If you're a new Agent customer, you might not know that in 2017 I was diagnosed with mercury poisoning and lead levels that were off the chart. My doctor informed me that it was due to the poor water quality in West Hollywood, and I was put on a chelation protocol (EDTA and DMSA) that caused me to lose all sense of taste for over three months. It was absolutely horrific and one of the craziest experiences. As I started to research water quality, I found a Los Angeles Times article reporting that lead levels in California’s water system were higher than Flint. This was the beginning of my understanding of the importance of water filtration. Further investigation taught me that it wasn't just drinking water that was contributing to my health challenges, but also the water I was using for showering and bathing.
The moment I installed a water filtration system at my home in LA, I noticed a dramatic difference in the way my body, skin, and hair felt. Not only that, I could enjoy drinking a glass of water, and take a hot shower or bath without worrying about the harmful chemicals my body was absorbing from the steam. But which chemicals do we even need to be worried about?
If you drink tap water, the answer to that question is, shockingly, 300+ chemicals and pollutants, according to research from the Environmental Working Group. Alongside that, things like pharmaceuticals, antibiotics, and hormones are also part of today’s silent water crisis. The EWG studied this too and also confirmed that “tap water across the US is contaminated with many industrial chemicals” and that Americans are now drinking low-level mixers of pharmaceuticals with every glass. What else might you be coming into contact with?
- Hormones and pharmaceuticals: SGS researchers did a mass study looking into 60% of all of the water pumped for drinking water and they found that there was at least one hormone or pharmaceutical drug in 7% of aquifers used for public water supply and in 14% of those used for domestic supply.
- Volatile Organic Chemicals (VOCs): These are found in most water sources, including municipal water and wells, due to agricultural run-off and contamination. They are linked to damage in the reproductive system, liver, kidneys, and more. They are also found in your favorite candles which make a hot bath with candles a potentially dangerous combination, too.
- Heavy Metals: Some water sources contain metals like lead and mercury, which have been associated with various health problems.
- Arsenic: Even arsenic (that has been connected to cancer and other diseases) has been found in water supplies in some parts of California.
- Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals: Increasingly found in the water supply, these chemicals mimic or interfere with normal hormones in the body. Research indicates potential links to health issues such as cancer, ectopic pregnancies, cryptorchidism, and decreased sperm count in humans. They also affect animals when present in the water supply.
- Fluoride: A controversial water contaminant, as it is intentionally added to water. Debate surrounds its potential benefits and harms. While some claim it benefits teeth, drinking fluoride has not been statistically proven to improve oral health. Moreover, fluoride consumption has been linked to thyroid problems and other disorders.
How can water impact our health, other than by us drinking it?
Understanding the impact of warm air and water on our health is really important. When chemicals are absorbed through our skin (yes, that happens), they can quickly enter our bloodstream and travel around the body at speed. This is great for things like topical magnesium or therapeutic baths ft. our holi (bath), where we want quick and effective absorption. However, it's not so great when harmful byproducts get in the mix that shouldn’t be anywhere near the inside of our bodies. It’s not just water and skin absorption that poses a threat to our health though. Did you know that warm air and warm water, along with taking deep breaths, can make it easier for us to inhale chemicals from our water supply? There was actually a study that found higher levels of chloroform in people's lungs after they took a warm shower. The EPA also found significant and detectable levels of THMs and other byproducts in indoor air as a result of bath and shower water, so this understanding of how water can impact our surrounding air sources is so critical too.
We might think that inhaling chemicals from our water supplies wouldn’t be as bad as absorbing them, right? Potentially, wrong. A 2006 study evaluated exposure to trihalomethanes through ingestion, inhalation and dermal (skin) absorption when looking at bladder cancer and they confirmed that bathing in chlorinated water might pose a higher risk of cancer and other health problems compared to just drinking it. Chlorine and chloramine vapors in water supplies have also been associated with a greater risk of asthma, and may damage the mucosal lining of the respiratory tract too. Free radicals in chlorinated water have been linked to liver malfunction, weakening of the immune system and pre-arteriosclerotic changes in arteries.
Years later, this issue still isn't making mainstream headlines as it should, so you might not have heard why water filtration is crucial for your home, and your health. It’s always good to think about categorizing filters by countertop, pitcher, under sink and shower/bath filtration units.
Countertop filters are water filtration systems designed to sit on top of a kitchen countertop or any flat surface. These filters are an accessible and convenient way to purify tap water directly at the point of use. They are typically easy to install and require minimal maintenance (although they do take up some space in your kitchen so these aren’t great for tiny kitchens).
Most people go for the Berkey or the Aquatru countertop units, both of which work through reverse osmosis. Reverse osmosis filtration is a powerful method that effectively eliminates numerous water contaminants using a specialized membrane and filters. It’s important to remember that you need to add minerals back into ANY water that has gone through a process of reverse osmosis because the filtration removes the minerals that are CRITICAL to our hydration and overall wellness. I recommend the Trace Mineral Drops.
Another option is the My Pure Water countertop which produces approximately 0.8 gallons of distilled water every 5 ½ to 6-hours.
If a pitcher filter is better for you in terms of space and budget, the Clearly Filtered pitcher is the best option. It eliminates 200+ contaminants and removes up to 99.5% of PFAs. These are definitely not the best option as they don’t remove the worst offenders, but if it’s the only option, then this is better than no filter.
Under sink units
Now this is my favorite and I interviewed the CEO, Rick Allen, here who founded this system. The Pure Elements Water House Hydration System is a custom filtration system created and fitted to your home. Before installation, Pure Elements assess your household water quality and determine present levels of chlorine, chloramines, carcinogens, fluoride, chromium 6, arsenic, and other contaminants. From there, they review hardness levels, count all the fixtures on the property, determine the plumbing size and infrastructure, calculate flow rates, measure water pressure and check regulator settings.
If you want to go for a more standard under the sink unit, I would explore the Comfee Easy Installation pH+ 6-Stage Under Sink Reverse Osmosis Water Filtration System. Similar to the AquaTru or Berkey, this uses a membrane which removes many contaminants from water. Having an under sink tank system, we used this type of filter for a long time but again, because this is based on reverse osmosis, it requires someone to add trace minerals back into the water to replace the ones that were filtered out. It does remove a large amount of contaminants but is not the best option, in my opinion.
Another option is the Radiant Life 14 stage biocompatible water purification system.
Shower and Bath
Once you have got your drinking water under control, it's important not to stop there because your daily showering and bathing can be just as damaging. If you’re in the market for a shower filter, I suggest checking out Innate Water. They have an Eco Water Shower filter designed to effectively remove chlorine, chloramine, fluoride, heavy metals, lead, mercury, nickel, and others. It controls scale, bacteria, and algae. In addition, the energizing minerals in this filter, such as tourmaline, far-infrared, and certified grade alkaline minerals, create a healthful atmosphere filled with negative ions and far-infrared radiation too!
In conclusion, the journey to a healthier and more vibrant life begins with the realization that our connection to pure water goes far beyond simple hydration or simple showering. The purity of our water directly impacts the purity of our body's beautiful ecosystem, which is constantly striving to stay in balance. We need to help it do so with clean, filtered water, whether we are drinking it, showering in it, or bathing in it. Let me know which one you go for.
***THESE STATEMENTS HAVE NOT BEEN APPROVED OR REGULATED BY THE FDA. WE ARE NOT DOCTORS, THEREFORE ALWAYS CONSULT WITH YOUR DOCTOR FIRST***