Become an Appliance Expert. Subscribe to our Knowledge Base!
Managing Your Allergies & Your Health with Tap Water Filters
Allergies are a problem millions of American's suffer from, but did you know that it can be caused from the water you drink? Studies show that skin allergies, and yes, even food allergies can stem from your tap water.
According to a report by Dr. Rob for MSN Health and Fitness, people are actually allergic to water, too. How is this possible? Clinically known as aquagenic pruritis and aquagenic urticaria, some people have allergic reactions to water of virtually any temperature.
Studies show that drinking water can cause food allergies and that hardened bath water can stimulate skin allergies like eczema. Chlorine is a water purifier used in municipal water systems to make it safe for drinking and bathing. However, in some cases people are actually allergic to chlorine, too.
Knowledge is power, so below we review types of allergies that can develop from tap water and its additives. Following a few simple lifestyle tips and consulting a specialist can help you manage your symptoms.
Food allergies are common. More than 200 deaths each year are due to food allergies. Did you know that 6% of allergy sufferers have a food allergy, and that your tap water can be a contributing factor?
A CBS news report reveals that of more than 10,348 Americans who were part of an ongoing U.S. survey of health and nutrition, 2,211of them had measurable levels of dichlorophenols in their system. This is a chemical found in pesticides and weed killers which is also used to chlorinate drinking water.
The same researchers also found that of those with measurable dichlorophenols, 411 had food allergies and more than 1,000 had an environmental allergy, like pollen. It's been proven that high levels of dichloropehnol-pesticide possibly weakens food tolerance, thereby, creating allergic reactions.
Although this study doesn't allow you to conclude for certain that pesticides cause food allergies, it shows that the possibility exists. This report can be found in the journal Annals of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology.
7% of allergy sufferers have some kind of skin allergy including urticaria. Studies show that hard water may be a causative factor.
Self magazine posits the following question: "Is Your Water Causing You to Break Out?"
There is a connection between hard water and skin allergies. Whether your sensitivity is mild or severe, some hard water has been proven to harm the skin. According to Manhattan Dermotologist Dr. Dennis Gross, "impurities in water make it difficult for soap and shampoo to wash off, leading to dryness of the skin and scalp, which directly irritate the skin and cause redness and rosacea."
Furthermore, there's a correlation between hard water and skin disorders like eczema. Minerals like calcium are typically found in large concentration and may contribute to the loss of moisture in skin.
Dr. Gross indicates that the heavy metals in hard water can clog pores and increase acne, not to mention act as free radicals, attaching itself to healthy skin cells and destroying them. This leads to a breakdown of collagen and the formation of fine lines and wrinkles.
For this Dermatologist one of the most detrimental metals in hard water is iron, because of accumulated deposits that are energized by the sun which can be linked to some skin cancer.
This is a rarely diagnosed form of physical urticaria. It's sometimes described as an allergy although it's not a true histamine releasing allergic reaction like other forms of the urticaria. The aquagenic form of urticaria is a painful reaction caused by coming in contact with water. Some symptoms might include:
- Itching and burning of the skin
- Severely dry eyes and soreness
- Shortness of breath or swelling of the throat
- Typically the pain persists for about 10-120 minutes depending on the severity of the allergy.
Although only 1 in 235 million people might actually develop this problem, it's still an issue. What causes this kind of allergy is unknown. As is the case with other allergy conditions, can it be quality of water used? Can heavy metals and water additives be creating a problem that might otherwise be avoided? There is no positive answer to this question.
According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, 1 in 5 American's suffer from allergies. So what are the best ways to prevent these kinds of problems?
A Few Suggestions to Help Manage Water Induced Allergies
- Better than investing in a water softener is a tap water filter. There are a number of systems available that can actually help reduce the amount of chlorine, pesticides, heavy metals, calcium and other hard water minerals.
- Take an antihistamine to help control allergy symptoms.
- Visit an allergy specialist to get symptoms under control and test for specific allergies conditions.
- Use organic cleaners and purified water to wash the face and reduce acne.
- Know what your food allergies are and avoid eating them to prevent deadly anaphylactic reactions.
- See a Dermatologist for treatment of severe skin allergy conditions and obtain the appropriate creams, lotions, and medications
- Try to maintain appropriate moisture levels in the home. Use a hygrometer and a humidifier to maintain idealistic humidity levels which should be around 45%.