Wednesday, August 30, 2017
Wisdom Wednesday: How Sate Is Your Drinking Water?
Even if local health officials say it’s safe, cloudy drinking water may have the potential to cause vomiting and diarrhea, a new research review finds.
Researchers looked at past North American and European studies exploring the link between water cloudiness, or turbidity, and tummy troubles. “More than 10 studies found a link between water turbidity and acute gastrointestinal illness incidence,” said researcher Anneclaire De Roos. She is an associate professor at Drexel University’s Dornsife School of Public Health in Philadelphia.
Waterborne germs such as norovirus, Giardia and Cryptosporidium can cause gastrointestinal illness. The researchers estimate that water systems in the United States may cause more than 16 million cases of stomach distress.
Cloudiness in water is caused by undissolved particles, or it could be evidence of runoff containing not just sediment but also harmful germs, the researchers said. In the review, De Roos said, “the association between turbidity and acute gastrointestinal illness was found in cites with relatively high turbidity levels, often in unfiltered drinking water supplies.”
That wasn’t a surprise. However, “the findings that go against the conventional wisdom are the associations between turbidity and acute gastrointestinal illness that were seen at very low levels of turbidity, levels lower than the regulatory limits,” she said.
The study was published this month in Environmental Health Perspectives, Aug. 17, 2017.
Reverse osmosis (RO) will remove much of this turbidity but not necessarily the infective agents. It all depends on the size of the organism. Viral particles are too small to be stopped by RO.
I have been recommending distilled water for many years. I have owned a half dozen small distillers that make a gallon of water in about three hours. Over the years, the price has remained just over $100 but the quality, longevity, and speed of production have all improved.
Distilled water has a pH of 7 – neutral. You can add some minerals to it if you like or a little lemon juice to alter the pH. Currently, I’m adding a little sea salt from dissolved crystals to a glass every day.
I love the taste, as does the rest of the family. Guests generally ask about our water because it tastes so good.
Typically, I make 2-3 gallons per day for our use. I also carry it to the gym, to play tennis, swim or cycle. On a long bike ride I typically will have to purchase some bottled water along the way as I only carry 48 ounces. But I really try to avoid using tap water if possible.
The Bottom Line:
Water is second only to air in support of life. Aside from the potential for gastrointestinal infections, water quality is also a long-term health issue. Estrogens, antibiotics, and tens of thousands of man-made chemicals are in our water supply. While the heath threats posed by many of these chemicals remains unknown, they certainly aren’t good for you. Drink distilled water.
Source: August 23, 2017 National Institutes of Health
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