How Safe is Your Drinking Water?

August 15, 2013
Ann Louise Gittleman, PhD, CNS

Ann Louise Gittleman, PhD, CNS

Award-winning nutritionist and New York Times bestselling author.

How Safe is Your Drinking Water?H20 can equate to amoeba, pesticides, birth control pills, and rocket fuel.

You probably know your tap water isn’t the best, but you might be surprised to hear that there may be more than 60,000 different chemicals in our water—like thyroid-impairing chlorine, fluoride, brominated byproducts, perchlorate (an ingredient found in rocket fuel), and heavy metals like iron, lead, mercury, cadmium, copper, and aluminum. And, the EPA only protects us from about 100 of these contaminants!

According to the National Resource Defense Council, approximately 2/3 of all the bottled water on the market is sourced from contaminated water. So, bottled water is not a viable solution by any means.

What has really caught me off guard are the deaths attributed to  brain-devouring amoeba that come  up in the news a few times a year. These are usually a result of swimming in a lake (which in many areas of the country is the source of drinking water for which antiquated treatment plants are ill equipped to purify for parasite removal). Chlorination is virtually useless against some of the most prevalent water-born parasites like cryptosporidium, for example.

I remember a headline several years ago about a young man who used tap water—later found to be contaminated with amoeba—to cleanse his sinuses with a neti pot. Sure, I have written about amoeba and parasites for years, but this is getting downright scary.

Pardon me, but there’s no “delicate” way around this. Parasites in the water supply either come from animals “pooping” in the water or from agricultural runoff from animal waste getting into the source water. (This was indeed the case in Milwaukee—which made national news in 1993—when the cryptosporidium parasite killed over 100 people and made 400,000 sick.)

Chlorine is especially worrisome because while it remains the government’s preferred disinfectant of choice for dirty water, it creates secondary by-products that are toxins when chlorine reacts with naturally occurring organic matter. These by-products such as trihalomethanes (THMs) are suspected carcinogens and can increase risks of heart, lung, kidney, and bladder damage. Recently, water suppliers have been adding ammonia to drinking water in an attempt to reduce the THMs which unfortunately results in even more toxic chemical by-products called chloramines that function as hormone disruptors as well as probable carcinogens.

Getting the right water filter in your own home is simply not negotiable when it comes to health and protecting your family. For the very best protection on the home front, I recommend point-of-use filtration, which can easily be installed on top of your sink counter by attaching the filter to your standard faucet or can be installed by a plumber under the sink and supplied with a separate dispenser. The CWR Crown Water Filters feature unique parasite blocking ultrafine ceramic filtration (ceramic pre-filtration with an inner activated carbon block, and heavy metal-removing filter material). It is the only filter that is cleanable on the outside to remove excess dirt to restore the flow rate.

Designed for long-term use with affordable replacement filters, these filters reduce 99.9% of parasites, >99.7% of chlorine, and greater than >95% of chloramines and byproducts such as THMs. Learn more about filtration efficiency here.

The most important feature of all is the sub-micron particulate filtration of 0.9 microns absolute—which, unlike carbon block filters—is tested and certified to remove amoeba, giardia, and cryptosporidium. I honestly don’t know of many other filters which can boast a 0.9 micron filtration block. This is so important when you consider that crypto—the smallest of the parasites (about 3 microns to be exact)—can compress and squeeze through most carbon block filters.

The Shower and Bathtub Products filter chlorine, lead, and iron. Don’t overlook shower and bath filtration—you absorb 6 to 20 times more chlorine in the shower than you do when drinking the same water. And chlorine and its byproducts are suspected carcinogens as well as xenoestrogens. Chlorine also kills beneficial bacteria, discolors hair, and irritates the skin and eyes. Chlorine outgassing can aggravate respiratory conditions.

Related Articles and Podcasts

Ann Louise Gittleman, PhD, CNS, is an award-winning New York Times bestselling author of more than thirty books including The Fat Flush Plan series and her latest book, Radical Metabolism. She’s been rewriting the rules of nutrition for more than 40 years and is internationally recognized as a pioneer in the field of diet, detox and women’s health issues. 

For a FREE daily dose of tips and strategies for maintaining healthy weight, conquering insomnia, and much more…check out my Radical Health Tips.

I’d like to meet and greet you on my Facebook groups, so won’t you check us out at the Radical Metabolism RevolutionFat Flush Nation, or my Inner Circle!


  1. sarah

    Curious about your take on Brita-type filters. Are they good enough?

  2. Sierra

    A Brita filter only reduces chlorine odor and taste, and reduces copper and mercury levels. Those filters simply can’t compare to the CWR Crown Filters.

  3. Dee

    What about the chlorine used in home swimming pools and also the water bought to use in home water coolers?.

    • Christi

      I question the pool as well. We really enjoy our pool during the summer here in Texas!

    • Sierra

      Our skin will absorb chemicals within 26 seconds! So, absolutely the chlorinated water in a pool is a source of exposure. My personal theory is that lathering up with coconut oil before entering a chlorinated pool will help reduce the amount of chlorine your skin absorbs.

  4. beth

    How does a reverse osmosis system under the sink compare?

    • Sharri

      I too recommend the RO system because it is recommended w/Excellent results by my Healthcare rep & friends. Many have been using & seeing great results. Premier, 4 stage, 3 gallon or more is recommended but can run expensive. If interested check EBay or Amazon for more affordable pricing & Good Health to you!

    • Sierra

      My understanding is that reverse osmosis produces a good quality of water, but the amount of energy that the process requires is unnecessary when a system like the CWR Crown filters are available.

  5. Christi

    Just reading over this suggested counter top filter’s specifications, I think an RO is better. I have the Whirlpool RO and it specifically removes flouride without any add on like this promoted filter is trying to sell.

    • Sierra

      With comparable filtering specifications, I would prefer the CWR Crown filters because they are more cost effective and sustainable in the long run.

  6. AJ

    What is your opinion of the Berkey water filtration systems? Would they filter water effectively for family consumption?

    • Sierra

      Berkey looks pretty good when it comes to heavy metals and viruses, but it does not mention parasites. I would inquire further with the company.

  7. Bars Melbourne CBD

    It surprised me to hear that over sixty thousand different chemicals in our water. So tell us , how can we get safe water?

    • Team ALG

      The CWR water filters available through UNI KEY Health are our preferred choice for safe, delicious water.

  8. Viona, care about healthy water

    I’am agree, Now, it is hard to find the good water to drink. With your concept we can enjoy clean and healthy water far from bad contaminants and bacteria

  9. Jane

    It’s really a relief knowing that the water you drink is safe. I’m glad I have water filter at home. Thanks Ann for this wonderful post!


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