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Wednesday, December 10, 2014
Fluoride has been touted as a wonderful way to prevent cavities in teeth, but this widely supplied substance in the United States has also been linked to a number of health problems. It is true that the incidence of dental caries has declined over the past decades since fluoridation began, but it also declined in nations that did not put fluoride into the water.

Quite a few people objected to the wholesale introduction of fluoride into the water, both on medical and ethical grounds. A comparison is often drawn between fluoridation and vaccination, but the two are not compatible for reasons of argument – if you aren't vaccinated, you can spread diseases to other people, but if you don’t drink fluoridated water, you will be the only one affected, cavities are not contagious.

Dangers That Fluoride Poses

Fluoride is not an innocuous substance, but has been shown by reputable scientific studies to be responsible for a number of serious health problems. Fluoride is a byproduct of the fertilizer industry and is so toxic that it simply cannot be dumped – the solution was to put this poison into our drinking water to get rid of it. Fluoride has now definitely been linked to a number of serious health concerns:

  • Bone cancer in boys.
  • Lower intelligence in children.
  • Deterioration of joints and bones, especially in older people
  • Damage to the thyroid gland.
  • Kidney damage.
  • Discoloration and pitting of teeth.

With all these ghastly health concerns, you may well wonder why on earth fluoride is being added to water at all. Sadly, the answer comes down to money, as it seems to all too often. Hundreds of millions of dollars go to the companies that provide fluoride for water systems every year, and dislodging these from the public treasury is going to be difficult.

What You Can Do

If you live in a city or town and receive your water from a municipal supply, there is an excellent chance that you and your children are ingesting fluoride with every glass of water you drink. Bottled water might be considered an option except that most bottled water is actually water right from some municipal water supply and probably contains fluoride, too. Unless you see a statement printed on the bottle that the water inside is distilled or has been filtered using reverse osmosis, save your money.

Fortunately, there are a number of fluoride water filters that will remove fluoride from your water. This will be an especial concern if you have children – in fact it is now recommended that baby formula not be prepared with tap that is fluoridated. There are basically two types of fluoride water filters that will render your water safe to drink:

  • Reverse osmosis filters are excellent at removing fluoride from drinking water. Whole house filters, countertop, and under sink reverse osmosis filter are available.
  • Activated alumina filters are another option for removing fluoride, and are the most economical way to deal with this poison.

When searching for a filter that will remove fluoride, make sure that the product states this specifically. Pitcher filters may improve the taste of water, but will leave fluoride in place with the exception of the Seychelle pitcher filter it will reduce up to 85% of fluoride.

by: Chris Tracey

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Thursday, October 16, 2014
Hunting seasons do not last a long time, generally only for a few weeks out of the year in the United States. Whether you enjoy hunting elk, deer, bear, or moose, you will want to take as much advantage of the time available as possible.

It is quite true that many hunting trips are basically weekend adventures, some hunters enjoy going on a real expedition compete with guide, horses for getting into the backcountry, and several days of camping out. Actually, whether or not you are able to actually target the game you wanted to, the whole experience is still one that you will treasure. That is, unless you spend it doubled up from cramping and running to the bushes every five minutes from acute diarrhea.

A Vital Piece of Equipment

The first thing you will be thinking about packing when preparing for your hunting trip will be your weapon and ammunition, regardless of whether you will be bow or gun hunting. After that you will have to pack adequate clothing, a quality sleeping bag, a first aid kit, and food. Even if you are going to be depending on a guide, you’ll want to be as prepared as possible.

One thing you should not neglect to include is a water filter. Those mountain freshets or deep woods springs can be contaminated with a number of unpleasant organisms that can make you extremely sick. Salmonella, E. coli, amoebae, protozoans, and other assorted pathogens can ruin your journey, and all can be deposited by animals in their feces and urine.

A clear as crystal stream is no guarantee of purity as these little creatures are microscopic in size. The only way to guarantee that you will not become sick from the water is to take a water purifier along.

  • Bottle water filters are one of the easiest ways to provide safe, pure water. Light in weight and easy to use, you need simply fill the bottle with water and then squeeze out a pure, refreshing drink. As these filters will provide about 100 gallons of water before the filter element is saturated, this should surely be enough for a hunting trip.
  • There are a number of camping water filters that will provide not only you, but other members of your group with safe water. Some of these will require that you fill a bag with water then let gravity pull the water through a filter while others will need pumping. 
  • Those who plan to spend time away from base camp during the day might want to use a water filter straw for convenience. Depending on the make, these straws will filter between 25 and 100 gallons of water.

International Hunting Trips

While it is quite possible to get ill from drinking the groundwater in the United States or Canada, those who leave these two havens of civilization will find themselves contending with some of the heavy hitters of the pathogen world. Journeys to Africa, Central and South America, and Asia for hunting opportunities will have to be scrupulous in providing themselves with safe water to drink. These regions have all the pathogens present in North America along with several other potentially deadly illnesses. And, because of the low water quality generally in these areas, there will be a greater chance of acquiring a major illness unless you take precautions. Not only should you provide yourself with a high quality water filter, but you should also provide backup protection. An extra filter and/or water purification tablets can help keep you from coming down with some of the endemic pathogens found overseas:

  • Cholera is still a much-feared illness and causes massive diarrhea and vomiting. Dehydration death can occur within a few hours if the condition is untreated.
  • Typhoid is also found in much of the less developed world. This disease not only causes vomiting and diarrhea or constipation, but also high fever and delirium. Typhoid can make a person ill for up to one month.

Don’t let your much-anticipated hunting trip be ruined by illness, a bit of foresight and the purchase of a good water filter can make the difference between disaster and success.

by: Chris Tracey

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Wednesday, June 18, 2014
Salmonella bacteria are often spread through contaminated food, but it is quite possible to acquire salmonellosis through drinking water, too. If you live in a town or city and receive municipal water that has been chlorinated, you will not get salmonellosis from the water – chlorine kills salmonella entirely.

However, if you have a well or if your municipality relies on deep water wells to provide water, the possibility will always exist that the water can become contaminated with these bacteria and make you and your family ill.

How Salmonella Gets into the Water Supply

Salmonella spreads when fecal matter that contains the bacteria is able to enter the well. Flooding or even slight earthquakes can cause a well to be vulnerable to these bacteria as groundwater flow may shift.

Leaking septic systems or sewer lines are usually where the problem begins, but as both domestic and wild animals can carry salmonella; this is another possible source of infection. Humans, as well as animals, can be infected with salmonella and be completely free of symptoms, too.

Several years ago, a municipal water supply in Colorado, which depended upon deep wells to supply the town’s water was contaminated with salmonella, resulting in about 15% of the town’s inhabitants coming down with salmonellosis.

Salmonellosis symptoms include diarrhea, vomiting, and fever. This illness also has the capacity to spread from the intestines to other parts of the body. In addition to causing infection body wide, salmonellosis can cause dehydration and arthritis. If dehydration occurs, hospitalization will usually be necessary to provide intravenous rehydration therapy.

Don’t Take Chances

We have all heard the expression, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”, and this applies to keeping your household safe from salmonella infections. It is true that boiling water will kill salmonella bacteria, but this is a rather time consuming and clumsy approach to the problem.

Water filters – those designed specifically to remove organic pathogens and pollutants – are excellent at trapping these dangerous organisms so that you and your family can drink water without worry.

You will have a wide variety of filters to choose from: under the sink models, countertop units, or even whole house water filters. However, when you do shop for a water filter to keep your well water safe for drinking, pay attention to the specifications of the filter – you will need one with a very small pore size so that there will be no chance of bacteria getting through the filter. Reverse osmosis filters or ceramic water filters are very good at providing water that is safe to drink, and these make the perfect filtration systems for the entire home.

by: Chris Tracey

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