Nearly one in five New Jerseyans are delivered tap water that contains at least trace amounts of a chemical linked to cancer and low birth weights, according to new data released Wednesday morning.
The Environmental Working Group gathered and analyzed testing records between 2010 and 2015 from 48,712 U.S. water utilities and found 267 industrial and agricultural contaminants present in the water that Americans drink and bathe in.
One of those chemicals, perfluorooctanoic acid, or PFOA, is more prevalent in New Jersey tap water than anywhere else.
More than 1.6 million residents of the Garden State are served by a utility that detected at least 1 parts per trillion (ppt) of PFOA in their water, according to the data.
You can see how your water utility scored using EWG's new Tap Water Database.
What is it?
PFOA is a man-made chemical that was used for decades in cookware and fabric coatings.
Manufacturers phased out the use of PFOA in 2002, but the chemical has proved to be ubiquitous and does not break down in the environment.
Most PFOA litigation is related to the chemical's release into the water supply. (Photo: Getty Images)
In fact, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention believes that most everyone in America has some concentration of PFOA in their bloodstream.
At what level of exposure PFOA causes problems is not known.
According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the list of adverse health effects PFOA has been linked to is vast, including:
Despite the dangers, there is no federal standard on the amount of PFOA that a water utility is allowed to serve its customers before action is taken.
However, the EPA did adopt a non-enforceable guideline of 70 ppt last year.
New Jersey has been ahead of the curve in some respects: Ten years ago, it was the first state to set a limit — at 40 ppt — although it also carries no penalties for violations.
"This guidance level ... is used by the state’s water systems to determine whether any actions are needed, such as shutting off a particular well, blending, or adding treatment," said Larry Hajna, a spokesman for the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection.
After a long wait, the Drinking Water Quality Institute, which advises the the state DEP on actionable thresholds for contaminants, recommended a maximum of 14 ppt in March.
That proposal is currently being reviewed, Hajna said.
The EWG notes that very few utilities are violating federal drinking water standards, but often because those standards are too lax.
“Just because your tap water gets a passing grade from the government doesn’t always mean it’s safe,” said EWG President Ken Cook in a statement. “It’s time to stop basing environmental regulations on political or economic compromises, and instead listen to what scientists say about the long-term effects of toxic chemicals and empower Americans to protect themselves from pollutants even as they demand the protective action they deserve from government.”
For PFOA, the EWG relies on the word of Harvard University environmental professor Philippe Grandjean, who believes the federal guidance level on the chemical may be "may be 100-fold too high" to prevent danger.
What can be done?
The easy answer? Purchase and use a water filter.
Most popular pour-through filters, such as Brita and PUR, employ something called granular activated carbon, or GAC, technology and can be widely purchased for under $20.
Utilities also rely on GAC, albeit on a much larger scale, to remove PFOA from water, according to Keith Cartnick, senior director of water quality for Suez Water.
Water is fed through a filter tank with GAC and the carbon latches onto PFOAs as they pass through.
It's the best method currently available, but it isn't perfect, Cartnick said. There are developments in the water treatment industry that are promising, he added.
But PFOA remains a challenge.
"It is particularly difficult to remove," he said. "It's not like bacteria where you can add chlorine and disinfect. You can't purge (PFOA) out of the water."
Cartnick also gave voice to a common refrain from utility companies: Let's stop the pollution from entering water supplies in the first place.
“We’re doing everything we can to control it … but you have to clean these things up at the source,” he said.
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The study suggests that drinking water helps in reducing the opportunities for the bacteria to spread.
Urinary Tract Infections or also known as UTI is an infection from microbes that may affects the urethra, urinary system, bladder and even the kidneys. The most common symptoms include pelvic pain, increased urge to urinate, burning sensation during urination and blood in the urine. The infection can be treated with antibiotics but a new study has found that drinking more water on a daily basis may help in reducing the risk of contracting UTI all-together.
According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, 40 to 60 percent of women will develop UTI at least once during their lifetimes and one in four have a repeat infection unless proper precautions are taken. The study suggests that drinking water helps in reducing the opportunities for the bacteria to spread.
The team of researchers surveyed about 140 women and discovered some significant revelations. They found that women tend to have a shorter urethra than men. Urethra is a tube that connects the urinary bladder with urinary meatus and helps in removing the fluids from the body. This enables the bacteria to travel from the rectum and vagina to the bladder, making women more vulnerable to UTIs than men.
Therefore, researchers suggest that drinking more fluids increases the rate of flushing out the bacteria from the bladder and reduces the concentration of bacteria that enter the bladder from the vagina, at the same time. Previous studies have also linked drinking cranberry juice or buttermilk as remedies for UTI and that may work on the same principle.
Their findings showed that women who increased their water intake on an average suffered UTIs 1.6 times, while those with low intake were 3.1 times more affected with UTIs. "It's good to know the recommendation is valid, and that drinking water is an easy and safe way to prevent an uncomfortable and annoying infection," concluded lead author Thomas M. Hooton, Clinical Director of the Division of Infectious Diseases at the University of Miami.
You’ve been on the hunt for a multipurpose remedy, something that’s good for you and won’t have you holding your nose as you try to stomach the putrid smell. Fortunately for you, lemons smell great and taste even better. This powerful fruit is packed with bioflavanoids, vitamin C and other minerals that act as a great source of potassium.
Lemon water helps weight lost and acne which are two things that some women struggle with on a daily basis. When you’re fed up with over-the-counter remedies and quick-fix weight loss gimmicks, turning to natural products seems like the better solution. You have nothing to lose; you’ve tried everything else and you can find natural products at your local grocery store. Here’s why you should start everyday with a glass of lemon water.
A lemon can pack a powerful punch with some amazing benefits. It balances PH, keeps your skin clear and glowing, it kick starts your digestive system, helps with weight loss, and helps to control your coffee habit. Lemon is also a natural energizer, it hydrates, it detoxifies, and it oxygenates the body so it feels revitalized and refreshed!
Following are a few reasons why you need to take a sip of lemon water soon and often:
1. It’s good for your stomach
Lemon can help relieve many digestion problems when mixed with hot water. These include nausea, heartburn and parasites. Due to the digestive qualities of lemon juice, symptoms of indigestion such as heartburn, bloating and belching are relieved. By drinking lemon juice regularly, the bowels are aided in eliminating waste more efficiently. Lemon acts as a blood purifier and as a cleansing agent. The intake of lemon juice can cure constipation. It is even known to help relieve hiccups when consumed as a juice. Lemon juice acts as a liver tonic and helps you digest your food by helping your liver produce more bile. It decreases the amount of phlegm produced by your body. It is also thought to help dissolve gallstones.
2. Superb for Skin Care
Lemon, being a natural antiseptic medicine, can participate to cure problems related to skin. Lemon is a vitamin C rich citrus fruit that enhances your beauty, by rejuvenating skin from within and thus bringing a glow on your face. Daily consumption of lemon water can make a huge difference in the appearance of your skin. It acts as an anti-aging remedy and can remove wrinkles and blackheads. Lemon water if applied on the areas of burns can fade the scars. As lemon is a cooling agent, it reduces the burning sensation on the skin.
3. Aids in Dental Care
Lemon water is used in dental care also. If fresh lemon juice is applied on the areas of toothache, it can assist in getting rid of the pain. The massages of lemon juice on gums can stop gum bleeding. It gives relief from bad smell and other problems related to gums.
4. Cures Throat Infections
Lemon is an excellent fruit that aids in fighting problems related to throat infections, sore throat and tonsillitis as it has an antibacterial property. For sore throat, dilute one-half lemon juice with one-half water and gargle frequently.
5. Excellent for Weight Loss
One of the major health benefits of drinking lemon water is that it paves way for losing weight faster, thus acting as a great weight loss remedy. If a person takes lemon juice mixed with lukewarm water and honey, it can reduce the body weight as well.
6. Controls High Blood Pressure
Lemon water works wonders for people having heart problem, owing to its high potassium content. It controls high blood pressure, dizziness, nausea as well as provides relaxation to mind and body. It also reduces mental stress and depression.
7. Assist in curing Respiratory Disorders
Lemon water assists in curing respiratory problems, along with breathing problems and revives a person suffering from asthma.
8. Good for treating Rheumatism
Lemon is also a diuretic and hence lemon water can treat rheumatism and arthritis. It helps to flush out bacteria and toxins out of the body.
9. Reduces Fever
Lemon water can treat a person who is suffering from cold, flu or fever. It helps to break fever by increasing perspiration.
10. Acts as a blood purifier
The diseases like cholera or malaria can be treated with lemon water as it can act as a blood purifier.
Bonus: Lemon water is an excellent source of anti-oxidants and vitamin C, which prevents formation of free radicals. These free radicals can cause death of the cells and rob electrons. It’s an excellent remedy for a hangover!
Fun Fact: Lemon water is as calorie-free as water, but it tastes better, acts as a blood sugar stabilizer, boosts metabolism, helps with digestion, contains calcium, and can clean your skin.
Wondering What The Right Lemon Water Recipe Is?
First thing in the morning, add the juice of 1/2 lemon (about 1 tablespoon) to 8 ounces of lukewarm to hot water. Feel free to mix in a little honey, if you’d like. Drinking lemon water once a day is fine, but you can drink it twice a day as well, or add lemon slices to tea or water throughout the day.
Drink water. When you have a cold, make sure to stay hydrated. Try to drink nine to 13 eight ounce glasses of water each day. To help ease a sore throat, try drinking the water warm.
Consume more protein. To help boost your immunity, add quality proteins to your meals, like fish and skinless poultry. Chicken noodle soup is a great choice because it will give you some quality protein as well as other nutrients that may help boost the immune system and act as antiviral agents.
Eat probiotics. There has been some research that suggests that probiotics, also known as good bacteria, can help fight and prevent colds. Much like it helps infections in the intestines, it is believed that it helps with other infections as well. To get probiotics, eat yogurt with active Lactobacillus cultures.
Drinking Water Before Bed
Water is considered a nutrient and is very essential for survival, health as well as beauty and longevity. A person can go without food for almost 40 days; however, two days without water will result in deterioration of health. This will depend on how rapidly the body water is lost and the temperature. Most people do not drink adequate amount of water. We shall look at when a person should drink water and whether drinking water before bed is a good idea.
Whether it is okay to drink water before bed depends very much on the amount of water you consume and your health condition.
When it is not okay:
Drinking water before bed is not a good idea for people suffering from kidney or heart ailments. This is because the excess water intake will put additional pressure on the kidney, which are already weakened and are not efficient in fluid removal from the body.
Drinking water just before going to bed can also be a problem as it disrupts the sleep. The person might wake up once or more to empty the bladder. Some people do not function well without a good night's sleep and hence they should avoid doing it.
For such people the best way is to avoid drinking fluids around 2 hours before bedtime. They should also ensure that they use the restroom before going to bed, twice if required. Water can be kept handy near the bed, if you feel thirsty; however, it can make you want to visit the restroom around daybreak.
When it is okay:
When a person is in good health i.e. without any heart or kidney ailment and do not have any problem waking up in the middle of the night to empty their bladder, they can be fine with drinking water before bed.
In fact, it will have various health benefits as well as seen below.
Water is one of the most essential nutrients to maintain good health. Water can be sourced from the tap, bottled or even ionized alkaline water. Besides the type of water, the quantity of water, the time when we drink water is also very important.
1. Just After You Wake Up
Your internal organs get activated when you drink water at this time. The toxins present in the body get flushed out before you start with your first meal. Instead of coffee which acts as a diuretic and causes fluid loss, opt for glass of water instead.
2. Before Having a Meal
If you drink water 30 minutes before a meal, it increases the satiety and prevents over eating. Over-eating can cause weight gain and can also lead to fatty liver disease. Drinking water keeps the liver lean. It also stimulates the digestive enzymes and bile production, thus preparing the stomach for food.
3. Before and During Exercise
It is important to be physically fit to remain healthy. When you drink water before and during exercise you prevent the risk of dehydration. This puts less load on the liver to clear the toxins out of the body. This is especially important for someone who has a fibrotic liver.
4. When You're Ill
It is an old belief and it holds true that drinking lots of fluids when you are unwell is good. The recommended intake is around 8 glasses of water, where one glass is of 8 ounces. You should also consume other fluids like soups, juice or tea. When a person is hospitalized, they have an IV drip which keeps the person hydrated.
5. When You Are Exposed to Other Ill Patients
People who are surrounded by sick people, at hospitals, school or at work, should drink more water. This is to ensure that if there are any microbes in the body, due to the exposure, they will be washed away.
When the body is hydrated, the invading microbes do not get to settle or multiply in the body. You should drink water before or after going out, this will ensure that some types of viruses are prevented from causing an illness or the severity is lessened.
6. When You Are Feeling Tired
It is a good idea to drink water when you are tired, fatigued or feeling sleepy. Water gets absorbed quickly and moves rapidly throughout the body. It reaches the brain and activates it. It helps to have water before an important meeting, especially cold water. It will help in keeping the body alert.
Since early childhood, I lived with the common allergy symptoms of runny nose, watery eyes, and sneezing. Every year I would dread allergy season.
After receiving some of the typical medical treatments during childhood, I started looking for natural allergy remedies in my early twenties.
Over a period of 25 years (yikes!), I tried numerous dietary changes, supplements, herbs, flower essences, homeopathic, and various other natural allergy remedies.
Even though I saw some minor improvements, nothing I tried really made a significant difference for me.
Thus, I learned to accept the fact that I was probably going to have allergies for the rest of my life.
I had no desire to take allergy medications because of the long-term side effects, so I learned to manage the allergies as best I could, primarily through diet and supplements.
What Finally Worked for Me
The good news is that a few years ago I did find a natural solution that worked for me, and it has worked well for many others.
The interesting thing is that I had no idea at the time that it was a one of the best natural allergy remedies – and that solution is ionized water.
At the time, I understood the importance of drinking water, but I just could not seem to drink enough to quench my thirst.
My mouth was often parched and my skin was dry, even though I was drinking about two quarts of water a day. I felt like a desert nomad.
Then I was introduced to a home water ionizer system, which produces water from the tap that is restructured and micro-clustered.
The micro-clustering effect means that this water contains smaller groupings of molecules, which enables the water to be absorbed and utilized by the body at the cellular level - much quicker and more completely.
In addition, the ionized water is alkalized (which helps to create a healthier environment in the body) and it carries a high antioxidant potency due to the restructuring of the water molecules and the creation of hydroxyl ions.
So I started drinking alkaline, ionized water and determined to rehydrate my body. What I discovered (by accident) is that drinking this water was one of the most effective natural allergy remedies.
Within three months of drinking ionized water, allergy season arrived and, to my surprise, my allergies were virtually non-existent – and for the most part (about 90%) have not returned since.
Allergies Linked to Dehydration
Since I had tried so many different natural allergy remedies, I wanted to find out why I had such good results in rehydrating my body with ionized water. What was the connection between allergies and dehydration?
What I discovered is that, according to Dr. F. Batmanghelidj, author of Water: for Health, for Healing, for Life, dehydration is one of the primary causes of allergies and asthma.
If you suffer from allergies, I am sure you know that allergies are caused by a histamine reaction in the body. What most people don’t know is that histamine production increases greatly when the body is dehydrated.
Since 75 percent of our population is estimated to be dehydrated, it is no wonder that so many people suffer from allergies and asthma!
In addition to increased histamine production, dehydration also affects antibody production. This means that the body will not have the adequate antibodies to deal with foreign invaders, such as pollen and other antigens.
Best Water for Allergy Relief
If you suffer from allergies, chances are high that your body has been dehydrated for many months or years. Drinking water to rehydrate your body is not a quick fix and the type of water you drink is important.
I highly recommend ionized water for allergy relief since it is the only water that made a difference for me .
NOTE: Not all water ionizers are equal. The manufacturer makes a huge difference in the quality of ionized water that is produced and how long the device will last. See our recommendations below if interested.
I believe the synergistic effect of all the ionized water properties (alkalinity, micro-clustering, and antioxidant potency) contributed to the quick results I experienced.
This is not to suggest that the ionized water "cured" my allergies. Only the body itself has the ability to provide a lasting cure for any health condition. However, I am convinced this water provided the optimal environment in my body to alleviate the allergy symptoms.
Is ionized water the only type of water that is effective?
Studies indicate that mineral-rich, filtered drinking water will also hydrate the body well, but it will most likely take quite a bit longer than drinking filtered water that is not ionized.
The alkaline minerals in water are essential for proper hydration. I do not recommend de-mineralized water (such as distilled or reverse osmosis) because I drank it for years and know that it did not provide the same allergy relief I get from mineral water.
5 Simple Guidelines to Rehydrate Your Body
If you have tried other natural allergy remedies and want to give water a try, follow these simple guidelines for at least six months. No matter what, you can’t lose. Water is foundational to health!
Water is needed by all the cells and organs in the body in order for them to function properly. It is also used to lubricate the joints, protect the spinal cord and other sensitive tissues, regulate body temperature and assist the passage of food through the intestines.
Although some of the water required by the body is obtained through foods with a high water content - soups, tomatoes, oranges - the majority is gained through drinking water and other beverages.
During normal everyday functioning, water is lost by the body, and this needs to be replaced. It is noticeable that we lose water through activities such as sweating and urination, but water is even lost when breathing.
Drinking water is the best source of fluid for the body. Beverages such as milk and juices are also decent sources of water, but beverages containing alcohol and caffeine, such as soft drinks, coffee and beer, are less than ideal due to having diuretic properties, meaning that they cause the body to release water.
Here at Fresh2o, our bottleless water coolers are water filtration systems and coolers all in one unit. This means you can eliminate the chemicals that are found in plastic water bottles that harm your body and the environment.
An all-around healthier and safer approach to drinking water for you and your loved ones
I hope this gets you thinking outside the box and trying out more water.
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