interviewed by ABC10, Busath said:
“The word mandate used in the council report was probably a poor choice of words.”
And when the news outlet asked Busath why the test continued, he repeatedly gave the same answer. “Because we had the anticipation of saving money with using ACH,” said Busath.
So, why didn’t Busath’s department share the troubling data with regulators and the public? Says Busath:
“As long as we were in compliance, we don’t need to contact them. All this trial, we were within the guidelines for the disinfectant byproduct levels, which is a one-year running average.”
At least once, in January 2014, the Sacramento River Plant where the chemicals were being tested was turned off, and the city took water from another plant on the American River. The city even intentionally switched water sources from the city to the county after one of the quarterly tests.
This was the subject of one email; “Request for emergency water service from Sacramento County Water Agency to the City of Sacramento.”
The emergency was that if Sacramento didn’t get water from another source, it was doomed to exceed yearly standards for its disinfection byproducts.
Ian: DBP’s are a very unfortunate result of the addition of chlorine to our water supply. If our water supply carried no organic matter, chlorine would not create DBP’s. In reality, there’s always some organics in our water, and hence, some DBP’s. Luckily for our clients, the UltraStream‘s powerful catalytic carbon neutralises DBP’s with ease.
We spend most of our day talking to people about their water quality.
We’ve been doing this for 16 years, so last night’s TV report on brain eating amoeba in your tap water comes as no surprise to us. As you can see from the image, it’s also well known and well researched.
So let’s get specific and not waste time. Naegleria fowleri likes warm water. If you drink water containing it, there is no problem. If, however, you breath it in, or get it up your nose, then it can go to the brain.
Yes, it is difficult to tell kids that they shouldn’t play with the hose on a hot day.. or if you are in a rural area, that they don’t take a refreshing dip in your dam. And yes, there is a chance that this could cause aegleria fowleri to get up your kid’s nose and into his/her brain. 300 deaths worldwide isn’t massive, but..
“It causes catastrophic meningitis encephalitis, and by the time these kids are diagnosed the treatments are usually ineffective,” says public health physician Dr Steven Donohue.
“We think that probably 98 per cent of cases die even in the best of hands, even in the most modern intensive care units.”
So here’s what you can do now.
- Keep kids and adults out of untreated water and away from hoses. Remember, the water has to go up the nose.
- Add chlorine to your water. Unfortunately, chlorine is also a carcinogen, so you’ll need a water filter to remove the chlorine after it does its job of killing the bug.
- Add a UV unit to your home supply. You may even consider a whole home water filter system incorporating UV.
UV kills bacteria of all sorts as the water passes an ultraviolet light. Remember, you need only treat the water that may get up your nose, which is usually your shower or bath.
- If you cannot add chlorine to your water supply ( it IS difficult to monitor and dose correctly) install a water filter with technology that can kill amoeba. Our UltraStream uses a patented technology called KDF 85. This water treatment reduces bacteria and other microorganisms by disrupting electron transport, causing cellular damage. KDF process media also kill bacteria by direct electrochemical contact and by the flash formation of hydroxyl radicals and hydrogen peroxide, both of which interfere with a microorganism’s ability to function. It’s expensive but good.
- Install a Sterasyl prefilter to your UltraStream. We’re on tank water at home and we use this to specifically block bacteria. Its specs are very impressive, and it lasts for hundreds of ‘clean and replaces’. Tested with live Cryptosporidium to a removal of 100%, tested with live bacteria to a removal of >99.99%.
- Install a shower filter with KDF. It’s not as good as the UltraStream because the water flows through much faster, but it’s far better than no filter.
- Keep away from showers that mist. Water mist surrounds the bather, and can carry Naegleria fowleri up the nose.If you’d like to discuss your own water supply situation, give us a call on 1300 255 292 or email us now.
When an international group of pro medicos tells us our ability to reproduce is being affected by toxins, it’s probably worth taking notice.
A new report by a group of international medicos published this week says just that. Who? The International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics (FIGO), that’s who!
They are talking about exposure to toxic chemicals in food, water and air being linked to millions of deaths, and costing billions of dollars every year.
Among the poor health outcomes linked to pesticides, air pollutants, plastics and other chemicals, according to the report, are miscarriage and stillbirths, an increase in cancer, attention problems and hyperactivity.
“Exposure to toxic environmental chemicals during pregnancy and breastfeeding is ubiquitous and is a threat to healthy human reproduction,”
can we believe this report? We see so many. Well, the report was written by a team of physicians and scientists from the United States, the United Kingdom and Canada, including from the World Health Organization. It was published in the International Journal of Gynecology and Obstetrics ahead of a global conference on women’s health issues next week in Vancouver, British Columbia.
“We are drowning our world in untested and unsafe chemicals and the price we are paying in terms of our reproductive health is of serious concern,”
~Gian Carlo Di Renzo, a physician and lead author of the FIGO opinion.
So is it getting better? Nope. We just move the dirty industries into thirdworld countries where the enviro controls are lax.
Our new international trade agreement, the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TPP), lacks much-needed protections against toxic chemicals. It doesn’t make it better.
The report also cited several examples of the range of the problem.
- Seven million people worldwide die each year because of exposure to indoor and outdoor air pollution.
- Healthcare and other costs from exposure to endocrine disrupting chemicals in Europe are estimated at a minimum of 157 billion euros a year.
- The cost of childhood diseases related to environmental toxins and pollutants in air, food, water, soil and in homes and neighborhoods in the United States was calculated at $76.6 billion in 2008.
OK. More nasty news… But if we aren’t personally healthy how can we take action to change the world? It may seem selfish to clean up your own life by removing chem-laden ‘frankenfoods, toxic cleaning products, excess detergents, and.. gosh, I could write a book on it, couldn’t I? But it does seem to me that I am not selfish if I ‘take care of business’ personally and then give service to the world by example and by action.
My Quick Home list.
Clean up your food.
- Clean up your water.
- Clean up your personal products.
- Clean up your home cleaner products.
- Reduce your detergent use.
- Properly dispose of old pharma.
- Weed instead of spray.
- Invest in clean technology!
Then talk about it.
What are they, you ask?
They are tiny bits of plastic used for all sorts of weird purposes. Over 800 trillion microbeads enter US wastewater daily, and because water treatment plants were never designed to handle this new source of pollution, a lot of the microplastics end up in rivers and lakes, get ingested by various creatures, and then make their way up the food chain back to us.
here’s the big story on my fave blog, TreeHugger.
Our UltraStream has been tested to 3500 litres by Griffith University laboratory for (among many other things) fluoride reduction.
We use an NSF approved non-eluting (it doesn’t leach into your water) US supplied Activated Alumina. It’s THE best we could find anywhere in the world, in line with all other filter media in our UltraStream.
Yet.. we still have some competitors trying to tell people that using activated alumina means you may get aluminium in your water, frightening them with fears of Alzheimers and anything else they can think of. So let’s give them the benefit of the doubt and assume they really don’t understand what alumina is.
The first thing we all learned in high school was the difference between an element (atom) and compound (molecule). But did we remember that well enough to remember it? Obviously not for some people.
Point #1. The difference between an atom and a molecule.
Salt is, as we know, safe to consume. But if we were told to consume chlorine we’d say no.
But.. chlorine is one of two parts of salt! Sodium is the other.
Sodium is an atom.
Chlorine is an atom.
Sodium chloride is a molecule, bound together ionically so it isn’t poisonous,
Aluminium is an atom.
Activated alumina is a molecule.
Point #2 What activated alumina actually is in nature
Now.. what if I told you we added ultrapure semiprecious gems rubies and sapphires to your UltraStream and used them to reduce fluoride? I’m guessing you’d be pretty impressed, right? Well.. that’s exactly what we are doing.
Look at this from Wikipedia.
Activated alumina is manufactured from aluminium hydroxide by dehydroxylating it in a way that produces a highly porous material; this material can have a surface area significantly over 200 square metres/g. The compound is used as a desiccant (to keep things dry by absorbing water from the air) and as a filter of fluoride, arsenic and selenium in drinking water. It is made of aluminium oxide (alumina; Al2O3), the same chemical substance as sapphire and ruby (but without the impurities that give those gems their color). It has a very high surface-area-to-weight ratio, due to the many “tunnel like” pores that it has.”
Go here to see how we use Activated Alumina in the UltraStream. And remember, we tested the UltraStream to the expected life of the filter. The tests are in our downloads section. There’s not another water ionizer in the world that has been tested to this degree. It’s obvious why: other methods of fluoride removal in water filters can be sold using an ‘as new’ laboratory test, without showing the rapid decrease in reduction each day you continue to use your filter.
If you’re looking at a water filter, watch for ‘Up To 99%” on the advertising and always ask for an independent LIFE OF FILTER test done in the country you are in, not Asia!
In every case I have seen of people attacking AA, their competing product hes been using a cheaper method. As in life, when you buy a water filter you ‘gets what you pays for’.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today issued health advisory values that states and utilities can use to protect Americans from elevated levels of algal toxins in drinking water. Algal blooms in rivers, lakes, and bays produce harmful toxins.
Because utilities often use these water bodies as sources of drinking water, EPA has determined algal toxin levels in tap water that are protective of human health based on the best available science.
Last August a harmful algal bloom in Lake Erie left half-a-million residents of Toledo without drinking water for two days.
EPA estimates that between 30 and 48 million people use drinking water from lakes and reservoirs that may be vulnerable to algal toxin contamination.
“Nutrient pollution and harmful algal blooms are among America’s most serious and growing environmental challenges,” said EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy.
The health advisory values for algal toxins recommend 0.3 micrograms per liter for microcystin and 0.7 micrograms per liter for cylindrospermopsin as levels not to be exceeded in drinking water for children younger than school age.
For all other ages, the health advisory values for drinking water are 1.6 micrograms per liter for microcystin and 3.0 micrograms per liter for cylindrospermopsin. Potential health effects from longer exposure to higher levels of algal toxins in drinking water include gastroenteritis and liver and kidney damage.
Steps that can protect yourself from algal toxins in drinking water include:
- Watching for harmful algal blooms in water bodies used as a source of drinking water.
- Monitoring source water and drinking water for detections of algal toxins.
- Treating drinking water as necessary to reduce and remove algal toxins, including a decent water filter system.
Nutrient pollution of water is one of America’s most widespread, costly and challenging environmental problems, caused by excess nitrogen and phosphorus in the air and water. More than 100,000 miles of rivers and streams, close to 2.5 million acres of lakes, reservoirs and ponds, and more than 800 square miles of bays and estuaries in the United States have poor water quality because of nitrogen and phosphorus pollution.
Too much nitrogen and phosphorus in water can cause algal blooms, which can turn harmful to humans if they produce toxins. People can become sick from harmful algal blooms if they play or swim in a polluted water body, consume tainted fish or shellfish, or drink contaminated water. Harmful algal blooms can also create dead zones in water, killing aquatic life, raising treatment costs for drinking water, and hurting businesses and jobs that depend on clean water.
The latest in water-quality instrumentation can now be found right at your grocery store — in the ladies’ section, specifically.
Scientists at the University of Sheffield in the UK placed feminine hygiene products “into streams and sewers around Yorkshire,” They discovered that “tampons are an accurate and cheap way to sample water quality.”
They were aiming to find a low-cost water-quality tester that could help them detect grey-water contamination. One commentator said “The UK has a problem: thanks to bad plumbing and a groaning sewer system, ‘grey water’ — the stuff that comes out of your dishwashers and washing machines — is ending up in rivers, bringing all sorts of contaminants with it,”
The researchers were testing for ‘Optical Brighteners’, an indicator that a stream is contaminated by gray water. OBs are put into laundry detergents “to make your whites whiter. They do this by absorbing invisible UV light, and re-emitting it as a blue-white color. The compounds also tend to stick to fabrics like a leech. If you dip a piece of absorbent, untreated cotton into contaminated water, it should glow under UV light.
With that in mind, the team placed tampons into 16 surface water sewers, tying the tampons to bamboo poles with the oh-so-handy attached string,
3 days later tampons were retrieved and tested using UV light. And yes, they did successfully detect grey water contamination, and determination of a positive and negative result was pretty clear.
The total cost of sampling? An estimated 20 pence/tampon (30 cents in US Dollars), including the cost of the black light.
What was their alternative?
“Fiberoptic cables can be inserted into sewer systems to monitor contamination, but the cost is quite high–up to £9 ($13) per meter of sewer tested. Spectrophotometers can be used to detect contaminants, but they aren’t cheap, and require training and calibration to use reliably. Testing an entire network of drains and sewers in a large urban area would be incredibly expensive in both time and equipment,” the report said.
The bottom line is that England’s waterways are being assaulted in ways Mother Nature never even dreamed of. Gone is the day when a cheap big box store carbon filter suffices for home use, specifically because the UK’s aging water reticulation systems – some parts over a century old – have no infrastructure or available technology to (a) detect contaminants and (b) remove them.
A modern filter has to be a well-armed design, with multiple medias that remove or reduce not just carcinogenic chlorine, but the newly introduced chloramines, fluoride, and a wide spectrum technology to manage all of the other contaminants above. And having purified the water, we can begin to look at the ever-expanding field of water enhancement which includes alkalizing and infusion of hydrogen.
Fluoride may cause depression and weight gain
Scientists from the University of Kent warn that fluoride in drinking water could be causing depression and weight gain, and suggest that councils stop adding it to prevent tooth decay.
The new research shows nearly double the number of cases of underactive thyroid in fluoridated areas compared to the number found in unfluoridated areas. Lead author Professor Stephen Peckham believes “it is concerning for people living in those areas” as it is “a particularly nasty thing to have and it can lead to other long term health problems.”
Dr Sandra White, Director of Dental Public Health at Public Health England, maintains that fluoridation is safe and effective and has accused the study of being skewed by population bias.
When you have a really, really great water system like the UltraStream it doesn’t really matter where tit goes, as long as you can get the water. John, our man on the ground in California attended an open house recently, and guess what he found in the bathroom?
Bottled Water versus owning your own UltraStream Alkaline Water Ioniser
Author Diana Michaels is one of our many Alkaway distributors, way down in Busselton, Western Australia .
Ian: Diana, thank you so much for this!
The cost of 15 litres of bottled water delivered to your home is about $19.95. A commercial price could be as low as $13.00 per 15 litres. Note that the costs used in this comparison for the bottled water were actual costs quoted by one of the largest distributors in Australia for the supply of water to a medium size corporate business earlier this year, 2014.
The cost to a business who used 1 x 15 litre of spring water weekly at a cost of $13.00 per 15 litre with a fortnightly delivery would be:
At $13.00 per week for only one 15 litre bottle the annual cost would be $676.00 – (780 litres of water per annum) . The cost of the UltraStream replacement filter cartridge is $199.00 and it produces 3000 litres of alkaline and ionised water.
Both the chilled water dispenser and the UltraStream unit cost to initially purchase – the water dispenser is approximately $200 the UltraStream is $499 (and for a commercial application an undersink kit is recommended which is $175). If no power source is available that would need to be installed for the water dispenser but not required for the UltraStream. The UltraStream does not require a plumber to install the Unit it can he installed by anyone who is handy;
The cost in the first year of the chilled water dispenser (buying only 1 x 15 litre bottle delivered fortnightly) is $676 for the water; approximately $200 for the dispenser; an additional cost of $1.25 fuel levy per delivery ($1.25 x 26 fortnights) adds 32.50; and in some cases the cost of installing a powerpoin and some power consumption – amounts to an estimated $908.50;
The cost in the first year of the UltraStream plus the undersink kit and a replacement filter is $499 for the UltraStream; $175 for the undersink kit; and $199 for the replacement filter (this is for next years 3000 litres of water); – this amounts to $873.00;
The cost in the second year of the chilled water dispenser with exactly the same usage (assuming that there has not been a price rise) is $676 for (780 litres of water) plus $32.50 for the fuel levy and some power consumption – amounting to around $708.50;
The cost of the second year of the UltraStream is $199.00 for the replacement filter (which you already purchased in your UltraStream Startup Kit). If you buy a replacement filter in the second year you will always have one on hand;
Subsequent years (assuming no increase in price) the bottled water will cost at least $708.50 plus power and the UltraStream will cost $199.00 for the replacement filter, plus a small amount for shipping;
UltraSteam wins hands down!
To read more click on this link …… In my capacity as a Occupational Health and Safety Advisor
Diana Michaels – Starlight Wellness Centre July 2014
1. Are pesticides a serious problem in our drinking waters?
2. Are there systems that can remove them?
What are pesticides?
The legal definition of ‘‘pesticide’’ is:
(1) any substance or mixture of substances intended for preventing, destroying, repelling or mitigating any pest;
(2) any substance or mixture of substances intended for use as a plant regulator, defoliant or desiccant; and
(3) any nitrogen stabilizer.
Pesticides are called economic poisons.
They control undesirable “pests” in our environment so they are intended for beneficial uses. However, because they are poisons to a greater or lesser degree, they are intensively examined and regulated prior to being allowed to be used. There are over a thousand registered pesticide active ingredients and many thousands of registered formulations of combinations of pesticides (active ingredients) and inactive (inert ingredients).
There is a huge database available at http://www.epa.gov/pesticides/PPISdata/. They include antimicrobials and biopesticides, in addition to the conventional substances.
Many pesticides are organic chemicals, but there are also inorganic chemicals like arsenic, lead, chlorate and chlorine that fit the definitions.
Can the Law help?
There are four major laws that control the uses and human exposures to pesticides in the U.S.: The Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA), Federal Food Drug and Cosmetic Act (FFDCA) and the Food Quality Protection Act of 1996 (FQPA).
The Safe Drinking Water Act gives the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) control of contaminants in public drinking water supplies. All pesticides used in the U.S. must be registered (licensed) by the EPA. Registration assures that pesticides will be properly labeled, and that if used in accordance with specifications they will not cause unreasonable harm to health or the environment. Use of each registered pesticide must be consistent with use directions contained on labeling.
FIFRA gives the EPA the authority for comprehensive regulation of all pesticides from their manufacture, transport, sale, distribution and use. Its history goes back to 1910 and it has been amended numerous times.
By law, pesticides must be applied according to the label directions. FFDCA gives the EPA the authority to produce Pesticide Tolerances that set limits on the amounts of pesticide residues allowed in food or animal feed.
FQPA increased the safety standards for assessing new pesticides and also required that older pesticides and tolerances to be periodically reassessed using the new tougher standards. FFDCA and FQPA have special provisions to protect infants and children. The registrants pay the costs of the registration and review processes carried out by the EPA.
Pesticides production and use
According to the Cornell Safety Education Program (CSEP), pesticides production in the U.S. tripled from 400 million pounds in 1950 to over 1.4 billion pounds in 1980 — this probably included exports as well as domestic use. However, remarkably, the estimated use in 2001 was less, 1.25 billion pounds (www.extension.org), indicating more restrictive and cancelled registrations and more careful application management.
The change is happening, and an apt term might be ‘a ‘grass roots’ movement!
The types of pesticides in current use have also changed substantially, from persistent pesticides like DDT and chlordane, to more biodegradable pesticides. About half are herbicides like glyphosate and atrazine. Application rates are very small, ranging from a few ounces to a few pounds per acre.
Pesticides in drinking water
Surface waters and especially small streams in agricultural areas frequently have measurable amounts of at least one pesticide. This can be seasonable, such as from the widespread use of the pre-emergent herbicide atrazine in the Corn Belt in the spring.
Groundwater contamination is a function of soil transmissivity and physical and chemical properties of the pesticides used in the area. Groundwater contamination tends to be persistent once it occurs because of its slow movement and less biochemical transformation that occurs in that environment.
Nitrate increase is a possible indicator of the possibility of some pesticide presence because of its use in fertilizers and solubility and mobility in water. It can also be an indicator of potential microbial contamination.
Among many health and environmental assessments, the registration process uses specific criteria involving the potential for applications and use patterns and quantities to contaminate drinking water, and the potential human exposure that could result in relation to risk-based concentrations.
The EPA establishes Maximum Contaminant Levels for each contaminant based upon toxicology, health risk and control feasibility. In the European Union, pesticides detections in drinking water are a method for regulating their use in the watershed of a water supplier. If any pesticide’s level exceeds 0.1 ppb in the drinking water or the total exceeds 0.5 ppb, the use in the watershed is investigated and modified, up to a ban in that watershed.
Public drinking water suppliers have specified monitoring and reporting requirements. They are required to produce Consumer Confidence Reports that describe the condition and regulatory status of the supply. Compliance information is available online or from the supplier.
Drinking waters are regulated for at least 30 pesticides, plus four disinfectant-related chemicals like chlorite. That count is probably low because numerous other chemicals have minor uses in applications such as fumigants. Most pesticides are seldom detected in compliance monitoring, or do not exceed standards when detected.
CSEP reports that 22 pesticides have been detected in U.S. wells, and up to 80 were estimated to have the potential for movement in groundwater under favorable conditions.
If a source water is contaminated by any regulated chemical, it must be managed to achieve the standard. This could include the use of appropriate water treatment technology or changing the source, such as by drilling a new well.
Drinking Water Safety
In addition to the regulations, EPA’s Water Office has published Drinking Water Health Advisories (EPA 822-S-12-001) that include about 100 additional health-based values for unregulated contaminants.
EPA’s Pesticides Office has published drinking water benchmark values for more than 355 pesticides. The latter needs to be read carefully because they are not prospective drinking water standards. They calculated benchmarks from health data applying a 20 percent relative source contribution for drinking water. Actually, relative source contributions (RSC) in standards usually can range from 20 to 80 percent — the higher the RSC, the higher potential drinking water standard.
For example, the 20 percent RSC for chlorate yields a benchmark of 210 ppb, but applying an 80 percent RSC, as used by Canada and the World Health Organization, would give a benchmark of 840 ppb.
Where are pesticides in drinking water’s greatest concerns?
Pesticides can be found in some surface waters and groundwaters, however, many pesticides are regulated. Public water supplies are generally monitored and treated, so they are usually not a concern.
The more likely problems would be found in rural home wells, shallow groundwaters, associated with agricultural activities, in porous sandy soils and seasonally where small streams are draining agricultural areas and in small public water systems where limited monitoring is required.
There are probably millions of at risk home wells, and thousands of small public water supplies.
Is POU/POE decentralized water treatment effective for compliance with drinking water standards?
The Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) specifically allows use of POU or POE for public water system compliance. When EPA lists compliance technologies for Maximum Contaminant Levels or Treatment Techniques for small systems, they must include packaged or modular systems and POU and POE treatment units.
POU, POE or bottled water may be required as part of a Variance or Exemption delay from meeting a regulation to avoid an unreasonable risk to health during the time that the compliance delay is allowed.
Bottled water is not allowed for compliance. If the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) has issued product standards applicable to a specific type of POU or POE treatment unit, those units must be independently certified to those ANSI standards (see Water Technology, April 2014, Professor POU/POE for details).
Central treatment using packaged plants is available for small water supplies. These are usually more cost effective for small systems than having engineered systems designed on site. They also are usually more rapidly installed, automated and less costly to operate than “stick built” systems. One would suspect that consulting engineers prefer the latter.
Some heavily chlorinated pesticides that bind well to sediments, like DDT or chlordane, are removed by conventional coagulation and sand filtration.
Granular activated carbon technology is usually effective, especially for the more modern pesticides that are less hydrophobic. Ozonation can reduce the less chlorinated more reactive pesticides. Reverse osmosis could also be effective, though probably most costly and wasteful of reject water.
We also n to be sensitive to co-contamination by nitrate and microbials that might indicate potential for pesticide contamination.
Chemical analysis for the broad spectrum of pesticides can be expensive — in the multiple hundreds of dollars per sample. However, it would often be possible to pinpoint the most likely pesticide contaminants from other monitoring data that has been collected in the area, and from information on the pesticides that have been used. Ask your local authority what facility they have for testing or existing data on your property.
Available pesticides have been shifting to less toxic, less persistent and more biodegradable chemicals, and they are being applied at lesser loadings. Many registered pesticides are applied annually at the billion pound level — many are regulated in drinking water so they are generally managed in public drinking water supplies. Rural groundwaters and small streams probably have the greatest likelihood for unmanaged pesticide water contamination that can be treated by POU and POE technologies.
But.. is there a ‘good level’ for pesticides in your drinking water?
The Ultrastream takes filtration of pesticides to the ultimate. It uses the best catalytic carbon – up to 8 times more effective than granular activated carbon – and KDF, the patented media acknowledged as the best heavy metals reduction media in the world. Yes, it’s more expensive than a big box carbon filter but it’s a complete health system.. not just a filter.
Why Our Water Filtration Process is Better
Water filters are everywhere. They range in cost from under twenty dollars to hundreds and even thousands of dollars for an under-sink, electrically powered reverse osmosis system (like our own UltRo System).
So what makes our energy-saving Ultrastream mechanical filtration system a truly outstanding choice for American families?
The UltraStream filtration system comes in a good-looking case — white or black and brushed metal — and can be used on a countertop, or it can be installed under your sink for in-line service through a water filter tap. It’s compact and well designed, with an easy to change filter stack and a compact footprint.
The Ultrastream filtration system creates the best alkaline water you’ll find, both in terms of effectiveness and taste, but that’s not all it does. It will also add molecxular hydrogen and antioxidant negative ions, while it removes harmful toxins. For example, the Ultrastream will remove excess fluoride from water, lowering the concentration by up to 70 percent. It also filters harmful organic particles, pesticides and pharmaceuticals and removes heavy metals and chemicals like chlorine, chloramines and trihalomethanes, too.
Developed Over More Than a Decade
It took us over a decade of research and testing to hunt down the filtration layers needed to purify ordinary tap water through a process of extreme filtration, and then transform it into a health-enhancing drink accessible every day. The UltraStream system creates water with enhanced hydrogen supplementation that is also ionized to act as an antioxidant.
Fully Researched and Tested
At AlkaWay, we — unlike many of our competitors — are willing to put our money where our mouth is. We commissioned Griffith University to perform independent testing to analyze our filtered water under conditions reflecting the full one-year life span of the filter – not just the filter in as-new condition.
What did they find?
The UltraStream continues to perform up to spec for 12 months and up to 3,000 liters of water. The UltraStream system continues to increase the hydrogen concentration in the water 10,000 times and deliver oxidation / reduction potential, or ORP, of -350 millivolts up to an entire one year life of the filter. It also keeps the water’s pH in a healthy, alkaline range of 8 to 10.
Taken together, this means that the Ultrastream alkaline water ioniser outperforms more energy intensive systems that are offered at many times the cost. You can use it on your countertop or, with an inexpensive installation kit, under your sink. Once you’ve researched the benefits of alkaline water and ionized hydrogen water and looked into the alternatives that are currently on the market, you’ll agree that the UltraStream system offers an amazing value and that no health conscious household should be without it.
Our water filters were designed in Australia, tested in the US, and are manufactured in California, so you know that you can trust the quality and consistency of our products.
Here’s a glaring example of the fact that you can’t trust ’em..
Nearly 7,500 gallons of crude MCHM (AKA 4-methylcyclohexanemethanol) — a little-known chemical used to wash coal — had leaked into the Elk River on Jan. 9, perplexing state officials on how exactly to get the chemical out of the water and what exactly it would do to people if they used it. It was Jan. 13, a Monday, when the first bans were lifted. As of Saturday, everyone affected by the spill was given the all-clear — water everywhere, state officials said, was now fine to drink.
In a perfect world, that would be the end of the story. But according to statistics released by the state health department on Saturday, it turns out that since the bans on water began being lifted, hospital admissions and calls to the poison control center have doubled. Emergency room visits have nearly tripled.
On Jan. 12, the day before do-not-use orders began being lifted, health department officialscited 10 hospital admissions, 169 people treated and released from the emergency room, and a little more than 1,000 calls to the poison control center.
By Saturday — the same day the final 2 percent of people affected by the spill got their water back — those numbers had increased significantly. According to a report in the Charleston Gazette, health officials said 20 people had been admitted to the hospitals, 411 had been treated and released from the emergency room, and 2,302 had called the poison control center. Of those, 1,862 were human-related, 98 were animal-related and the rest were requests for information only.
Saturday’s numbers were also much greater than Thursday’s numbers, when health officials said only 317 had been treated and 14 had been hospitalized.
Part of the increased hospitalizations and calls may be due to confusion on the part of West Virginia residents, who in the last week have been repeatedly given conflicting information about the spill and whether they should use the water. The “do-not-drink” order finally lifted on Saturday, for example, was in a town that had actually had their ban lifted on Tuesday. On Thursday, however, West Virginia American Water rescinded their statements that the water was safe to drink, after water from a fire hydrant registered chemical levels above the 1-part-per-million (ppm) limit.
It’s not the only instance of conflicting information. On Wednesday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said pregnant women should not drink water with any amount of the chemical in it, despite West Virginia American Water saying two days earlier that water in some areas was safe to drink.
Chemical levels in the water must be below 1 ppm for human ingestion. But health experts have questioned that logic. Specifically, some are saying that the study being widely used to determine whether the water is safe does not include several chemical components that leached into the water.
“A key corporate study used by federal health officials to set a screening level for ‘crude MCHM’ in the West Virginia American Water system actually tested a pure form of the material’s main ingredient and might not account for potential toxicity of other components,” the Charleston Gazette reported on Friday.
The chemical that is thought to have spilled, crude MCHM, is actually a mixture of chemicals that is used to wash coal of its impurities, explained Evan Hansen, president of Morgantown-based Downstream Strategies, in an interview with Climate Progress’ Kiley Kroh on Saturday. Of those multiple ingredients, only one of them has any information about exposure limits, he said.
Ian: A case for an UltRo.