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Water and You

What is the healthiest water: tap, bottled, reverse osmosis, distilled, or filtered?

Once we understand the uncertainties of tap water and bottled water‚ home water filtration clearly becomes the best choice.

When considering the benefits of home water purification products over tap & bottled water, first keep in mind that there are no bad systems; any water purifier is better than no purifier. The choice to be made is simply which product produces the healthiest water and represents the best value. Quality home water filtration can offer significantly purer water than tap or bottled water.

Determining the best system is a simple matter of comparing the product's performance to the performance of other alternatives. The performance of a particular water purification system can be easily verified by reviewing its Performance Data Sheet, which lists all the contaminants the system is certified to reduce and to what degree. The law in California (and several other states) requires that this information be included as part of the company‘s literature, as well as the ongoing replacement cartridge cost. The law also requires that a copy of this literature be enclosed with each product. Typically, this information will be available on a manufacturer’s web site, unless they are somewhat ashamed of it. Some manufacturers do not make this information readily available, as it allows an easy comparison with other legitimate products.

By comparing each product’s contaminant reduction capabilities‚ system cost, and ongoing cost per gallon‚ it is easy to determine which product best fits your needs.

It is also important to look at the advantages or disadvantages of other products or technologies, even if they are not leading brands; such is the case with reverse osmosis and distillation systems. Although none of the leading brands employ either of these de-mineralizing techniques‚ as their popularity has declined in recent years‚ there is an ongoing debate over the healthfulness of de-mineralized water versus filtered water (which contains minerals). While there are studies that argue both sides of this debate‚ after 15 years of specialized study in water quality and health‚ we feel that the benefits of drinking naturally balanced water with minerals are much more evident.

From a non-scientific perspective‚ the simple fact that nowhere on this planet do we find naturally occurring de-mineralized water should tell us that we were not meant to drink it. In nature, all fresh water contains traces of natural minerals like calcium‚ magnesium and potassium. Our bodies were designed to run on these minerals and the Aquasana system produces them.

On a more scientific level‚ there are several very credible research reports and books that stress the more recent opinion that long-term consumption of de-mineralized water can, in fact, be dangerous. Dr. Zolton Rona‚ author of The Joy of Health‚ states, “The longer one consumes distilled water‚ the more likely the development of mineral deficiencies and an acid state [will be]." Dr. Paavo Airola‚ cancer expert and author of How to Get Well and Cancer... Causes‚ Prevention and Healing also reports. “Long-term consumption of distilled water eventually results in multiple mineral deficiencies."

Two very negative things happen when we consume water that has been stripped of its natural minerals. First‚ because de-mineralized water contains more hydrogen, it is classified as an acidic liquid with a pH below seven. Any time we consume an acidic substance, our body will pull minerals from our teeth and bones to produce bicarbonate to neutralize the acid. Second‚ it has been proven that when our body fluids become more acidic than alkaline, the production of free radicals increases; these free radicals result in increased cancer risk. Many studies suggest that cancer cells can only grow in an acidic environment. This theory seems to be supported by the fact that, around the world, the regions in which people live the longest, most disease-free lives are the regions that have the most alkaline water (water with the highest mineral content).

Reverse osmosis and distillation were first developed over 40 years ago for the printing and photo processing industries‚ which required mineral free water. Because of the popularity and demand for home water treatment products, many companies have marketed these products as "state-of-the-art" drinking water systems‚ something they simply are not. Often these products are marketed by using a demonstration that measures the TDS (total dissolved solids) and implies that this measurement shows the system’s effectiveness at reducing contaminants. TDS meters measure the dissolved minerals in water‚ primarily calcium and magnesium‚ and have little or nothing to do with contaminant levels. Distillation and reverse osmosis are ineffective at reducing synthetic chemicals. Distillation reduces contaminants based upon their relative boiling point. Virtually all synthetic chemicals boil at a lower temperature than water and, therefore, are vaporized and condensed along with the water in a distillation process. Reverse osmosis reduces contaminants based upon molecular size. Virtually all synthetic chemicals are molecularly smaller than water and, therefore, cannot be effectively reduced by reverse osmosis.
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