Careful With Your Water Filters -- Hotel Filtered Water Can Kill You

waterAbout 300 guests have been moved from a luxury Miami hotel after Legionnaires' disease struck at least three former guests. One of them died.

Guests at the EPIC Hotel were sent to nearby hotels to prevent potential contact with the waterborne bacterial disease.

An ongoing investigation revealed that the hotel had installed a water filter powerful enough to remove anti-bacterial treatments from its city-supplied water, encouraging bacterial growth.

A new study has also cataloged all the pollutants and chemicals that appear in your tap water, and they include things like arsenic and fuel additives. Many of these pollutants are unregulated, meaning no matter how high a dose appears in your water, it's still not illegal.

Other chemicals are regulated, but are allowed to appear in your water at a level well above what doctors recommend as a safe dose.

To see the five most and least polluted water systems in America (in cities with more than 100,000 population), based on the total number pollutants found in the water, and how often those pollutants were found during continued testing, please click the GOOD link below.

Dr. Mercola's Comments:

Drinking enough pure water is one of the most simple, basic, and important health steps you can take. Unfortunately, pure water can be hard to come by … even in upscale hotels in the United States.

A New York Times analysis of federal data found that more than 49 million people in the United States have been exposed to contaminated drinking water since 2004 -- drinking water that contained illegal concentrations of arsenic, bacteria and radioactive substances like uranium.

It’s estimated that millions of people become ill from drinking unsafe water in the United States every year, however it may not be as obvious as what happened to several guests at the EPIC Hotel. While some cases of contaminated water may cause an immediate reaction, from bacterial contamination, for instance, many others will not show up for years.

This is because many of the chemicals in drinking water have been linked to cancer and chronic illnesses that take years or decades to develop. And by the time a person is diagnosed, it is next to impossible to trace the illness back to drinking contaminated water for 10 to 30 years.

Why is Filtering Your Water So Important?

You simply cannot rely on municipal sources or government agencies to keep your water clean.

Sen. Frank Lautenberg, D-N.J. recently told ABC News there are more than 140 chemicals in U.S. drinking water that are not regulated by the EPA. This includes, gasoline, pesticides, rocket fuel, prescription drugs and more.

Further, more than 20 percent of U.S. water treatment systems have violated key provisions of the Safe Drinking Water Act over the last five years, yet fewer than 6 percent of the violations were ever fined or punished!

You can get a good idea of what types of contaminants could be in your drinking water right now by viewing this awesome graphic from GOOD. It gives you a look at the five most and least polluted water systems in America (in cities with more than 100,000 population), including pointing out the pollutants of largest concern.

Adding to the problem are numerous outdated and overwhelmed sewer systems, many of which were built more than a century ago. In 1972, the Clean Water Act was enacted to upgrade many U.S. sewer systems, yet despite updates made in the ‘70s and ‘80s, many are still overwhelmed.

As a result, sewage spilling into waterways is a common occurrence. In fact, the New York Times reported that in the last three years more than 9,400 of the 25,000 U.S. sewage systems have violated the law by dumping untreated or partially treated human waste, chemicals and other hazardous materials into rivers, lakes and other waterways.

Nearly all municipal water supplies also have fluoride (a highly toxic bone poison) added during water treatment, both of which are detrimental to your health. Europeans have known for many years that fluoride is toxic and have long since removed it from their water supplies, but it still is used in the United States.

And then there are disinfection byproducts, or DBPs. If you have not heard of DBPs before, you need to pay close attention as it turns out that DBPs, not chlorine, are responsible for nearly all the toxic effects of chlorinated water. Chlorine by itself is relatively harmless, but its side effects, by producing DBPs, cause nearly all of the problems -- including reproductive disorders and cancer.

So when you help yourself to a glass of water from your kitchen faucet, it may look much more pure than it actually is.

Be Very Choosy About Your Water

Since regular tap water may be polluted with everything from fluoride to bacteria to pharmaceuticals, I recommend filtering it. I do not suggest using bottled water as an alternative because of the extreme toll it takes on the environment, along with the questionable purity of the water itself.

So what are your options?

Your best source of water is having an artesian well in your backyard, as that is some of the finest water in the world. Very few people are fortunate enough to have this, however.

Fortunately, the alternative to having pure water is simple: use a high-quality filter for your home, including one for your shower.

What I Use to Filter My Water

My personal favorite, and the one I personally use, is a high-quality reverse osmosis (RO) filter. You just need to add a few minerals back to the water, but the water is far superior to distilled water. RO reliably removes virtually every possible contaminant that could be in the water, providing pure water for your health and the health of your family.

I have been seeking to offer one to readers for over 10 years, but have not been able to make a recommendation. The reason I do not currently offer one is that we are still researching filters that don't require someone with professional installation experience. Most of them are not very user friendly.

Another problem with nearly all R/O filters is keeping the holding tank clean. You need to pay very careful attention to regularly draining it at least weekly, otherwise mold and other infections might build up.

We are currently working on a tankless countertop that solves both problems in that it does not have a holding tank, and easily connects to most all faucets. Hopefully we can work out the details and have it available next year. I have been beta testing a system for the last four months and am very pleased with the results.

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