You need a really good water filter to keep yourself healthy
You have a water filter at home. But do you know what kind? More importantly, do you know what kind you need?brunch Updated: May 08, 2015 20:03 IST
As I said last week, clean drinking water is the most basic component of health. That’s because malnutrition is not caused by poor nutrition, but by poor quality water that leads to frequent infections. Even in the most privileged environment, poor quality water can invite diseases.
So you need a really good water filter. How do you choose one? Here’s a list of the contaminants you need the filter to remove.
1. Heavy metals like lead, cadmium, chromium, mercury, copper and so on. These heavy metals can damage the liver and kidney.
2. Infectious components like bacteria, viruses , worm eggs, cysts and other organic toxins.
3. Chemicals from factory waste and pesticides from farms which get into rivers and other water bodies.
4. The by-products of chlorine and fluorine, both of which are added to water by municipal bodies to kill bacteria.
5. Pollution from oils, petrol and diesel.
6. Chemicals that cause hormonal imbalances in both men and women.
How water is purified
Municipal bodies add chlorine to water to kill organisms. However, the water has very high chances of re-contamination due to leakage caused by old and corroded water pipes.
You also need another level of filtration at home. Here’s how:
A.Basic filtration system. Achieved with activated charcoal. These are filters installed on taps, or table-top filters that remove bacteria, viruses, cysts, infectious material and particulate matter like visible dust. However, they cannot remove heavy metals effectively.
B.Candle-type filters. These are gravity-based and use no electricity. This comes as a container with an upper section containing the filtration candles and a lower section with a tap to release the purified water. This system cleans chemicals, heavy metals, VOC (Volatile Organic Compounds that cause hormonal problems), pesticides and infectious material. However, the filtration candles need to be changed regularly.
C.Reverse osmosis. This electricity-based system uses a membrane that is so thin it traps large particles. However, reverse osmosis works best only when the equipment also contains granulated carbon that removes other pollutants like VOC and pesticides.
Reverse osmosis also removes essential minerals from the water and wastes a lot of water in the purification process.
D.Counter-top distillers. These turn water to vapour and cool it till it turns to water again. The system removes most contaminants, except for hydrocarbons.
For best results, use this along with a candle-type additional filtration process to remove VOC.
Boiling water. This kills bacteria and some viruses, but does not remove chemical pollutants.
The series is now concluded
From HT Brunch, May 10
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First Published: May 08, 2015 15:18 IST