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Tuesday, December 10, 2013
There is a choice between making the formula from scratch, purchasing ready to drink formula, or using a powdered mix. In every case, if water is used, it is imperative to use purified water. Infants are much more susceptible to damage from chemicals than are older children and adults, and using purified water will help to assure the health of child.
Do not think that using bottled water will provide safe, pure water for the preparation of baby food – much bottled water comes straight from a municipal water system, which means that it will contain fluoride. Another thing to keep in mind is that bottled water is not subject to any testing or inspection, the consumer is simply buying it on good faith.
Why Fluoride Is Harmful
Although various people have been complaining about the fluoridation of water for decades, the prestigious American Dental Association has now declared that fluoride is a poisonous substance. The most obvious result of fluoridation is a condition called fluorosis whereby the teeth are eaten away by fluoride. The effect will be most pronounced when infants consume water that contains this substance.
In addition to causing fluorosis, fluoride has also been linked with other potentially serious health problems. Fluoride can influence the development of the brain and central nervous system and has been linked by some to a lower IQ in children. Unfortunately, these effects are only the tip of the iceberg and fluoride has also been linked to kidney damage, bone cancer, and harm to the thyroid gland.
Chlorine Is Problematic, Also
There is a valid reason for adding chlorine to drinking water and that is to kill off bacteria and viruses that may be present. Municipal water supplies come from ground water; reservoirs, rivers, and lakes all provide water for cities and towns. However, these bodies of water can be badly contaminated and the water must be safe for humans to drink.
Waterborne illnesses have impacted hundreds of millions of people over time, and chlorine has provided a way to remove most of the risk. Unfortunately, chlorine itself presents a risk. Chlorine increases the possibility of several kinds of cancer, including bladder and colon. Exposing an infant to chlorine, while the immune system is still fragile, might well leave the child open to disease later in life.
Chlorine has also been implicated in cardiovascular disease and seems to contribute to the development of plaque.
Safe Water for Infant Formula
Fortunately there is a way to prepare infant formula that will be safe for the baby to drink, and that is by using an appropriate filter system. Water filters come in a wide range of types – some will only remove bad smells and colors, while others might take care of bacteria. When choosing a water filter for the safe preparation of formula, care must be taken to check that the filter does remove both chlorine and fluoride.
Providing safe water not only for the baby, but for the whole family is easy when the proper filter is installed. Filters that will remove chlorine, fluoride, and a whole witch’s brew of contaminants are available as countertop models or undersink filters if space is short on the counter.
Whole house water purifying systems are also available that will provide safe water for every outlet in the home. The advantage to these systems is that no one will be exposed to chlorine or fluoride while bathing, and there will be no inhalation of chlorine gas.
by: Chris Tracey
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Wednesday, November 13, 2013
Heavy metals are naturally occurring minerals found scattered throughout the earth’s crust. They have been designated as being ‘heavy’ because they are dense and can be poisonous to living organisms, even in relatively low concentrations. Probably the most familiar heavy metal to most people is lead, but cadmium, thallium, mercury, arsenic, and chromium are also included in this group.
These metals can occur not only in soil and rock formations, but are also present in industrial or construction operations, and mining is infamous for producing tailings that often contain high amounts of some of these substances.
There are other metals that are actually necessary to our bodily health, such as iron and copper, but that can become toxic when present in concentration. Both copper and lead are often found in water pipes, with the lead having been used as solder. Water that is acidic, especially, can cause these metals to leach into your drinking water.
Health Problems from Heavy Metals
In part, heavy metals are dangerous to health because they will accumulate in the body over time, which means that even small amounts consumed over a period of months or years can cause serious damage to the body.
Keeping Your Household Drinking Water Safe
Fortunately, there are a number of water filters that will remove heavy metals from your drinking water, and these are generally available as smaller counter or under-the-sink units or as large filters that will scrub the water for the entire house. Keep in mind that a UV water filter will not remove heavy metals.
by: Chris Tracey
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Wednesday, November 6, 2013
Giardia – Are Beavers the Vector?
Although beavers have been blamed for outbreaks of giardiasis, it’s now considered possible that they developed the infection from people. In tracing the progress of the disease, it has been found that human populations were responsible for contaminated sewage being released into streams, with the result that beavers became infected. The beavers, in time, returned the favor to us.
There are probably about 40 species of giardia, which are actually protozoans – single celled creatures that behave somewhat like tiny animals. Giardia organisms are capable of independent movement, and have 2 life stages: an active stage when they inhabit the intestinal tract of their unfortunate host and a cystic stage when they are passed with feces and wait to be ingested to infect someone or something else.
Giardia can live in a wide range or animals in addition to humans and beavers, including reptiles, birds, and rodents. All of these host animals are capable of passing on the infection through the cysts.
Symptoms of Giardiasis
People become ill with giardiasis when they drink water that contains giardia cysts or contaminated food. Chlorine in municipal water supplies is generally not sufficient to kill the cysts. Although the chances of becoming ill with giardiasis increase as the number of ingested cysts do, it is possible to become sick from as few as 10 cysts. Someone who is carrying giardia can pass literally hundreds of millions of cysts every day.
Diarrhea is the hallmark of giardiasis, and it is often accompanied by gas attacks. The person who has been infected will usually become ill 7 to 20 days after becoming contaminated. Besides gas and diarrhea, the patient may also experience vomiting and nausea, and some people lose significant amounts of weight while ill.
The greatest danger to giardiasis will be to those who have chronic health conditions and the very young and old. Dehydration is a real possibility. Antibiotics can help cure the infection.
How to Remain Free of Giardiasis
As can be seen above, even chlorination of water is not able to prevent giardia from spreading. Boiling the drinking water is one solution, but a more practical one is to use water filters to make sure that your water is safe to drink. There are a number of options, ranging from countertop models to whole house filters. Be wary of using pitcher filters for this as they usually are only equipped to handle the removal of unpleasant tastes.
Because giardiasis is even more common in developing countries, if you plan to travel outside of the ‘Western World’ you should definitely carry a water filter with you and use it diligently. Bottle filters are easy to carry in a backpack and small gravity feed water filters are an excellent choice for your hotel room or apartment.
by: Chris Tracey
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