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Quality Water Filters 4 You Posting Page
Friday, April 15, 2011
When people think of in-home water filters, they often think of the removal of bacteria and chlorine. But good quality water filters can also remove other water contaminants such as styrene.

Styrene is an organic liquid, somewhat oily in nature, and it has a floral odor. In the old days, styrene was used mostly in the synthetic rubber industry. Today it is used in plastic making, paints, resins, and other types of coatings.

Ingesting styrene, over time, can have severe health consequences. Those who drink water with styrene levels above the EPA standard can develop problems in their liver, kidneys, or circulatory system.

The EPA has set the maximum contaminant level (MCL) for styrene at 0.1 mg/L or 100 ppb (parts per billion).

As a water contaminant, styrene is most often found in water that is close to certain industries or industrial areas. The main way that styrene gets into drinking water is through discharge from rubber and plastic factories. It can also get into water sources (especially ground water) via leaching from landfills.

If you live in an area where there is heavy industry, you may want to know about the federal law called the Emergency Planning and Community Right to Know Act (EPCRA). This law requires certain industries to report annually on their releases of toxic or dangerous chemicals. For more information, contact the Community Right-to-Know Hotline: (800) 424-9346.

So, how can you know if there is styrene in your drinking water or not? Municipal water suppliers test for styrene on a routine basis. For those living in areas away from heavy industry, this is fine. But for those who live near landfills or factories that discharge styrene, it may not be so fine. In the event a water plant discovers a violation, it has up to 30 days to notify its customers of the violation. It must also take immediate steps to correct the problem that led to the violation. All of this takes time, of course.

Most treatment plants use granular activated carbon along with aeration to remove styrene from water. This has been shown to be effective in most cases.

Homeowners who may be susceptible to styrene contamination may want to add another level of protection to their drinking water. This can be done by installing a high-quality water filter. Options for home use include either whole house water filters or smaller point of use filters.

You can learn more about whether or not styrene is a problem in your area by contacting your water utility company. The EPA requires all community water systems to prepare an annual water quality report for their customers by July 1 of each year and you may request this report at any time.

If you wish to protect your family's drinking water with water filters, contact a reliable vendor and discuss your needs and budget. Most water filter vendors have several options for homeowners in various price ranges.


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by: Chris Tracey

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