Over 24,000 Chemicals in Bottled Water

Drinking Bottled Water

Scientists in Germany published research findings that 24,520 suspect chemicals were found in 18 bottled waters from six countries they tested. Of most concern to them was the significant amount of endocrine disruptor chemicals (EDCs), in particular di(2-ethylhexyl) fumarate (DEHF) which has consistent results across all waters tested.

Endocrine disruptor chemicals affect the human hormone system with results of birth defects, cancerous tumors, and cardiovascular, metabolic and other developmental disorders. DEHF was pinpointed as the harmful EDC using spectrometric simulation with bioassay work and high-resolution mass spectrometry, but since the DEHF concentration was too low and it is an anti-estrogenic compound, another unidentified EDC may be in samples that showed anti-androgenic activity.

The study was done by Martin Wagner and Jorg Oehlmann of the Goethe University Frankfurt, Frankfurt am Main, and Michael Schlusener and Thomas Ternes of the German Federal Institute of Hydrology. It was published in the PlusOne Journal article Conclusion from Identification of Putative Steroid Receptor Antagonists in Bottled Water: Combining Bioassays and High-Resolution Mass Spectrometry.

Their hypothesis is that either they missed an active compound(s) or more likely dialkyl maleates and fumarates might represent a new group of steroid receptor antagonists. Maleates are structurally similar to phthalates, known antiandrogens. Currently scientists and the regulators disregard these chemicals. This study suggests further investigation into identifying EDCs in beverages, foods and other consumer products and resulting human exposure effects. Petition the U.S. EPA and FDA and any other government agency to see that it gets done.

Previously, a group found di(2-ethylhexyl) maleate (DEHM) in cardboard packaged rice, couscous and noodles. The maleate was found to be an impurity of di(2-ethylhexyl) sulfosuccinate (DEHSS) used in packaging coating. DEHSS is also an anionic surfactant in industrial applications as a wetting agent in food and beverages in the U.S. and as a dispersant component used in the Deep Water Horizon oil spill.

The antagonist activity was “very potent” in the equivalent of 3.75 ml bottled water. Estrogen and androgen receptors were inhibited between 60 to 90 percent. The water contained estrogenic, antiestrogenic, as well as androgenic, progestagenic, and glucocorticoid-like chemicals.

Consumers are advised to purchase at least inexpensive water filters to remove chlorine and fluoride from tap water. Contact the local water supplier for a report of chemicals found. Instead of spending money on bottled water, support organizations protecting tap water.

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Keeping Carpet Clean

Carpet Cleaning

Keeping your carpet clean can be challenge, especially in houses or businesses with high foot traffic and/or pets. Keeping a clean carpet, however, can improve the appearance of the carpet, the health of the people who use it, and increase the selling value of the home or business the carpet is in. Follow these tips to keep your carpet clean.

1. Treat a stain immediately after it occurs. While the spill or accident is still wet, absorb as much of the liquid as possible with a clean rag. Then soak the area with carpet cleaner. Wait a few minutes for the cleaner to soak into the carpet, then absorb the excess moisture with a clean rag. Repeat this process until the stain is gone, but make sure to keep the area wet until you are done with carpet cleaning. Allowing the stain to dry will make it much harder, if not impossible, to clean later.

2. Use a commercial product to protect your carpet. There are several different brands of repellant and protector on the market today. While these products will not prevent every accident from causing a stain, they will cut down on the amount of carpet cleaning you have to do. Many carpets today come with one of these products already sprayed onto them, but it is important to retreat your carpets at least once every five years, since these products can wear off or lose their effectiveness over time.

3. Use a carpet shampoo. There are several brands of dry shampoo on the market that do a good job removing ground in dirt. Unlike older shampoos, these products do not require a special machine to use them. Ideally, treat your carpets with one of these products about once every three months. They will be most effective if used regularly. Do not wait until a carpet is filthy before using them.

4. Vacuum regularly. Vacuuming a carpet may seem like one obvious tips to keep your carpet clean, but it is one of the most important. Even areas with low traffic can get dust that will settle into the carpet fibers. Over time, this dust and dirt becomes much more difficult to remove as it sinks to the bottom of the carpet. By vacuuming regularly, this dust doesn’t sink into the carpet, keeping it looking newer and cleaner longer.

You should note that many consumer studies have found that most vacuums on the market do a good job sucking up the dirt and other debris in a carpet. Don’t feel like you have to buy the most expensive model of vacuum on the market in order to keep your carpet clean.

5. Invest in professional carpet cleaning at least once a year. Professional steam cleaning will remove a lot of the ground in dirt in a carpet, as well as many allergens that get trapped in the carpet fibers. Many carpet cleaners run specials throughout the year. Carpets in high traffic areas may need a professional carpet cleaner to visit them twice a year.

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Best Vacuum Cleaners for Pet Hair

Best Vacuum for Pet Hair
Vacuum for pet hair

In the United States, over thirty percent of people have one or more cats, and almost 40 percent of people have one or more dogs. This means that Americans are very attached to their animals. However, we do not care for all of the hair that our pets shed. It can be very difficult to keep up with pet hair removal, so I am always looking out for the best way to clean up pet hair.

We will look at the best vacuum for pet hair in this article, and recommend the best place to buy these products for the best value. Keeping your home free of pet hair is one of the many challenges of keeping it beautiful.

The machine that is suggested by the majority of pet owners is the Miele S7260 Cat & Dog. It is without a doubt the most recommended vacuum for those with pets and it was created exclusively for animal lovers. The reviews and feedback on this vacuum are very positive. It is not an inexpensive vacuum though, and those seeking to purchase one will find that they cost between five and six hundred dollars; however, there are refurbished models available on Amazon.com for around $300. If a refurbished model is okay with you, this would be an excellent and cost effective option. The Miele Anima Vacuum is excellent on both carpets and hardwood, doesn’t have a bag to change out, has edge cleaning bristles, and a large cleaning path to make vacuuming as easy as possible.

Another excellent choice for pet hair, and the vacuum I personally have, is the Bissell Pet Hair Eraser. Our home contains two cats and a dog, so it is a daily struggle to stay ahead of the fur. My Bissell Pet Hair Eraser was purchased at a major retail store a couple of years ago, and was an excellent value. Other pet owners have been pleased with this model as well, and it has excellent reviews and recommendations for removing pet hair. It is also considerably cheaper than the Dyson Animal, since it is available for less than two hundred dollars at big box stores. It was created for removing pet hair, has many convenient attachments, comes with HEPA filtration, and does not require bags.

The Kenmore Progressive Upright was also rated highly, and when tested against over 60 other models, it preformed the best. It is an excellent vacuum for pet hair and is known to clean the most difficult cat hair up easily. It is available from big box retailers, like Walmart, for about two hundred and fifty dollars, or from department stores like Sears for around three hundred and twenty five dollars. It is known to perform as well as the Miele Animal, has an excellent selection of attachments, and does not require a bag.

When you are shopping for a certain product, like a vacuum for pet hairs, it is always helpful to visit sites that give you honest opinions and reviews from those who have purchased the product. In my experience, Bestvacuumstairs.com is an excellent source for this purpose. With this site, you can be sure that you are reading products that have been honestly reviewed by customers who have chosen to review the product.

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Why Water Filtration is Important to Health and the Environment

Home Water Filtation Systems
Home Water Filtration Systems

Water filtration is one of those things many people in first world countries take for granted. Not only is water filtration important for our drinking water, but also in industrial settings.

Marianne Metzger, Director of Business Development at NTL Labs explained the filtration process when she said, “The first thing to do before filtering water, is to test the water to find out what you need to remove to achieve your water quality goals. Once you know what is present you can determine the most cost effective way of treating water.”

Here are just a few of the health and environmental benefits of water filtration.

Health Benefits

1.) Drinking filtered, clean water leads to overall greater health, by protecting the body from disease.

2.) Water filters remove cryptosporidium and giardia from drinking water, which can reduce the risk of gastrointestinal problems by over 30 percent.

3.) Water filtration is the last barrier between the body and the over two-thousand known toxins that could be in our drinking water.

“The primary reason water filtration is important is to reduce the presence of bacteria and contaminants that can have a negative effect on health,” explained Lani Dolifka, CEO of Watermill Express.

Environmental Benefits

1. Industrial filtration is crucial for removing unwanted particles from water. Industrial water usage can lead to a wide array of chemicals and pollutants entering the water supply, when proper filtration guidelines aren’t followed.

“If filtration isn’t adhered to it can be a health or environmental risk,” cited a source at Filtra Systems.

2. Filtered water is not only better for your health than most bottled water sources, but reducing the usage of plastic water bottles is also helpful to the environment.

Todd Bartee, CEO of Aquasana summed up the importance of water filtration best when he said, “We are very concerned about the quality of the water in the US and abroad. We often say, there are no new sources of water. The same sources of water that our ancestors drank from, we are still using only now they are increasingly polluted by environmental exposures such as agricultural run-off, herbicides, pesticides, industrial waste and pollution. Plus, every day pharmaceuticals enter our water systems through urination. It’s gross to think about, but it is reality. Simply put, all water is contaminated. Most city water treatment facilities were built decades ago and rely on harsh chemicals to treat the water you drink. It is considered “safe” to drink, but not (in our opinion) healthy.”

Water is the sustenance of life. When we think of it that way, it suddenly seems much easier to appreciate access to water filtration systems.

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Salt and Your Water Softener: Fact or Fiction?

Water Softener
How Does a Water Softerner Work?

Water purification can take many forms. From the most basic of carbon filters to the cool science of reverse osmosis, water softeners are often seen as complicated or confusing devices. The use of salt is wrongly listed as a major drawback in water softening. Here’s a quick rundown of the facts and fictions of salt and soft water.

True: You have to replenish your water softener’s salt (regenerant) yourself.
False: It is a difficult and time-consuming process.

In standard water softeners, salt is a necessary ingredient in the regeneration process. Without it, the calcium and magnesium particles would remain bound to the plastic beads. The common misconception about monitoring and replenishing the salt in your water softener is that it is a messy and laborious chore. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Not only is the brine tank easy to locate and open, nothing but your eyes are needed to determine whether or not more salt is needed. If you have too little salt, water will be visible in the bottom of the tank. Always aim for the halfway point of your tank to maintain the proper amount of salt without overdoing it.

True: You need to purchase salt for your water softener.
False: Any salt will do.

Whoever sold and installed your water softener will likely offer their specific brand of salt or regenerants for your system. In most cases, these are high-quality salts, but less expensive alternatives can be found elsewhere. When you’re browsing your local home improvement store for salt pellets, make sure you’re selecting a high-purity salt. Avoid rock salt and solar salt as they have a highly insoluble composition. This means you’ll spend more time cleaning out and breaking up salt bridging in your brine tank. If you have the financial means, stock up on the dealer recommended salt. A few bags will likely last you and your high-quality water softener several years.

True: Some salt is left behind in your soft water.
False: It’s enough to affect your health.

In the regeneration process, small amounts of sodium can be left behind in your newly softened water. This has been wrongly touted as a serious health concern when discussing the pros and cons of water softeners. According to the Mayo Clinic, “An 8-ounce (237-milliliter) glass of softened water generally contains less than 12.5 milligrams of sodium, which is well within the Food and Drug Administration’s definition of ‘very low sodium.’” If you are on a low sodium diet and still have concerns about drinking soft water, speak with your personal care physician for more personalized information.

In standard water softeners, salt is all of the necessary without the evil. So set those misconceptions aside and embrace the facts. Not only is managing the salt in your water softener a simple as a quick peak and a short sprinkle, the times you’ll need to do it will be few and far between. Sodium may hurt elsewhere, but your water softener is definitely the exception to the rule. Put those worries to rest. Pure, softened water can be easily obtained without any salt-related stress.

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What are The Benefits of Installing a Reverse Osmosis Drinking Water System?

Investing in a reverse osmosis water system is like investing in your own future.                         Photo permission courtesy of Wikipedia


Millions of people who live in every corner of the world have installed reverse osmosis systems in their homes. These systems help those homeowners as well as their loved ones to stay away from toxins and contaminants that can be found in tap water. However, you need to be careful enough to look for the best reverse osmosis drinking water system in order to experience all the benefits that are associated with them.

From the recent studies, it has been identified that around 2,000 different chemicals can be found in tap water. Even though these chemicals are in very low concentrations, they can cause a significant damage to your body organs in the long run. Therefore, it is extremely important for all the homeowners to invest their money on a reliable reverse osmosis drinking water system.

The reverse osmosis water systems have the ability to force water to flow through a membrane with small pores. These pores are extremely small and water molecules can hardly go through them. The chemicals are much smaller than water molecules and they slide right through these pores to leave purified water. However, carbon water filters are associated with a different mechanism and they are less efficient. This fact has contributed a lot towards the popularity of reverse osmosis water systems.

A reverse osmosis drinking water system has the potential to deliver water free of lead. That’s because it can effectively remove lead that can be found in drinking water. When you consume water with lead for some time, you will have to experience a variety of health issues such as high blood pressure. It can also contribute towards muscle and nerve damage. In the worst case, water with lead can cause severe anemia in children and brain damage in adults.

Drinking reverse osmosis water is recommended for cancer patients by health experts. That’s mainly because cancer patients have a weakened immune system as they go through chemotherapy or radiation on a regular basis. If they drink untreated water that is associated with a lot of chemicals and micro-organisms, they will be subjected to a variety of illnesses. Therefore, all the cancer patients should think about getting a reverse osmosis water system installed at home. The reverse osmosis water systems have the ability to filter cryptosporidium as well. This fact has been proven from scientific studies as well. Cryptosporidium can cause diarrhea, fever and stomach cramps, which can put you in discomfort. Children who consume Cryptosporidium will have to experience malnutrition and dehydration as well.

As you can see, reverse osmosis drinking water systems are associated with a variety of health benefits. However, you need to look for the best reverse osmosis system out there in the market to get the best results in return. The amount you spend on getting such a system installed can be considered as a great investment done towards a healthy future.

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