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Removing Environmental Toxins
Old 03-02-2008, 09:55 PM   #1
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Removing Environmental Toxins

I saw a show on PBS today talking about avoiding toxins in your environment. They recommended installing water filters and getting an air filtration device.

They said that you should either filter all water or at least drinking, cooking and showering water. They said that reverse osmosis or distillation filters were best.

They said that you should have a HEPA air filter to remove particles greater than 3 microns.

Does anyone here use these things or have any thoughts on the subject?
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Old 03-02-2008, 09:58 PM   #2
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Does anyone here use these things or have any thoughts on the subject?
I recommend drinking only alcoholic beverages...and limit how much you breathe.
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Old 03-02-2008, 10:31 PM   #3
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I saw a show on PBS today talking about avoiding toxins in your environment. They recommended installing water filters and getting an air filtration device.

They said that you should either filter all water or at least drinking, cooking and showering water. They said that reverse osmosis or distillation filters were best.
We use a water conditioner to remove the calcium/magnesium particles that contribute to lime buildup, but the water quality is good enough without the added RO or distillation expense. Considering RO's water waste and distillation's expense I wonder how long the payback is over buying bottled water.

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They said that you should have a HEPA air filter to remove particles greater than 3 microns.
On what? A vacuum cleaner? A facemask?!?

Overall it sounds pretty alarmist. I spend enough time paddling in the ocean and breathing red dirt that water & HEPA filters aren't gonna make a difference.
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Old 03-02-2008, 10:36 PM   #4
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We use a Brita filter, they have a large box shaped water container with a spigot you can put in the fridge. Filters the water, keeps the fridge more efficient (it's easier to keep a full fridge cool than an empty one) and tastes good. Otherwise, I what Nords said.
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Old 03-03-2008, 06:24 AM   #5
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i use a Brita on tap at my kitchen faucet. i live within a mile of the water treatment plant and my tap water smells like a swimming pool. filters are pricey but easier than finding room in the frig for a pitcher.

i don't filter the shower water. would go thru too many filters (cheapskate in action)

on a whim, i bought 2 of the Ionic Breeze Quadra ionizer thingies when they first came out. i have 2 dogs and 2 fireplaces. it's amazing what ends up on the plates. easy to clean, no new filter costs.

they are way overpriced these days. i paid half of today's list price for the first one. got the second one for 1/2 price.

i am also mother earth to about 20 houseplants. they do well in captivity. they work cheap for water and fertilizer and give me lots of fresh oxygen.
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Old 03-03-2008, 08:37 AM   #6
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i use a Brita on tap at my kitchen faucet. i live within a mile of the water treatment plant and my tap water smells like a swimming pool. filters are pricey but easier than finding room in the frig for a pitcher.

i don't filter the shower water. would go thru too many filters (cheapskate in action)

on a whim, i bought 2 of the Ionic Breeze Quadra ionizer thingies when they first came out. i have 2 dogs and 2 fireplaces. it's amazing what ends up on the plates. easy to clean, no new filter costs.

they are way overpriced these days. i paid half of today's list price for the first one. got the second one for 1/2 price.

i am also mother earth to about 20 houseplants. they do well in captivity. they work cheap for water and fertilizer and give me lots of fresh oxygen.
I have a water softener and a separate spigot on the sink for filtered drinking/cooking water. I don't worry about dust and cat hair and pollen (no allergies).

I too have many house plants (17, and some are very large). Spider plants are some of the best for air quality.
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Old 03-03-2008, 09:36 AM   #7
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re Spider plants are some of the best for air quality

my spider plant is medium size. and it just got done yelling at me for letting it go too dry.

2 schools of thought for watering - water occasionally in small amounts OR let the roots dry completely and give it a real H2O blast. i do the dry out/blast method and haven't had a root rot problem yet.

i used to use Job's plantspikes, but got turned on to using Osmocote pellets for the veggie garden by my Agway dealer. the houseplants love 'em. a level teaspoon per 9" pot is the recipe.
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Old 03-03-2008, 09:43 AM   #8
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I have many of these:
(I can't seem to keep peace lilies alive.)

Quote:
Top Houseplants for Improving Indoor Air Quality

The recommended plants can be found below. Note that all the plants in the list are easily available from your local nursery.

1. Philodendron scandens `oxycardium', heartleaf philodendron
2. Philodendron domesticum, elephant ear philodendron
3. Dracaena fragrans `Massangeana', cornstalk dracaena
4. Hedera helix, English ivy
5. Chlorophytum comosum, spider plant
6. Dracaena deremensis `Janet Craig', Janet Craig dracaena
7. Dracaena deremensis `Warneckii', Warneck dracaena
8. Ficus benjamina, weeping fig
9. Epipiremnum aureum, golden pothos
10. Spathiphyllum `Mauna Loa', peace lily
11. Philodendron selloum, selloum philodendron
12. Aglaonema modestum, Chinese evergreen
13. Chamaedorea sefritzii, bamboo or reed palm
14. Sansevieria trifasciata, snake plant
15. Dracaena marginata , red-edged dracaena
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Old 03-03-2008, 10:09 AM   #9
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I have many of these:
(I can't seem to keep peace lilies alive.)
a florist friend of mine told me the trick with peace lilies is to avoid clay pots, lots of bright light, and put a deep flat bowl under it and keep it filled with water. it will draw what it needs. if they get root-bound, they will bloom for you.

a spring project of mine is to go thru all my houseplants and trim back, divide and/or repot, add fertilizer, etc etc.

going to that Central NY Blooms show really got me revved up for spring. today i plant my tomato seeds indoors. that has me smiling...
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Old 03-03-2008, 10:26 AM   #10
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We have a water softener for the hard water, but that's it. Also take REWhaoo's advice.

In a biology class the professor dropped a worm into a glass of alcohol. The worm died. The prof's question: "What does this tell you about the effects of alcohol one one's body?" One of the more intelligent students responded "If you drink alcohol you'll never have worms."
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Old 03-04-2008, 08:27 AM   #11
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I saw a show on PBS today talking about avoiding toxins in your environment. They recommended installing water filters and getting an air filtration device.

They said that you should either filter all water or at least drinking, cooking and showering water. They said that reverse osmosis or distillation filters were best.

They said that you should have a HEPA air filter to remove particles greater than 3 microns.

Does anyone here use these things or have any thoughts on the subject?
Did they say what is in the water that you should filter the shower/bath water?
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Old 03-04-2008, 10:40 AM   #12
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Did they say what is in the water that you should filter the shower/bath water?
One of the scare tactics of the water-filter sales effort is to point out that whatever contaminants are in your water are sprayed out of shower nozzles as aerosols that you'll probably inhale-- for even faster delivery to your vital organs than just drinking it.

So you don't just need that charcoal canister on the sink... you need a whole-house system!
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Old 03-04-2008, 10:17 PM   #13
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Thanks for the replies.

I have a Brita filter pitcher, but have been using it only for my cat's water since he is in kidney failure and I want to avoid any extra toxins.

I am starting to use it for my water as well.

The remarks about filtering the shower water were related to absorbing it through the skin while taking the shower. The toxins were just the general ones that seem to be all over the place and in the water - PCB, lead, rocket fuel.

Having said that I must point out that I worked in Woburn MA for 13 months and stayed in a hotel while doing it. I did not drink the water, but did take a lot of showers. For those who do not realize it, Woburn is a massive toxic waste site and was the town in the movie "A Civil Action".

However, thinking it over, all of my de-toxification and vitamin taking is probably worth a hill of beans if I do not get off my butt and do more exercise and eat better food.

I suppose that eating healthy food and exercising is the LBYM way and buying a lot of expensive supplements and de-tox programs is like living in a McMansion.

One last thing regarding the Sharper Image Ionic Filter.

A guy at work who is usually a very reliable source and very literate scientifically told me today that Sharper Image had a class action lawsuit because all of the ions created ozone which is worse than what they are removing from the air. He said that they had to give out some additional part for the output stage that trapped the ozone. If you have one I would try to look into that.

Ionic Breeze Suit Drives Sharper Image into Bankruptcy
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Old 03-04-2008, 11:30 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by joesxm View Post
I saw a show on PBS today talking about avoiding toxins in your environment. They recommended installing water filters and getting an air filtration device.

They said that you should either filter all water or at least drinking, cooking and showering water. They said that reverse osmosis or distillation filters were best.

They said that you should have a HEPA air filter to remove particles greater than 3 microns.

Does anyone here use these things or have any thoughts on the subject?

In L.A., it's been on the tv news more than once
that the tap water is generally better in
overall quality than bottled water
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Old 03-05-2008, 06:40 AM   #15
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re One last thing regarding the Sharper Image Ionic Filter.

A guy at work who is usually a very reliable source and very literate scientifically told me today that Sharper Image had a class action lawsuit because all of the ions created ozone which is worse than what they are removing from the air. He said that they had to give out some additional part for the output stage that trapped the ozone. If you have one I would try to look into that.

thanks so much for the tip. you did your good deed for the day. i went to the link you provided and i will followup on that info. i just turned them off. i originally bought them to remove stuff from the air when i had a fire in my upstairs fireplace. they did a great job at that, but who wants ozone?
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Old 03-05-2008, 07:18 AM   #16
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I thought all bottled water WAS tap water, just someone else's tap. Too late for us anyway, since we have lived all over the World and USA, and drank all the tap water we saw. IMO the articles, like OP's, are commissioned by the water filter manufacturing industry. I am cynical, in that I sincerely believe the USA makes little by knows how to MARKET anything.
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Old 03-09-2008, 10:15 PM   #17
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As far as improving indoor air quality -- open a window.

With tighter building envelopes, toxins build up in the air inside houses. Opening windows and letting the house air out daily really reduces the load. Oh, and it's free!
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Old 03-09-2008, 10:20 PM   #18
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As far as improving indoor air quality -- open a window.

With tighter building envelopes, toxins build up in the air inside houses. Opening windows and letting the house air out daily really reduces the load. Oh, and it's free!
Have a lot of house plants.

No way I'm opening a window with a 0F wind chill.
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Old 03-09-2008, 10:20 PM   #19
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I also forgot -- if you want to know what's in your water, a test by a state-certified testing laboratory will let you know. You can have your water tested for different things -- minerals, organic compounds, etc. The test is about $35 bucks here in South Coastal California.

Once you have the test results, you can figure out what to do as far as filters, etc. go. Keep in mind that a badly maintained filter can be a big problem in and of itself.

If you're on city water, you can ask them for the most recent report. Most municipal water supplies are tested at people's taps, so you'll get some idea of what's in the water after it's traveled through the distribution system (but to be sure, ask them what their testing protocol is).
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Old 03-09-2008, 10:22 PM   #20
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Have a lot of house plants..
Yeah, I suppose it doesn't work for those of you in the frozen north during winter. But we can't do houseplants -- got a cat who eats everything down to the nubs. So the windows it is for us. Granted, it's rarely ever freezing here. I think it was 75 today.
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