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!
First.. the Good News about drinking Coffee.
The benefits of coffee consumption have long been questioned, but now a new group of experts have given it the thumbs up – at least for one issue.
A review of studies published in the journal Alimentary Pharmacology and Therapeutics says that increasing coffee intake could help reduce the chances of developing alcohol-related cirrhosis.
To examine the relationship between coffee consumption and the risk of cirrhosis, a research team from Southampton University, analyzed nine studies involving more than 430,000 participants. The studies included 1,990 cirrhosis patients. The length of the studies varied, but one lasted nearly 20 years.
In eight of the nine studies analyzed, increasing coffee consumption by two cups per day was “associated with a statistically significant reduction in the risk of cirrhosis” – specifically by 44%.
And.. compared to no coffee consumption, researchers noted approximately one cup per day was linked to 22% lower risk of cirrhosis, three cups helped decrease the risk by 57%, and four cups significantly dropped the risk to 65%. “However, there may be an upper limit beyond which there is no further benefit,” expressed Kennedy. Nevertheless, the researchers cautioned caffeine enthusiasts not to immediately load up on fancy lattes and sugar-laden frappes.
It’s not yet clear what compound in coffee or even which type of coffee bean leads to a healthier liver. The team noted that the potential link between coffee’s health benefits and cirrhosis isn’t a new discovery; however, health care professionals often find this a difficult concept to accept. Additionally, researchers expressed some of the studies reviewed did not account for other risk factors for cirrhosis, like obesity and diabetes.
Now for the Bad News
Chlorine in your coffee water has a dirty little secret. When chlorinated water meets organic matter like coffee grounds, or even tea, it forms carcinogenic trihalomethanes. So unless you have a water filter that removes chlorine and its even nastier alter ego, chloramines, you’re ingesting carcinogens with every sip.
Here’s the conversation we overheard from top water quality specialists from around the world on LinkedIn.
Franz Dillard: “Dear All,
I suppose many of us drink coffee or tea using tap water without removing chlorine from it and we do it every day. I was wondering if the process of coffee or tea making could produce THMs when using chlorinated drinking water?
~ THMs (Trihalomethanes) are carcinogens, byproducts of the reaction between chlorine and organic matter in water.
~ Drinking water has a free chlorine concentration from 0.2 to 0.5 mg/L and coffee or tea are a concentrate of organic matter.
~ During the water treatment process, we avoid the production of THMs by removing as much organic matter as we can before chlorinating the water.
~ But with the coffee or tea preparation process, we put chlorinated water in contact with a concentrate of organic matter.
Owen Boyd : FYI..Trihalomethanes (THMs) are suspected carcinogens and reproductive toxicants commonly found in chlorinated drinking water. This study investigates THM formation during the preparation of beverages and foods using chlorinated drinking water.
A total of 11 foods and 17 beverages were tested. Under the experimental conditions, each food and beverage formed THMs, primarily chloroform, although low or trace levels of brominated THMs were also detected. Tea formed the highest THM levels (e.g., chloroform levels from 3 to 67 microg l(-1)), followed by coffee (from 3 to 13 microg l(-1)), rice (9 microg l(-1)), soups (from 0.4 to 3.0 microg l(-1)), vegetables (<1 microg l(-1)), and baby food (<0.7 microg l(-1)). Chloroform formationwith instant tea, used as a highly reproducible model system, increased with free chlorine concentration, decreased with higher food (tea) concentration, and was unaffected by reaction (steeping) time and bromide ion concentration.
Erik Desormeaux There is not always a silver bullet in terms of water distribution or food and beverage. TTHM’s are just a fraction of the disinfection byproducts that can be of concern. When not utilized properly, Ozone can create bromate that exceeds regulated levels and chloramines can lead to NDMA and other nitrosamines with potential risks that we do not yet fully understand. So the best solution will likely be different at different places based on specific needs.
Also, cold brewed coffee is becoming a popular way of making coffee without boiling.
Hoda Tafvizi I think the best idea is using a filtering device on the tap including activated carbon filter and then you can be sure about THMs!
Ian: Now here’s the silver lining to this bad news. It’s a secret Brita and other filter jug sellers definitely DON’t want you to know!
Thierry Minguet Just put tap water in an open bottle in your fridge. After about half an hour, the chlorine dissolved in the water , maintained in solution under pressure in the pipes, will evolue into gazeous chlorine and evaporate Under atmospheric pressure. Hold the water into the fridge to avoid an infection under room temperature. Don’t hold the water for a long time. Use/replace it. Very cheaper and tasty, not only for coffee.
Moustafa Hedayah Before I make my tea and coffee I boil the water ,,, and that will remove Chlorine gas in case if you don’t have carbon filter.
Richard Ebong There is need for in depth and independent study on this subject. The effect might vary with geographical location and race.
Joy Montgomery How much do bleached coffee filters add?
John Robertson If we were to drink 10 cups (2L) of water from a tap or 10 cups (2L) of boiled water from the same tap per day which would be safer. Safe water needs to be available to the broad population which economically precludes carbon filtration at the point of consumption.
Ian: So.. we’ve learned that if we consume a sixpack of beer a day, it’s a good idea to drink coffee.
But if we do.. we’re ingesting a known carcinogen.
Strange world. Here’s my tuppence worth.
1. If you have a coffee maker, see if the water tank in it is vented. If it is, you’re lucky, becasue as discussed here, chlorine is a gas and will ‘outgas’ from your coffee maker water if it has sufficient surface area.
2. Ring your local council to see if they are using cheap n’ nasty chloramine. This is a mix of ammonia and chlorine which does NOT outgas, but still has the same effect on organics like tea leaves and coffee grounds.
3. If you bought a water filter jug to remove chlorine you were gypped. As you’ve seen here, the chlorine will outgas anyway.
4. Want a better coffee anyway? A good water filter like the UltraStream will remove a far greater range of contaminants and it will alkalize the water, making it take up coffee flavour better. You’ll get more from your coffee dollars and enjoy it more. just like us here at home.
Eight Steps To Super Healthy Water
In our last blog post, we talked about the “why” of our revolutionary UltraStream alkaline water filter system: Why Our Filtration Process is Better. This post has a little more detail on how the eight step system works and what each step adds to the quality of the water your family drinks. Then, you’ll have the details you need to fill in the blanks, and you’ll know that you have solid knowledge to base your decision on.
The UltraStream system really is an amazing development is water filtration. You won’t be surprised to hear that it does more than a cheap carbon filter, but you might be amazed at how well it performs even when compared to more expensive systems. Here are the eight filter layers and a quick summary of what each one adds to its performance.
Step 1: Anti-Bacteria Shield
This filter shield is the first line of defense against dirt and bacteria. It removes particulate matter from the water and helps to keep the rest of the filter system clean.
Step 2: Remove Fluoride From Water
Fluoride is routinely added to water supplies because of concerns about dental health. However, the levels of fluoride in our drinking water are considered too risky to emulate in much of the world, including the European Union. That’s why we have a filter layer that’s specifically designed to lower the level of fluoride in your drinking water by up to 70 percent. Our fluoride reduction media is NSF approved and tested not to leach into the outflow water.
Step 3: KDF-55
KDF-55 is approved by the National Sanitation Foundation, an independent, international standards, certification and testing organization that specializes in public health issues. KDF-55 has been specially developed to reduce the concentration of heavy metals in drinking water, and it also helps to eliminate bacteria and scale within the filtration system.
Step 4: Catalytic Carbon
There’s a reason why the most basic water filters are carbon-based, and there’s also a reason why we’ve chosen catalytic carbon for our carbon filter layer. The main purpose of this layer is to strip out the chlorine that’s used to kill bacteria in the municipal water treatment process. It also removes chloramines, trihalomethanes, pharmaceuticals and pesticides. Way more than standard carbon.
Step 5: Tourmaline Crystal
The Tourmaline Crystal is a water “polisher” that improves the taste of your drinking water.
Step 6: O-Dobi Beads
This filtration layer was a long time coming; AlkaWay spent ten years looking for the perfect material to add molecular hydrogen and alkalize their water. These porous, ceramic beads have a core of magnesium and calcium, which is slowly released into the water. In an independent test, they delivered three times more hydrogen than an electric water ionizer that sells for $4000.
Step 7: Ceramic Magnets
These magnets expand the effect of the O-Dobi Beads and help to stabilize the water’s pH.
Step 8: Crystal Quartz
The crystal quartz layer makes the final adjustment to the flavor of the water, leaving it with a pleasant, neutral taste.
Taken all together and in sequence, these filtration layers will give you the best tasting and most health enhancing water available in this or any price range.
This week I’m talking about filter performance claims.
It’s a big issue that just gets below the radar of most consumers.
If you’ve never sighted our ‘whole-of-life’ laboratory test results, click here.
How we calculate a ‘whole of life’ filter test.
Firstly we make a calculation on how many litres we expect the filter to process. In our case we based it ona family of four drinking 2 litres per day every day. Multiply that out and we came up with the ‘target’ litre count.
Then we had to find a laboratory willing to run the UltraStream for the target litres. This costs a lot more because most tests are of a simple sample: a single test performed once.
In our case it was a local university. We still needed them to pass through a ‘witches’ brew of chemicals to see how the filter reacts to them. To run it continually would require 25 200 litre drums of poisons, so we do the ‘witches’ brew at the beginning of the test and at the end, but we actually run water from the laboratory supply through the UltraStream to the target litre total.
This tells us how the UltraStream filter performs if poisons/contaminants are introduced at the beginning of filtration and at the end of filtration. Ultimately it’s the only honest way to prove a filter.
Florida now has a realtime webpage that residents can view to see the latest trihalomethane count in their drinking water. THM’s are chlorine byproducts and the unsolved problem of the most common method of water purification.
To quote the site,
“TTHMs are four organic chemicals which form as byproducts of chlorination. When chlorine is added to water that contains organic matter (such as algae, riverweeds or decaying leaves), residual chlorine molecules react with this harmless organic matter to form these organic chlorinated chemical compounds known as Total Trihalomethanes (TTHMs).”