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Healthy Habits: Drink Pure Water

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Purchase a water purifier for your home. There are three popular types, each made by several different companies. Get one that will do what you need done, based upon your water tests. Either that, or get the one you feel most confident in.

Carbon filters (granular and block): Carbon granules are the size of coarse sand. Carbon block is very fine carbon pressed into a solid. The bigger the carbon filter and the more carbon involved, the better. This is because there is a direct relationship between the length of time water is in contact with the carbon and the purity of the final product. Thus the very small faucet-mount filters and the pour-through filters are much inferior to the larger high-volume filters.

At the same time, granular filters as a whole are inferior to carbon block. However, carbon block filters can become clogged with microscopic debris and rendered prematurely ineffective unless used with a sediment prefilter. They can also become a breeding ground for bacteria, as pollutants build up within the carbon.

A high-quality carbon block filter used in conjunction with a sediment prefilter will effectively remove most foul tastes and odors, organic chemicals, chlorine, and radon from your water.

Reverse osmosis systems: The reverse osmosis (RO) is a three-filter system. It has a prefilter that eliminates sediment; a reverse osmosis membrane through which water molecules are forced, leaving behind the larger pollutant molecules (organic chemicals, toxic minerals, radioactive minerals, and most microorganisms); and finally an activated carbon filter that does its thing with radon, chlorine, additional organic chemicals, plus tastes and smells.

RO systems do work slowly, but perhaps the greatest drawback to this sort of filtering system is the amount of water that most models waste. For every gallon of purified water produced, three to ten gallons are drained away with the pollutants.

Distillers: A distiller basically heats water into steam, then collects and cools it back into liquid. In the process pollutants are left behind. Distillation effectively removes the widest variety of contaminants from water. However, distillers do require an energy source, work even more slowly than RO systems, and give off a great deal of heat.

Dr. Banik contends that distilled water is "the only water which is pure. . . . God's water for the human race."27 For what it's worth, Dr. Weil says, "I packed up my home distiller for good after all the steam it gave off caused the paint to peel from my kitchen ceiling."28 He now uses a reverse osmosis system.

1. Joseph D. Weissman, Choose to Live (New York: Penguin Books, 1988), page 46.
2. Harper's Magazine,
What Counts: The Complete Harper's Index (New York: Henry Holt and Co., 1991), page 145.
3. "Is Water Safe?"
U.S. News and World Report, 29 July 1991, page 51.
4. "Your Guide to Produce," Wild Oats Community Market pamphlet, 1992.
5. "Is Water Safe?" page 53.
6. Gary Null,
Clearer, Cleaner, Safer, Greener (New York: Villard Books, 1990), page 63.
7. "Is Water Safe?" page 53.
8. Null, page 57.
9. "Is Water Safe?" page 50.
10. William L. Fischer,
How to Fight Cancer and Win (Canfield, OH: Fischer Publishing Corporation, 1987), page 234.
11. Allen E. Banik,
The Choice Is Clear (Raytown, MO: Acres USA, n.d.), page 28.
12. Weissman, page 53.
13. Colin Ingram,
The Drinking Water Book (Berkeley, CA: Ten Speed Press, 1991), page 24.
14. Weissman, page 52.
15. Andrew Weil,
Natural Health, Natural Medicine (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1990), page 76.
16. "The Pollutants That Matter Most: Lead, Radon, Nitrate,"
Consumer Reports, January 1990, page 31.
17. Weil, page 76.
18. "Is Water Safe?" page 52.
19. "The Pollutants That Matter Most," page 31.
20. "The Pollutants That Matter Most," page 31.
21. "Is Water Safe?" page 51.
22. Ingram, page 18.
23. Ingram, pages 59, 60.
24. Weil, pages 76, 77.
25. Ingram, pages 63-66.
26. Ingram, pages 70, 71.
27. Banik, page 7.
28. Weil, page 78.

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From HEALTHY HABITS: 20 Simple Ways to Improve Your Health by David J. Frahm as used by arrangement with Jeremy P. Tarcher, a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc. Copyright © 2003 by David and Anne Frahm. All rights reserved.

To order this book visit www.penguin.com. Get a 15% discount with the coupon code FENPARENT.

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