bottled vs. Filtered water. Thoughts on which contaminants worst for CFS?

*GG*

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Hi all,

Back to basics-- sleep, diet, water.

I use a Multi-pure filter system, replace the filter often, and ironically in Brooklyn I found it effective, but now in DC my gut (and nose) says "get your water tested or drink bottled."

I found a state certified company that tests home drinking water, fair price. My filter is supposed to filter out everything bad under the sun, but I want to make sure.

I asked my immunologist, but I'm curious as to what your research, doctors have told you are the worst contaminants for CFS folk.

So far on my list to test:
Coliform Bacteria,
Nitrates
arsenic
PCB's
pH,
Iron
Lead
Copper
mercury

If my filter is not working well, I'll go bottled. But which brand? Dr. Weil recommends filtering over bottled because it's hard to know what you're really getting. Have you found a consistently good bottled brand?

THANKS!
Patrick
Don't drink the water in DC!
 

Dainty

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Okay, to address the environmental concerns: my first responsibility is to my own health, and I believe others shoudl apply this philosophy as well. If the best thing for your health means your carbon footprint will be a little bigger, then that's just the way things will have to be. Of course, if someone feels called to minimize environmental impact at the expense of their health then that's their business. But no one should be pressured into such a sacrifice.

I currently use filtered water, but am experimenting with glass-bottled spring water, the primary reason being that I have severe MCS and this page has recommendations of recovery from that. Drinking spring water was the one thing on the list I don't do, so I find it worth looking into, and I don't live in an area where I can get it a different way.

First the filters. I'm quite sensitive to chlorine...a tap barely running in another room and I feel like I'm choking on clorine fumes (even in a blinded test) so filters are important to me. I use a Whirlpool undersink filter for drinking water and an Aquasana shower filter for the shower. I consider the shower filter just as if not more important than the drinking water filter, because you're absorbing stuff both through your skin and inhaling it in the water droplets.

At one point I tried a whole house filter, but I appeared to react to the resulting water. No idea why or how. I cannot find it to tell you the name right now. Might try it again in the future just to be sure, but you all know how that goes...

I'm not sure what I think of reverse osmosis water. This article makes some good points about some health concerns connected with drinking it. Besides potentially causing mineral deficiencies (which can be avoided if you ocnsciously remedy the lakc of minerals) it makes the water acidic, which can have negative effects as well. But the most interesting thing to me is:

It does not remove dissolved pesticides and herbicides present in water. It also cannot filter out pharmaceutical drugs that have made their way into the water supply system. This is because these dissolved substances are of smaller size than the pores in the membranes of the reverse osmosis water filter.
We know the pharmeceutical drugs are present in small amounts in city water, to varying degrees depending on which city. If you want to try to avoid those, not even a reverse osmosis filter will do the job. So know what you're getting.

Now about bottled water. I realize that many kinds of bottled water are no better than tap water....some of them even are tap water, just with fancy packaging. :tongue: However, that isn't to say they're all like that. Do the research. Spring water can be contaminated, too, so that's important to be aware of as well. Since I'm just now looking into it I don't have a whole lot of information on this, but I'll be testing it out and seeing what I can find. I'm only considering glass bottled water at this time, which is available in the USA, just not very common.
 

Athene

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water....some of them even are tap water, just with fancy packaging. (quote from Dainty)

Where do you guys live to get this garbage?
Don't they have to label clearly stating if it's purified water or spring water?
In Italy mineral water comes from deep mountain springs. There is a full chemical analysis on the label by law, stating what spring it came from, the full mineral and biological analysis, pH at source temperature, etc etc.
Coca cola sells bottled tapwater, apparently, but they have to label it "purified water" and I have never seen it in any shop here. Nobody would buy it.
 

Dainty

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water....some of them even are tap water, just with fancy packaging. (quote from Dainty)

Where do you guys live to get this garbage?
Don't they have to label clearly stating if it's purified water or spring water?
In Italy mineral water comes from deep mountain springs. There is a full chemical analysis on the label by law, stating what spring it came from, the full mineral and biological analysis, pH at source temperature, etc etc.
Coca cola sells bottled tapwater, apparently, but they have to label it "purified water" and I have never seen it in any shop here. Nobody would buy it.
It would appear that other countries have more stringent bottling laws than the USA.

According to this article from the Organic Consumers Association there's the potential for bottled water here to be less pure than tap water:

In a 1999 report, the [National Resources Defense Council] concludes that bottled water quality is probably not inferior to average tap water, but Olson (the report's principal author) says that gaps in the weak regulatory framework may allow careless or unscrupulous bottlers to market substandard products. He says that may be of particular concern to those with compromised immune systems.

The IBWA urges consumers to trust bottled water in part because the FDA requires water sources to be "inspected, sampled, analyzed and approved." However, the NRDC argues that the FDA provides no specific requirements-such as proximity to industrial facilities, underground storage tanks or dumps-for bottled water sources. That's looser monitoring than occurs at the EPA, which requires more specific assessments of tap water sources. Olson says one brand of "spring water," which had a graphic of mountains and a lake on the label, was actually taken from a well in Massachusetts in the parking lot of an industrial facility. The well, which is no longer used for bottled water, was near hazardous waste and had experienced contamination by industrial chemicals.*
Olson adds, "Unlike tap water violations, which are directly enforceable, if a company exceeds bottled water standards, it is not necessarily a violation-they can just say so on the label, and may be insulated from enforcement." Further, while EPA rules specify that no confirmed E. coli or fecal coliform (bacteria that indicate possible contamination by fecal matter) contamination is allowed in tap water, the FDA merely set a minimum level for E. coli and fecal coliform presence in bottled water. Tap water from a surface source must be tested for cryptosporidium, giardia and viruses, unlike bottled water, and must also be disinfected, unlike bottled water.*
The article goes on to talk about various studies that found things like arsenic, byproducts of chlorination, toluene, fluoride, nitrate, chloroform, and lead, higher counts of bacteria and some even exceeding federal standards for pthalate levels. Testing and labeling standards are lax, to say the least.

Now I'm not trying to scare everyone away from bottled water; as the article states, in general bottled water is safe to drink. But those with compromised immune systems, like us, might want to think twice before deciding to go that route. It isn't necessarily dangerous, it's just largely unregulated, which simply means enter at your own risk and be smart about it. :Retro smile:

....and I think I've succeeded in contradicting myself. :tear:

*Emphasis added.
 

Cort

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There are some spring waters that I just do terrible with. I tend to do very well with filtered water (tap water that's been filtered) from the store or from water stores in the areas. Some parts of the country do have pretty good water. Southern California and Las Vegas have very poor water. I'd love to get a under the faucet filtering system at some point. Right now I go to the water station and drag the bottles back and forth. I use glass to store my water.
 

Athene

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Dainty,
My hair is standing on end after reading your quotes. E Coli! Water from a well! Industrial contamination!
OMG.
 

taniaaust1

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Hi all,

Back to basics-- sleep, diet, water.

I use a Multi-pure filter system, replace the filter often, and ironically in Brooklyn I found it effective, but now in DC my gut (and nose) says "get your water tested or drink bottled."

I found a state certified company that tests home drinking water, fair price. My filter is supposed to filter out everything bad under the sun, but I want to make sure.

• I asked my immunologist, but I'm curious as to what your research, doctors have told you are the worst contaminants for CFS folk.

So far on my list to test:
Coliform Bacteria,
Nitrates
arsenic
PCB's
pH,
Iron
Lead
Copper
mercury

If my filter is not working well, I'll go bottled. But which brand? Dr. Weil recommends filtering over bottled because it's hard to know what you're really getting. Have you found a consistently good bottled brand?

THANKS!
Patrick
Some countries put fluoride in their water... so id think about having that tested too.

Also chlorine (i can smell that in my cities tap water, that reeks, tap water tastes like swimming pool to me hence i cant drink it. Ive noticed that many peoples water filters dont tend to filter it out too well)
.....................

Bottled water is a lot of the time not as good as tap water which has a good filter on it. (I tend to taste the plastic in the water at times, so bottled water must get the plastic toxins too).

reverse osmosis water.. I've had that and liked that.
 
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I've ben using a reverse osmosis system, by Hydrotech, for 15 years. I like it a lot. Great water with a sweet taste. When I drink plastic bottle water, I notice the bitter taste of the plastic in the water. The only hard part is doing the yoga under the sink every 3 months, when I change one or more of the filters and sanitize the tank. I do this twice as often as required, because I have noticed some algae growth around the membrane, if I wait any longer. Overall though, it's really worth it having the water come out of my kitchen faucet and not having to schlep the bottles, as I did for so many years before that. And considering I schlepped 5 gallon GLASS bottles, you can imagine how liberating it is to be free of THAT task.
Thank you Dreambirdie. 5 gallon glass bottles! You are a water warrior. I once lived next to a co-op that offered refills of reverse osmosis water and I used glass bottles too. I will look in that filter you are using. Thank you!
 
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There are some spring waters that I just do terrible with. I tend to do very well with filtered water (tap water that's been filtered) from the store or from water stores in the areas. Some parts of the country do have pretty good water. Southern California and Las Vegas have very poor water. I'd love to get a under the faucet filtering system at some point. Right now I go to the water station and drag the bottles back and forth. I use glass to store my water.
You are wise to get that good quality water and drink it from glass bottles. I hope you can get that under-the-sink filtration system soon.
 
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Thanks Sushi. Do you take a specific multi-mineral supplement to replace minerals?

I am using Reverse Osmosis water. My friend sees Dr. Karen Vrchota and this is what she recommended. At least it is not sitting in plastic bottles--the process happens in the machine in the store--both WalMart and my local health store supply it. You can get a system installed in your home too. We go with our own 5 gallon bottles (you can get either plastic or glass) and "fill er up." We then take extra doses of minerals as the RO water usually does not have the minerals replaced. It tastes great!

On the other hand, a patient of Dr. Cheney's tells me he recommends Icelandic water--available in bottles from WalGreens. It does come from Iceland, though it sits around in plastic bottles.

Sushi
Sushi,

Reverse Osmosis water seems to be coming up as a very healthy choice. Was a specific supplement that supplies the minerals you need recommended to you? I'd love to know what that is.
Thank you. Hope you are feeling well.
 

Sallysblooms

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From everything I have read RO water like Distilled is not able to take bad stuff and keep the good minerals. I am expecting my Berkey any minute. I was hoping it would come yesterday. I need to call them.

The Berkey keeps the good minerals and purifies the water without having to rely on electricity. They are wonderful in emergencies. Portable also.
 
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I tried the aquasana filter but the water tasted terrible, kind of salty. I called the company and they said it was because I had a water softner. Since salt is a natural mineral it would not remove it. Well I don't want to drink what ever is in my water softner salt. It also doesn't remove fluoride either since it's a natural mineral too. I decided to go with the Apec reverese osmosis instead.

Kathy
 
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For what its worth, Paul Cheney is recommending that patients drink about a liter of bottled water from Iceland each day.

The reason is that Icelandic bottled water "tests positive" on echocardiogram (i.e. if a patient drinks a bit of this water while his/her heart function is being measured through the echocardiography machine, parameters improve ever so slightly. With distilled water, echo parameters actually decline. With other bottled waters and tap water, there is no change in echo parameters.)

Most pharmacies and supermarkets in New York stock bottled water from Iceland at around $1.40 a liter. What strikes me is that Icelandic bottled water is quite alkaline (pH of 8 or higher). It is also supposed to be quite pure, although I wonder if the recent volcanic eruption in Iceland will contaminate its spring water.

I have been drinking the stuff for about a month and can't say it has made any difference to how I feel.