Making small improvements around the office can certainly increase productivity and the morale of your employees. You may have already looked at ergonomic furniture or something fun for the break room; but, have you considered making upgrades that improve the safety of your office? One good place to start is with your office’s water system. Do just a little research and you will find that the results are staggering. Despite a refreshing taste and a clear-flowing tap, there could still be lots of contaminants in your water.
Poly- and Perfluoroalkyl Substances (PFASs)
Research conducted by Harvard University says that over 16 million people in the US drink water with toxic polyfluoroalkyl and perfluoroalkyl substances—also known as PFASs. PFASs are all over the place and are seen in many things like
However, PFASs aren’t biodegradable and their particles can eventually end up in ground water and your office’s drinking water. These chemicals have been linked to issues like cancer, high cholesterol, and obesity. In fact, the National Center for Biotechnology Information reported a study that showed evidence that PFASs alter the levels of thyroid-related hormones as well as reproductive hormones.
Though some water filtration units cannot effectively remove PFAS chemicals, those that use reverse osmosis and activated carbon filters, like some of Pure Water Technology’s products, can remove these compounds safely from your water.
According to a recent USA Today investigation, almost 2,000 water systems across 50 states were shown to have higher levels of lead over the course of four years. Federal rules require those in charge of water systems to notify consumers, but many of these areas failed to do that. And even more disturbing was the fact that many of these contaminated systems were running through day cares and schools, since younger children are more prone to experiencing health consequences from lead.
The Environmental Protection Agency says that there is really no safe level of lead exposure. Even if the contamination is in smaller doses in the water, it could lead to health problems such as behavioral disorders and brain damage in younger children. For adults, drinking lead-contaminated water can lead to high blood pressure, cardiovascular issues, kidney issues, and the like.
Most drinking water isn’t actually contaminated when it leaves a treatment plant. The main issue is the plumbing fixtures leading to a home or business. For instance, if you are in a building that was built before 1980, it would benefit you to assess the plumbing fixtures for lead. If it is impossible to replace these pipes, you should consider alerting your municipality to treat the water with anti-corrosion chemicals so that lead particles don’t seep in the water. Some filtration units can significantly reduce your risk to lead exposure so if you live in a contaminated area, be sure to test your water.
Seeing chlorine as a contaminant may surprise you; after all, adding chlorine to water has been a long-time practice. However, Dr. Riddle of Kemysts Laboratory says that there is a growing body of evidence that shows that chlorine can have long-term health consequences—especially as a carcinogen. Studies have correlated chlorine with cancers of the colon, liver, bladder, and stomach.
Because chlorine is required by public health laws to be present in public drinking water, it is up to your place of employment to remove it from your own water. One way to do this is to look into water systems that remove Total Dissolved Solids (TDS). TDS is a measure of all the dissolved substances in your water, such as sulfates, magnesium, calcium, sodium, and chlorides. TDS can originate from sources like urban run-off, road de-icing, and piping. It can also come from natural sources, like mineral springs. The filter you invest in should notify you as soon as it needs to be replaced so you can continue to remove TDS from your building’s drinking water.
As you can see, just because your office’s water is clear, it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s safe for everyone to drink. Thankfully, if you are a little proactive, there are products on the market that are reasonably priced and can solve any contamination issues.