U.S. drinking water contains more than 2,100 toxic chemicals that can cause cancer, according to the Ralph Nader Research Institute. The statistics are ominous: One hundred years ago, Americans had a 1 in 50 chance of getting cancer. Today, Americans have a 1 in 3 chance of getting cancer, and men have a 1 in 2 chance.
From pesticides to prescription medications, our water supply is loaded with contaminants. And don't think you're safe if you buy expensive bottled water. Studies show that bottled water is often just as contaminated — or even more contaminated — than tap water. If you want clean water, you have to purify it yourself. A water purifier is a necessity for every health-conscious American.
Before you purchase your water purifier, consider these questions:
1. Do I want a drinking water purifier or a whole house purifier?
When it comes to water quality, most people are only concerned with the quality of the water they drink. Other people, however, demand a whole house water purifier to purify the water at all points in their home. Showering in contaminated water is just as unhealthy as drinking contaminated water. In fact, you absorb and inhale certain contaminants in the shower more easily than you ingest them from drinking the water. Chlorine byproducts, for example, can vaporize into the air and affect the indoor air quality in your entire home. These chemicals have been known to trigger asthma attacks. Whole house water purification will also provide chemical-free water for laundry, dishwashing, and cleaning, and it will likely extend the life of your appliances.
2. What level of water purification do I need?
If you want the purest water available, then you should purchase a reverse osmosis water purifier. RO purifiers eliminate virtually all contaminants, including the smallest synthetic chemicals and pharmaceutical pollutants. An RO filter will also remove all chemicals added to your water, such as chlorine and fluoride.
3. What's my taste preference when it comes to water?
One drawback of reverse osmosis water purifiers is that they eliminate natural salts and minerals as well as the harmful contaminants. This can leave the water tasting a bit flat. Aquasana water purifiers, which offer a level of purification nearly as high as RO purifiers, leave trace minerals in the water for a more natural taste.
4. What's the cost of operation?
Consider energy usage, water usage, and the cost of filter replacements. RO purifiers are less efficient than other types of water filters, so they usually cost more to operate (but you still end up paying a lot less than what you would for bottled water). Aquasana water purifiers produce clean water for about 9 cents per gallon. Water filter pitchers have very low operating costs as well.
5. How much maintenance will I have to perform?
Consider how often you'll have to replace filters. To provide a few examples, the Blueair Reverse Osmosis Water Purifier features a filter change indicator that alerts you when it's time to change the carbon pre-filter — every 3 to 12 months, depending on the amount of sediment in your water. Aquasana filters should be changed once every 6 months. Clear2O water filtration pitchers feature a filter life indicator that lets you know when it's time to change the carbon filter. Each Clear2O filter purifies 40 gallons (640 glasses) of water.
Still Got Questions?
For more information on specific products and ways to improve your indoor environment, review our extensive product listings and other educational materials. Not sure what’s best for you? We can take the guess work out of decision-making. Contact our product experts toll free at 1 (800) 934-9194. We want to help you make your indoor environment a healthy one.