Water Pollution—an Age-Old Problem with a Simple Solution

When headlines speak of national problems, we tend to think that the problem is “out there”.   We think “my water looks clean” so why should I be concerned?   When we buy or build a home, we tend to look at the energy efficiency and air quality factors we hear so much about these days. This tendency affects how we should think about environmental contamination and how it might affect us— right in our home’s water.

Our oceans, lakes, and streams look pristine. But beneath the surface they are contaminated. The National Resource Defense Council tells us that potentially harmful contaminants, from arsenic to copper and lead, are found in the tap water of every single state in the nation. And recently there’s a newer class of contaminants, perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOAs) and perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS) to consider.

In addition to Teflon from our non-stick cookware, paint, polishes, waxes, cleaning products, food packaging, and fire-suppressing foam all contain PFAs. Approximately 9,000 toxic chemicals make up the class of PFAS, and reliable estimates are that 99% of all Americans already have PFAs in their blood.  Small amounts of these chemicals accumulate over time in our bodies. This accumulation helps cause serious health issues, including kidney and liver disease, developmental problems, and cancer.  Especially affected are pregnant and nursing mothers, young children, the elderly.

What’s in Your Home’s Water?

When we take a shower or turn on the tap for a glass of water, we’re subject to exposure. The biggest assault of contaminants to humans actually happens during the daily shower. Our skin, the largest organ of the body, absorbs water and delivers toxins directly into the bloodstream which then deposit the toxins into your cells. Of course, toxins are also in drinking water from the tap and bottled water.

It’s a common misconception that using a water softener helps filter contaminants. This is not true. The only role a water softener plays is to remove calcium and magnesium minerals reduce hard water.  Some water softener companies market their products as “whole house filters” but they are not.   Removal of toxins requires a broad spectrum filtration system at the Point of Entry so that all hot and cold water are filtered.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) sets the standards for what’s in our water in the United States, but in too many cases their standards are out of date or non-existent. Cities claim they are “compliant” with Federal Standards but these standards have not been updated in decades and only address a few toxins.   It is up to the homeowner, builder, architect or plumber to defend against this invasion of toxins at the point of entry into the home.

Water Standards

Regional water utility providers do not consistently observe water quality standards. Using data from the EPA, Elbakidze and Beeson [2021] examined how differences in Clean Water Act regulations affect compliance. They found that compliance may improve after introducing new standards as operations and procedures are modified, when inputs like disinfectants are adjusted, or technologies are upgraded to address new standards.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and EPA are both responsible for drinking water safety. The EPA regulates public tap water, currently setting legal limits on more than 90 contaminants, while the FDA regulates bottled drinking water.  But today’s toxins are in the thousands and the list is growing every day.

Recent activity by the FDA includes:

  • In 2019 the agency released a PFAS action plan. However, it did not have deadlines for action, so homeowners are left on their own to find solutions.
  • The Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) enables states to set their own drinking water standards as long as they are as stringent as the EPA’s
  • In March 2021, the EPA indicated it would regulate the two worst drinking water PFAS chemicals, however there are thousands of PFAS chemicals they do not address.
  • In 2021, a bill passed the house that requires the EPA to establish national drinking water standards for PFAS. The EPA added 175 PFAs to the Toxics Release Inventory in response to the bill and also released a PFAS Strategic Roadmap that accelerates setting standards for PFOA and PFOS by 2023.

Actual standards, however, are likely at least five years out so the homeowners are left to their own resources to install a real solution.

In December 2021, they announced that the agency will expand drinking water testing nationwide to monitor 29 PFAS and lithium. The United States Public Interest Research Group PIRG and Environment America weighed in on the news stating that, while increasing monitoring is positive, it fails to take any tangible action to reduce the use of the toxic chemicals or recommend solutions to the homeowner.   Since the cost to cities is beyond their financial reach, the homeowner is left with the task of installing qualified equipment.

Regardless of Laws and Standards, YOU Can take action and Solve This

Things are moving in the right direction, but slowly. And, as long as we ingest the water in our homes through showers, cooking and drinking, we should take a proactive approach to keep our family safe.

While water can look pristine, we know it isn’t. JMCC’s MR5 whole-house water filtration system provides your family with toxic- and chemical-free water. Not only does its unique filter system extract heavy metals, chemicals, and toxins, it explicitly addresses PFAS, chemicals, volatile organic chemicals (VOCs), glyphosate, nitrates, agricultural runoff, and toxins. The MR5 removes viruses at 100 nm and zaps anything smaller with an optional UV-post filter.

The MR5 whole-house filtration system with an optional UV-post filter costs less than $2,000 plus the cost of a plumber to install it. Your family will experience the benefits of the MR5 immediately upon installation, and, most important, you will be eliminating the cumulative effects of toxins and PFAS going forward, safeguarding your family’s health.

For more information and to purchase your MR5 – Click Here MR5 Product Page

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