Yes, you read that correctly. We have run across a new kind of filter, folks. This one doesn’t quite match up to the “human” variety, but it comes close…
Thousands of hair salons nationwide have donated hair clippings to Matter of Trust – an environmental organization that is involved in a project that collects hair and nylon stockings to make oil booms and mats.
Each strand of hair has scales on it that attract and collect oil, which explains why most of us shampoo our hair daily. However, this basic fact has not just been applied by shampoo companies. The oil booms and mats made from salon hair clippings is now effectively being used to clean up the damage left by the recent Gulf spill. Hair is stuffed into nylon stockings that are dragged along the coast, sopping up oil which sticks to the scales, while the water filters out.
Oil spills can do great damage to marine life, including the sea monkeys, oysters and other creatures that act as natural water filters. Such an emergency requires a better remedy than bottled water. Here, we have yet another example of how water filtration is important to our lives as well as to the health of our environment.
It’s a question we’ve been bombarded with since yesterday morning, when the Associated Press published an article stating that United States manufacturers and drugmakers have legally released 271 million or more pounds of pharmaceuticals into water sources that often provide drinking water.
During this “PharmaWater” investigation, the AP identified 22 compounds present in drinking water. Included in these compounds are such chemicals as lithium, antibiotics, sedatives, mood stabilizers, sex hormones, skin-bleaching cream and chemicals used to combat head lice and worms.
Yet while drugmakers and manufacturers are certainly responsible for a large portion of the pharmaceuticals in our water, consumers of the pharmaceuticals are just as responsible for depositing pharmaceuticals back into the water supply. After taking these pharmaceuticals, consumers excrete the unabsorbed remainders into the toilet, where they enter the water supply. Flushing drugs down the toilet is a more direct way of doing this, and one that is surprisingly common.
Perhaps the only thing scarier than all of these pharmaceuticals in our drinking water is that there is currently no filter that removes pharmaceuticals from tap water. While companies are currently working on filters that remove pharmaceuticals from water, none do as of yet. Some theorize that filters using activated carbon may work, as the carbon has been shown to capture organic substances that may be found in pharmaceuticals. But as of now, the testing for pharmaceuticals is too insufficient to say whether or not this is the case.
So while we cannot say for certain whether these filters remove pharmaceuticals, we can say that many of our filters do remove contaminants that we know can be harmful to your health, such as arsenic, lead, chlorine, cysts, total dissolved solids, toxic heavy metals and bacteria.
Give us a call to discuss your specific filtration needs. Better yet, consider purchasing one of our many home testing kits, which will tell you exactly what is in your water (again, except for pharmaceuticals).
Then, when you know what’s in your water, give us a call and we’ll suggest a filter that will remove the undesired contaminants.