How To Protect Yourself From America’s ‘New’ Drinking Water Toxins

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I  just read an article that I just couldn’t NOT share with you guys.

EPA is finally tackling our tap water supply. These chemicals left unregulated by the previous administration cause thyroid problems, pre-natal and post-natal developmental problems and a slew of other issues, including cancer. Because unless you regulate for profit companies to do a good job and be safe, we’re always going to end up with unwanted health side-effects from our overly chemicalized world.

I urge you to read the article, but in short, it talks about 3 dangerous chemicals out of 6000 of toxic unregulated ones. One  causes thyroid problems, another one causes stomach, lung and liver cancer and the levels of this particular chemicals are 10 times higher in the city of Chicago than the safe standard ( the one that allows 1 cancer per million due to the chemical alone), and finally well known carcinogenic VOCs.

And while you can’t run away from every danger, there are certain easy steps most people can make to reduce the negative effects.  The first two can be removed by a reverse osmosis system, the last one by carbon filter. And was exactly the reason why we picked out this particular water filtration system  (plus it’s not too expensive)

If you haven’t read my post about the Reverse Osmosis Water Filter system we installed before I got pregnant ( or what it after?…can’t remember), check it out here

The reason why I am writing this here is because for 8 years of my adult life I was oblivious to the common dangers, ignorant and thinking I am invinsible. And while I’d still like to believe I am invinsible, reading and meeting people, who weren’t so fortunate, and planning a pregnancy made me realize how truly poisonous our world is. I will not stress out about things I can’t change, but I will definetely do all I can to make things better for me and my family and will do what I can to alert other people so that they could hopefully make the same discovery I did and most importantly make informed decisions about their health.

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  • Reply
    August 11, 2011 at 9:51 AM

    Hi Elena,

    I want to thank you for writing your blog and especially for your last two posts about the water filter and beauty products. I actually live in Chicago and when my husband and I read the Chicago Tribune article about the contaminated water (front page, Sunday paper) we resolved right then and there to buy a reverse-osmosis water filter and are doing research now about which one to buy. Do you like yours? How easy was it to install?

    Also, I am in the middle of reading “Get Ready to Get Pregnant” (eye-opening book!) and am trying to sort through all my make-up and products. After spending hours researching, I know that all of my current products are bad, but finding new products that are reasonably priced (not $50 for a small bottle!) was proving impossible. Your post today was like a light at the end of a long dark tunnel and I plan to look into each product you recommend.

    My question for you is this: did you change your make-up? In my research, I found that my make-up is just as bad as the other products, but finding natural make-up is challenging (but…who doesn’t love a challenge!). I also love how things labled natural sometimes have more chemical-based ingredients than things without the natural label! Can you recommend some make-up as well as facial cleaner too.

    Thanks so much!! I always look forward to your posts!


    • Reply
      Elena @ Art of Making a Baby
      August 11, 2011 at 10:08 AM

      Yeah I have to say it was pretty daunting to start tackling your personal care products. A few times I almost wanted to give up. I’m glad you got “get ready to get pregnant” book- it changed the way I was going about preparations for pregnancy and pregnancy itself completely- helped me do more research.
      Ok, so to answer your questions. Yes, we love our water filter, we did a bit of research and finally settled on that one, since it doesn’t remove pretty much everything, has RO and a carbon block filter. It was VERY easy to install. My husband read some reviews with a person or two bitching about the installation and had to laugh about it onhce he went through it himself. There’s also another girl I know who bought it based on my recommendation and she installed it herself, so it can’t be too hard.

      As far as make up, wow that part was hard. After basically striking out on EVERYTHING, and having a super hard time with personal care products as it is, I decided to leave make up as is. Since I’m staying home during pregnancy (meaning not much human contact, just walks with hubby and relaxing things like that), I haven’t been needing make up as much. I decided putting it on once a month or so for an OB appointment or some pictures won’t be too bad. I would even know where to start on the make up, because most of it is bad 🙁 I think it’s one of those things where you either have to give it up for now, or just find the best ones you can and go from there.

      Facial cleanser- I use burt’s bees orange essense, the ingredients seemed acceptable. But that’s another category that’s hard to find. A person below suggested oil cleansing method which I kind of like, but I won’t use castor oil because it IS considered a teratogen, but you can use olive oil as a make up remover.

      Good Luck, girl! And stay in touch!

  • Reply
    August 11, 2011 at 5:12 PM

    I understand that you want to protect your family and stay healthy, but to state that “planning a pregnancy made [you] realize how truly poisonous our world is,” is not only a blatant exaggeration, it’s demeaning. There are many mothers in this country who struggle to afford to put food on the table for their children, and you’re splitting hairs over organic facial wash and tap water? There are MANY mothers who cannot stay home all day and research every little thing that goes on or into their bodies, and even though I know it’s not your intention, it comes across as VERY condescending, because you are implying that their children will not be as healthy or as protected as yours are.

    Additionally, I hope you realize that over 1 billion people in the world do not even have ACCESS to clean drinking water, let alone the luxury of turning on a faucet and filling a glass with clean, clear water from the tap. I know the point of your blog entry is not to make a statement about social injustice, but I beg of you to keep a little perspective. The death rate among children in underdeveloped countries would be drastically reduced if only they had access to your “poisonous” tap water. You live in one of the cleanest, wealthiest countries in the world, and that is not something you should take for granted.

    Like I said, I understand that you want to protect your family, and that is fine. Please just keep in mind that there are mothers in the world to whom the phrase “protecting their children” means staying alive. Your problems surrounding stretch marks, organic food, purified water, self-cleaning cat litter, and natural bath products are little more than first-class, first-world white whines.

    • Reply
      Elena @ Art of Making a Baby
      August 11, 2011 at 7:13 PM

      Do you realize how ridiculous your comment sounds? I appreciate you repeatedly saying that you understand where I am coming from (i really do), however does the fact that some people don’t have clean water or others can’t afford water filters mean that we all should just roll over and not do anything about how POISONOUS ( yes, poisonous and that’s in no way an exaggeration or demeaning) our environment is with chemical factories, products, pesticides, etc etc. Noone would ever say that EVERYONE should do this, everybody does the best they can, and that’s implied. But everyone should also be aware of dangers and take steps if possible to avoid it…as much as they can. Buying Organic vegetables aren’t as expensive if you join a local co-op or buy from local farmers, safe facial products can be found on sale for as much as unsafe. I understand most women (especially those working with children) don’t have time to research this stuff and that’s why I am posting everything I find out (the research I spent HOURS on) so that others didn’t have to do it as well. Aside from that, most of my information is intended for pregnant women, which means it’s only 10 months of pregnancy when it’s THAT important to be healthy.
      Finally, your remark about first class white whines …you know, both me and my husband work really hard ( and HAVE worked really hard all our lives) to make sure that we can do these things. I can’t say it’s easy, we do sacrifice other things to make sure we eat organic vegetables and have purified water. We don’t go out to dinner, we don’t buy junk food, we don’t waste money on unnecessary clothes, we go on mini-vacations rather than big ones, and we work longer hours than most people. I don’t take anything for granted ( except maybe living in America), because I am working for it all.

      And like I said before, the fact that other people have it worse doesn’t mean that we still shouldn’t educate ourselves and take steps to be safer. I don’t see women not feeding their kids just because in Africa they have no food, or not taking simple precautions for their children or themselves, because “in other countries they do without”. We all make due with what we have and telling me that re-posting an article about contaminated water and commenting on how full of chemicals our world is means I am being demeaning is reading WAY WAY WAY too much into it, which would also point to the general negativity and/or personal issues this post might have brought up in you.

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