Saturday, October 26, 2019

Hormones in our water supply and should we be worried

Hi Chen Ko

I stumbled upon your blog while trying to find out more information about Singapore's water supply.

Could you let me know about your views for the need of a water filter/purifier to remove hormones from our water supply?

Is there a need for this given that we recycle our water using NEWater and there might be some hormones in the water?

Many thanks in advance for your time!

P/S - appreciate if you could reply via email.

Best regards

Hi C,

A few issues to consider before making a decision about getting a water filter.

  1. In recent years, many chemicals have come to the forefront of drinking water quality – pesticides, pharmaceuticals and of course, hormones. Some of pesticides and pharmaceuticals actually have hormonal properties.

  2. It is true that wastewater treatment does not remove them effectively so they end up in our water sources e.g. rivers, lakes, reservoirs.

  3. Same with water treatment – they are not effectively removed either so they end up in our tap water.

  4. Much controversy still surrounds how safe they actually are in our water. Regardless, their concentrations are pretty low in tap water. The question is everyone’s mind is: are they safe as such low concentrations? Unfortunately, there is usually no conclusive answer.

  5. Is it possible to remove them from your tap water? Technically yes. If you invest in an RO (reverse osmosis) system with both pre and post carbon filters, that should work. As for other filters, it is hard to say how effective they are against such chemicals. Naturally, no water filter is certified to remove them due to point 4 above. I mean – we can’t even decide on a safe level for them so how low a level should they be removed to?

  6. Finally, if you are really worried about consuming them and want peace of mind, do get an RO system as mentioned above.
 Notice that I did not talk about the adverse effects of consuming hormones, pesticides, pharmaceuticals. Feel free to search them up on internet. There are some interesting anecdotes for reading and pondering.

Hormonal pills. Not everything is used up in the body. Some unused chemicals are excreted in the urine and faeces.

A full blown reverse osmosis system with pre and post carbon filters (and a few other supplementary filters)

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