Ask The Doctor
Your questions answered by Aquasana's "Water
Doctor", Charles Strand. Charles Strand is Founder and President of Sun
Water Systems, Inc and is one of the leading experts on the need for and
benefits of "healthy water".
How do you know if you need a
Are shower filters really as
important as drinking water filters?
How much chlorine in tap water
is to much?
Is filtered water better than
distilled or reverse osmosis water?
How long has the Aquasana
system been out?
We use the Brita water
pitcher at home and usually drink bottled water when we're not at home,
can you give an un-biased comment?
If chlorine in our water is
so unhealthy, why do they use it?
The Water Doctor;
Virtually everyone will benefit from a home water filtration system. If
all that was in your tap water was chlorine, and chlorine is in everyone's
water, there are significant health and cosmetic benefits to using
chlorine free water. Any child that has a gold fish knows that chlorine
can kill, it's sole purpose as a pesticide is to kill living cells/
organisms. When we consume chlorine, at any level, it kills some part of
us. It's recently been linked to cancer, heart disease, birth defects and
many serious illnesses. Unfortunately, chlorine is not the only harmful
substance in tap water. Over 90% of all U.S. water systems contain traces
of at least 10 synthetic chemicals and lead. A recent
Ralph Nader Report stated "after reviewing over 10,000 pages of EPA
documents acquired through the Freedom Of Information Act... over 2300
chemicals that can cause cancer have been detected in U.S. tap water."
Water utilities only test for about 75, no one knows for sure the extent
of contamination. The risk is real and the solution is so easy, quality
in-home water filtration. Thanks for your question! Charles Strand
In my opinion they are more important!
During a 10 minute shower your body will take on 10 to 50 times the level
of water borne chemicals than from drinking a glass of the same water.
During a warm shower the pores of our skin open up and absorb chlorine and
other chemicals at an accelerated rate. Even worse, the steam you inhale
is far more contaminated than the water itself due to the fact that
synthetic chemicals, including chlorine, vaporize much faster than water.
While over 96% of the water that comes out of your shower head goes down
the drain, almost all of the chemicals vaporize into the air we breathe
before the water hits the ground… making the steam more concentrated with
chemicals. Also, inhaled chemicals go directly into the blood stream and
have magnified adverse effects. But if the only benefits to shower filters
were cosmetic, it would still be a must have in my book. Showering in
purified water offers amazing benefits for skin and hair. Anyone who has
ever swam in a chlorinated pool knows how chlorine dries out your skin and
hair. The thing most people don't realize is that we typically have more
chlorine in tap water than in our swimming pool! We have always sold more
shower filters than anything. It’s one of those products that once you use
it you’ll never do without, and you feel compelled to tell others… like
seeing a great movie for the first time! Thanks for your question, Charles
In my opinion, any chlorine in our drinking water is too much, however the
EPA guidelines allow up to 4 parts per million (ppm) in municipal tap
water. I find this alarming since a standard pool test kit shows that
levels above 3 ppm are not safe to swim in! I think common sense would
tell us that if it is not safe to swim in, it most likely is not safe to
drink. With a very minimum amount of effort, especially on the internet,
the evidence that chlorine is linked to cancer, heart disease and many
other health problems is overwhelming. We need chlorine in water to kill
bacteria, but it should be removed prior to use.
While there are good arguments on both sides of this debate, the more
recent thoughts are in favor of filtered water. From a practical
standpoint, the human body was designed to run on water that exists
naturally on our planet, water that contains traces of inorganic minerals
such as calcium, magnesium and potassium. Nowhere on Earth does
de-mineralized water occur naturally. Distillation and R.O. systems
produce de-mineralized water with an acidic pH. Many recent reports claim
that “prolonged consumption of distilled or de-mineralized water can only
lead to some form of mineral deficiency”. Water by nature has to balance
itself, when the minerals are stripped from water it causes the pH to drop
and water to become acidic. It then seeks to balance itself (a basic law
of nature) and does so by taking on minerals, primarily calcium. If we
consume de-mineralized water, it will actually pull minerals from our body
to balance itself with. This has been demonstrated and reported in many
recent books and studies. My booklet, “All About Water” refers to several
of these books and studies. Our filter system was intentionally designed
to filter out harmful contaminants and to allow the natural minerals to
remain, and it is my strong belief that this is the healthiest water.
Our Answer: We first introduced the Aquasana Drinking Water System in
December of 1999 under an exclusive contract with a large nutritional
products company. The system sold initially and was a good value at that.
We have sold millions of our products as “Private Labeled” and still do.
Charles: Probably not! I’m pretty proud of our products, but I’ll try.
First let me say that I feel that there are no “bad” water filter
products, any filter is better than no filter. Brita is the best selling
system in the world currently (we’re gaining fast), and it does improve
the quality of water. These types of pour through filters are limited in
performance, primarily due to size. They are not designed to perform at
the same level as our products, a simple comparison of the Performance
Data Sheet that comes with theirs and ours shows this. The real question
is why pay more to get less? While these pitcher filters are less
expensive initially, they cost considerably more to use… and they simply
don’t work as good! As for bottled water, since U.S regulations on bottled
water are so weak… the quality is at best “unknown”. With a “good” home
water system… you can fill your own bottles and be sure of the quality.
Occasionally, bottled water is the only available choice. When this
happens, I prefer the European brands because their purity standards are
much stricter. I hope this helps, thanks for the question!
Charles: I’ve always wondered who “they”
are. In this case it should be “we”. Our public water utilities are
governed by Federal agencies, which are governed by us. While chlorine and
it’s by-products are known to have significant adverse health effects on
humans, we choose it over water borne disease outbreaks like typhoid and
cholera that plagued most countries prior to chlorines introduction in the
late 1800s. We don’t use chlorine because it’s the most effective means of
disinfecting water, we use it because it’s the cheapest! With all the
technology we possess today, we still essentially pour bleach in our
drinking water to kill bacteria. There are several more healthful methods
of disinfecting public water supplies, some other countries have turned to
alternative methods because of recent findings about chlorine risks. The
problem is that they are much more costly, and in reality… less practical.
The fact that less than 1% of the water supplied to our homes is used for
consumption, it’s just not practical to produce “healthy water” from a
central supplier. Most people would not be willing to pay the price for
alternative disinfect ion methods, which would more than triple water
costs. Logically, the solution is to keep chlorine in our public water
systems right up to the point-of-use and then remove it with home water
filtration… which in reality is the only way to ensure healthy water.
Thanks for your question!