How well do you know your water?
Tonya Harris, Founder, Slightly Greener and Environmental Toxin Expert, shares her top FIVE tips for safe water drinking:
• Is your tap water filtered? Depending on how old you are, we all remember Julia Roberts’ award-winning role as Erin Brockovich, right? Well, then it shouldn’t come as a surprise that tap water can be contaminated with harmful chemicals like chlorine, pesticides, radium, prescription drugs, and even hexavalent chromium.
• Bottled water is NOT necessarily safer. In fact, city tap water is more regulated and is required to do more testing than bottled water plants. For example, city tap water is required to test for bacteria such as coliform 100 or more times per month, while bottled water plants are only required to test once per week.
• Are you drinking out of a safe water bottle? Hormone disruptors such as BPA and phthalates have been found in water bottles stored in as little as 10 weeks in plastic water bottles, and that leaching can occur even faster and in larger amounts if the water bottle was exposed to heat, such as those left in your hot car.
• Check out the free resources out there to make sure you’re drinking water safely: The Environmental Working Group (EWG) has two great resources for safer water. The EWG’s Tap Water Database is where you can enter your zip code and it will bring up contaminants found in your community’s water. Click on your town’s link to see what contaminants have been found, then head on over to their Water Filter Buying Guide to see recommendations on water filters. It’s a great way to find which water filter will be best after you find out what is in your area’s water.
• Charcoal sticks are a great option for filtering water. Filtered water pitchers, such as Brita often use activated charcoal filters, or you can use charcoal sticks. They work by binding with toxins, and can reduce levels of chlorine, cadmium, and mercury that may be in the water. Filters work more quickly, but the sticks work well also, and can last for months.