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Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Top 11 compounds in drinking water

A comprehensive survey of the drinking water for more than 28 million Americans has detected the widespread but low-level presence of pharmaceuticals and hormonally active chemicals.

Little was known about people's exposure to such compounds from drinking water, so Shane Snyder and colleagues at the Southern Nevada Water Authority in Las Vegas screened tap water from 19 US water utilities for 51 different compounds. The surveys were carried out between 2006 and 2007.
The 11 most frequently detected compounds - all found at extremely low 
concentrations - were:

Atenolol, a beta-blocker used to treat cardiovascular disease

Atrazine, an organic herbicide banned in the European Union, but still used in the US, which has been implicated in the decline of fish stocks and in changes in animal behaviour

Carbamazepine, a mood-stabilising drug used to treat bipolar disorder, amongst other things

Estrone, an oestrogen hormone secreted by the ovaries and blamed for causing gender-bending changes in fish

Gemfibrozil, an anti-cholesterol drug

Meprobamate, a tranquiliser widely used in psychiatric treatment

Naproxen, a painkiller and anti-inflammatory linked to increases in asthma incidence

Phenytoin, an anticonvulsant that has been used to treat epilepsy

Sulfamethoxazole, an antibiotic used against the Streptococcus bacteria, which is responsible for tonsillitis and other diseases

TCEP, a reducing agent used in molecular biology

Trimethoprim, another antibiotic

The concentrations of pharmaceuticals in drinking water were millions of times lower than in a medical dose, and Snyder emphasises that they pose no public health threat. He cautions, though, that "if a person has a unique health condition, or is concerned about particular contaminants in public water systems, I strongly recommend they consult their physician".

Thursday, May 26, 2011

The Importance of Drinking Water

When you were a kid in school, you learned that each molecule of water is made up of two hydrogen atoms and one oxygen atom. You may also have learned that it was great fun to fill up your squirt guns with water, at least until the principal caught you. What you may not have learned, however, was that you need water to be a healthy human being. 

Why You Need to Drink Water

Your body is estimated to be about 60 to 70 percent water. Blood is mostly water, and your muscles, lungs, and brain all contain a lot of water. Your body needs water to regulate body temperature and to provide the means for nutrients to travel to all your organs. Water also transports oxygen to your cells, removes waste, and protects your joints and organs. 

Signs of Dehydration

You lose water through urination, respiration, and by sweating, and if you are very active, you lose more water than if you are sedentary. Diuretics, such as caffeine pills and alcohol, result in the need to drink more water because they induce fluid loss.
Symptoms of mild dehydration include chronic pains in joints and muscles, lower back pain, headaches and constipation. A strong odor to your urine, along with a yellow or amber color, indicates that you may not be getting enough water. Note that riboflavin, a B vitamin, will make your urine bright yellow. Certain medications can change the color of urine as well. Thirst is an obvious sign of dehydration, and in fact, you need water before you feel thirsty.


How Much Water do You Need to Drink?

Some experts believe you can estimate the amount of water you need by taking your weight in pounds and dividing that number in half. That give you the number of ounces you may want to drink each day. For example, if you weigh 160 pounds, you might want to drink at least 80 ounces of water or other fluids per day.
If you exercise, you should drink another eight ounce glass of water for every 20 minutes you are active. If you drink alcohol, you should drink at least an equal amount of water. When you are traveling on an airplane, it may be good to drink eight ounces of water for every hour you are on board the plane. If you live in an arid climate, you should add another two servings per day. As you can see, your daily need for water can can change from day to day.

At least twenty percent of the water you need will come from the foods you eat. The rest will come from the beverages you drink. Water is probably the best choice; sweetened soft drinks and sodas have added sugar that adds extra calories. Sports drinks contain electrolytes and may be beneficial; just look out for added sugar and calories that you may not want. Fruit and vegetable juice are good because they have vitamins and nutrients (read labels, however -- vegetable juices may be high in sodium).
  • Caffeinated beverages like tea and coffee count too, but too much caffeine can make you feel jittery.

How To Drink Enough Water

It may be difficult to drink enough water on a busy day. Be sure you have water handy at all times by keeping a bottle for water with you when you are working, traveling, or exercising. If you get bored with plain water, add a bit of lemon or lime for a touch of flavor. There are some brands of flavored water available, but watch for extra calories.

Friday, March 11, 2011

WATER AND STOMACH PROBLEMS

People in third world countries sadly often only have access to water that is highly contaminated, and as a result, people die every day from the effects of diseases that target their digestive tracts. E.coli, salmonella, and other intestinal parasites, bacteria and viruses can overtake our stomach and other connected organs necessary for digestion.



While our water in our civilized country is regulated, we still have to protect ourselves. Contaminated water supplies are responsible for stomach problems, from small upsets to severe disorders. But, making sure water is filtered within the home as an added safety measure can prevent that. A few contaminants to watch out for are lead, mercury, copper, arsenic, atrazine and cadmium. These can cause diarrhea, nausea, vomiting and other stomach problems. Most times if water contaminates are found in a local water supply, it is public knowledge, and there will be a boiling alert put out by the local water companies until the problem is under control. Of course, this does not happen all too often and for the most part our water is safe. Still, extra measure can be taken: a small price to pay in exchange a feeling of discomfort.
But, while contaminated water may be the cause of stomach problems, safe drinking water can be a cure for others!


There are many ailments that can arise within and around the stomach, nausea, diarrhea, gas, constipation and heartburn being a few. Drinking water can be of help in several of those cases, and even aid in their prevention. Diarrhea, watery stool, can cause severe dehydration, so it is important to maintain body fluid if suffering from that. On the flipside, constipation can also use water to help break down the otherwise dry stool. (This subject can be read about in more depth on another section of this site.) Since vomiting and diarrhea go hand in hand with the nausea feeling, this ailment also contributes greatly to dehydration. Replacing fluids while nauseated is very important. Heartburn has also been said to be caused by lack of water, as water could have aided in neutralizing the acid (pH level) that caused the burning sensation.
Water is also a necessary element to just plain make sure our digestive tract works properly, which is sure to prevent stomach problems from occurring in the first place. Drinking water at mealtime aids in the digestive process, as it helps move the food through the system. More importantly, the solid food we eat cannot be properly digested if it is not broken down. This is where water comes into play, once again. Water than acts as the transportation system to bring the nutrients found in foods to where they are needed within the body during digestion. And, it also helps moved the waste product through the rest of the digestive tract, and ultimately out of our bodies. Remember that lots of acids are found within the stomach that mix with the water to break down our foods, so plenty of water will help keep things balanced!

When it comes to your health, the quality of your drinking water is just as important as the quantity.
When it comes to your health, the quality of your drinking water is just as important as the quantity. According to recent news and reports, most tap and well water in the U.S. are not safe for drinking due to heavy industrial and environmental pollution. Toxic bacteria, chemicals and heavy metals routinely penetrate and pollute our natural water sources making people sick while exposing them to long term health consequences such as liver damage, cancer and other serious conditions. We have reached the point where all sources of our drinking water, including municipal water systems, wells, lakes, rivers, and even glaciers, contain some level of contamination. Even some brands of bottled water have been found to contain high levels of contaminants in addition to plastics chemical leaching from the bottle.
A good water filtration system installed in your home is the only way to proactively monitor and ensure the quality and safety of your drinking water. Reverse osmosis water purification systems can remove 90-99% of all contaminants from city and well water to deliver healthy drinking water for you and your family.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Drinking Enough Water

When you were a kid in school, you learned that each molecule of water is made up of two hydrogen atoms and one oxygen atom. You may also have learned that it was great fun to fill up your squirt guns with water, at least until the principal caught you. What you may not have learned, however, was that you need water to be a healthy human being. 

Why You Need to Drink Water

Your body is estimated to be about 60 to 70 percent water. Blood is mostly water, and your muscles, lungs, and brain all contain a lot of water. Your body needs water to regulate body temperature and to provide the means for nutrients to travel to all your organs. Water also transports oxygen to your cells, removes waste, and protects your joints and organs. 

Signs of Dehydration

You lose water through urination, respiration, and by sweating. If you are very active, you lose more water than if you are sedentary. Diuretics, such as caffeine pills and alcohol, result in the need to drink more water because they trick your body into thinking you have more water than we need.
Symptoms of mild dehydration include chronic pains in joints and muscles, lower back pain, headaches and constipation. A strong odor to your urine, along with a yellow or amber color, indicates that you may not be getting enough water. Note that riboflavin, a B vitamin, will make your urine bright yellow. Thirst is an obvious sign of dehydration, and in fact, you need water long before you feel thirsty.

How Much Water do You Need to Drink?

A good estimate is to take your body weight in pounds and divide that number in half. That gives you the number of ounces of water per day that you need to drink. For example, if you weigh 160 pounds, you should drink at least 80 ounces of water per day. If you exercise, you should drink another eight ounce glass of water for every 20 minutes you are active. If you drink alcohol, you should drink at least an equal amount of water.
When you are traveling on an airplane, it is good to drink eight ounces of water for every hour you are on board the plane. If you live in an arid climate, you should add another two servings per day. As you can see, your daily need for water can add up to quite a lot.
  • This water calculator can help you determine how much water you need to drink each day.
At least twenty percent of the water you need will come from the foods you eat. The rest will come from the beverages you drink. Water is probably the best choice; sweetened soft drinks and sodas have added sugar that adds extra calories. Sports drinks contain electrolytes and may be beneficial; just look out for added sugar and calories that you may not want. Fruit and vegetable juice are good because they have vitamins and nutrients (read labels, however -- vegetable juices may be high in sodium).

How To Drink Enough Water

It may be difficult to drink enough water on a busy day. Be sure you have water handy at all times by keeping a bottle for water with you when you are working, traveling, or exercising. If you get bored with plain water, add a bit of lemon or lime for a touch of flavor. There are some brands of flavored water available, but watch for extra calories.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Water and Pakistan

The idea that water is fit to drink or drinkable is not one that most of us routinely think about. The only types of water we distinguish are tap, spring, mineral, flavoured, or carbonated. The only time we may have had to distinguish between potable and non-potable water is on a camping trip or some other outdoor adventure. But the sad fact is that most of the people on this planet do not have access to water that is fit to drink. That begs the question: what do they drink then? The obvious answer is they drink whatever water they can get their hands on.
According to a report by the Leadership for Environment and Development, by the year 2025, 52 nations comprising half the world's population, will have a severe shortage of potable water. In the next 25 years, some 3 billion people will be facing water shortages.
In Pakistan, the vast majority of the country's 135 million inhabitants do not have access to drinkable water. Pakistan's attempt to raise the living standards of its citizens has meant that economic development has largely taken precedence over environmental issues. Unchecked use of hazardous chemicals, vehicle emissions, and industrial activity has contributed to a number of environmental and health hazards, chief among them being water pollution. Much of the country suffers from a lack of potable water due to industrial waste and agricultural runoff that contaminates drinking water supplies.
Poverty and high population growth have aggravated, and to a certain extent, caused, these environmental problems. This means that most people are forced to use unclean water not only for all their sanitation needs, farming, and livestock but for drinking as well.
For much of the population, often there is only one water source. It may be a nearby river or pond, maybe rain water from a catch basin or a creek. Typically, the water source is used by both humans and animals. People use it for bathing, washing up, doing laundry, collecting for cooking, and drinking. Needless to say, the water is anything but clean.
Drinking water that is unsafe can, and usually does, lead to all sorts of health-related problems such as dysentery which is severe, prolonged diarrhea with bloody stools, fever, and weakness; cholera and typhoid; flukes -- stagnant, polluted water, especially in tropical areas, often contains blood flukes. If you swallow flukes, they will bore into the bloodstream, live as parasites, and cause disease; and leeches. If you swallow a leech, it can hook onto the throat passage or inside the nose. It will suck blood, create a wound, and move to another area. Each bleeding wound may become infected.
Pakistan is currently in the midst of what some are saying is the worst water crisis the country has ever seen. The drought affecting the region threatens agricultural output, and levels in the country's reservoirs are dangerously low.
The lack of water is taking on political overtones with parties organizing protests over the issue. One-day strikes have been called in Karachi to protest water shortages in the province of Sindh. The protests have been met with harsh responses from local authorities.
While drought and pollution play a significant role in the lack of safe drinking water, some critics maintain that a large part of the problem is a result of poor management. By some estimates, as much as 60% of Pakistan's fresh water is allowed to go wasted, flowing back into the sea. Only 40% of the water is used.
It is imperative that Pakistan seeks out new and cheaper ways to provide safe drinking water for its people. Some experts have looked at inexpensive desalination techniques, ones that could be employed on a mass scale. To be sure, this precious commodity, the very lifeblood of humans, is getting scarcer and scarcer everyday.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Drinking water guidelines

Safe drinking water is everybody's business. Managing drinking water supplies properly, from the source water to the consumer's tap, takes a great deal of knowledge and coordination among multiple stakeholders--from governments and businesses, to individuals like you and me.

A shared responsibility

In Canada, the responsibility for making sure drinking water supplies are safe is shared between the provincial, territorial, federal and municipal governments. The day-to-day responsibility of providing safe drinking water to the public generally rests with the provinces and territories, while municipalities usually oversee the day to day operations of the treatment facilities.
Health Canada's Water Quality and Health Bureau plays a leadership role in science and research. Its mandate and expertise lies in protecting the health of all Canadians by developing the Guidelines for Canadian Drinking Water Quality in partnership with the provinces and territories. These guidelines are used by every jurisdiction in Canada and are the basis for establishing drinking water quality requirements for all Canadians.
Health Canada is recognized as a World Health Organisation/Pan American Health Organisation (WHO/PAHO) Collaborating Centre for Water Quality, and participates in the development of Next link will take you to another Web site WHO guidelines for drinking water. The Bureau also works closely and shares information with other government agencies such as the Next link will take you to another Web site United States Environmental Protection Agency.

The multi-barrier approach

The best way to make sure drinking water supplies are kept clean, safe and reliable is to take a preventive risk management approach. This means understanding each water supply from its beginning in nature to where it reaches you, the consumer. This understanding--about the water's characteristics, the ways it could become contaminated, and the type of treatment it needs--comes from collecting and studying data.
The drinking water supply can be broken down into three parts: the source water, the drinking water treatment system, and the distribution system which carries the treated water to homes, businesses, schools, and other buildings. The plumbing inside your home is an extension of the distribution system.
As drinking water travels on its journey to you, it can become contaminated in many ways. The multi-barrier approach to managing drinking water supplies is a preventive risk management approach that identifies all known and potential hazards and makes sure barriers are in place to reduce or eliminate the risk of contamination.

Drinking water guidelines

In order to know whether their drinking water management program is working, drinking water authorities need to have benchmarks for water quality. These benchmarks come in the form of drinking water guidelines. Guidelines make it possible for drinking water to be tested at various points along its journey and analysed to determine whether it is safe to drink. The Guidelines for Canadian Drinking Water Quality are established by the Federal-Provincial-Territorial Committee on Drinking Water and published by Health Canada.
The guidelines for some contaminants, like E.coli which indicates the presence of microbiological pathogens, are very clear and should never be exceeded because people will become sick soon after drinking contaminated water. Others, like many of the chemical guidelines, are based on the best available science and give a good indication of health effects that might be seen in some people if we consume high amounts of the chemical in drinking water over a period of decades.

Products and materials that come into contact with drinking water

Another way that drinking water can become contaminated is by the products and materials with which it comes into contact. Water is a solvent and can leach metals and other chemicals from pipes, fittings, fixtures, and other products. Health Canada works with national and international standards-setting organizations to develop health-based performance standards for these products and materials to make sure they are not contributing harmful contaminants to your drinking water.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Herbal Drinking Water

If you are someone who keeps track of new herbal products  then you might not have forgotten the successful launch of Laboob Sager- the herbal Viagra, by Tamil Nadu Medicinal Plant Farms and Herbal Medicines Corporation Ltd. (TAMPCOL). Now this state-owned corporation of Tamil Nadu government is set to launch its all new herbal product- Herbal Drinking Water. The corporation claims it to be first of its kind in the country.


Herbal water is already manufactured and marketed in the US by infusing organic culinary herbs in pure water. This  water doesn't contain artificial sweeteners, preservatives, or additives of any other kind. They are made refreshing, aromatic drink by granting flavours such as those of lavender, mint, cinnamon, lemongrass, vanilla, ginger, cloves, cardamom etc.

Herbal drinking water, developed by TAMPCOL contains herbal extracts along with useful bio-active properties that play a major role in maintaining good health as evidenced by Siddha and original scriptures of Ayurveda as well as modern scientific theories.


This herbal water will be sold in 1,000 ml and 500 ml pet bottles and competitively priced in the growing mineral water market. According to G A Rajkumar, the Chairman and Managing Director, TAMPCOL, the new water is set to be launched in the next two months after getting the ISI certificate and other related licenses.

What remains to be seen is that whether the corporation will follow suit of other nation and make its herbal drinking water flavored or not? Flavored or not, the healthy herbal water is surely a thing to wait for!