Archives : BPA free

Is The Water Your Children Drink Safe?

October 25th, 2018

As a parent, you do the best you can to keep your children healthy. But have you considered that the water they are drinking could cause potential health problems?

According to ewg.org, “Compared to adults, children drink more water per pound of body weight, resulting in greater exposure and greater risk. They’re also more vulnerable to harmful contaminants because their bodies are still growing and toxic chemicals cause more harm to developing organs and tissues.”

What’s even more alarming, according to EWG’s Tap Water Database, “drinking water supplies in America can potentially have higher amounts of 90 contaminants than scientists consider safe, even if the water gets a passing grade from the federal government.”

93 of these chemicals are linked to cancer, 63 of these contaminants can harm the development of the fetus, and 78 are linked to brain and nervous system problems.

So what can you do?

Investing in a water purifier like Berkey Filters can protect you and your family from these harmful contaminants. The filters will remove sediment and rust as well as all kinds of organic and inorganic contaminants like bacteria and viruses, parasites, cysts, heavy metals, and chemicals plus 200+ other contaminants. The filters will also eliminate bad tastes and smells.

So how much water should your children drink daily?

According to WebMD.com, as a general rule, here’s how much H2O kids should drink every day:

Toddlers: 2 to 4 cups
4-8 years: 5 cups
9 -13 years: 7 to 8 cups
14 and up: 8 to 11 cups

If kids are playing sports or the weather is warmer make sure to up their H2O intake to ensure they do not get dehydrated!

Knowing that your tap water is purified and that your children are getting enough water will help in their healthy growth and development.

Photo courtesy of Meredith Nucifera

Need to get your kids to drink more water? Try adding fresh organic fruits likes berries to their water!

Check out our test results here: https://www.berkeyfilters.com/berkey-answers/performance/filtration-specifications/

Berkey Traveling Tips!

July 19th, 2018

Summer is all about sun, bbqs, beaches, and vacation.

There is always so much to do and so many things to pack. Also, did you call the pet sitter? Where is your swimsuit? Wait, what will you do with your Berkey while you are gone? Can you take your Berkey with you?

Don’t worry! We got your back with these helpful vacation tips.

Leaving your Berkey at home?

If you are leaving on vacation for more than four days first, you will need to carefully remove the filters from your system. The black filters should be laid on top of a towel on a flat surface (where they would be safe from rolling off) so they can dry out evenly. The pf2 fluoride filters will need to be placed in a zip-top bag and stored in the door of the refrigerator until you return.

The fluoride filters cannot be dried out, and if they do they will need to be replaced. The fluoride filters can only be stored for a total of 2 weeks. Make sure your system is completely dry & empty. Once you return you simply will need to re-prime your black filters and re-assemble.

If you are storing for more than 30 days, we recommend drying out the black filters and then placing them in the original box or similar container (it doesn’t have to be sealed ait tight). Preferably in a cool, dry place like a closet shelf and away from any strong odors.

Can’t stand the thought of being without Berkey water on your vacation? Check out our Sport Berkey! Perfect for weekend getaways, airplanes, hiking, and overseas travels!

Taking your Berkey with you?

I’ll be honest. I have thought about just bringing my Big Berkey with me on long weekend trips!

The Stainless-Steel chambers nest perfectly inside each other for easy transportation. Make sure to remove your filters and pack them carefully. We recommend placing the dried out black filters in a plastic zip lock baggies and using towels to cushion the filters.

If you have the fluoride filters, you can store them in ziplock baggies in a cooler. Just make sure they are not sitting right on top of ice! You will want to run water through the fluoride filters at least every four days to keep them from drying out.

Make sure to reprime your filters once you get to your destination! Don’t forget to add the priming button to your packing list!

Photo courtesy of Maggi Hines.

Bonus tip! Seat belt your Berkey in to keep it from rolling around in the car!

Flying this summer?

Make sure to check with your specific airline and TSA guidelines to see what is allowed. I traveled with the Sport Berkey recently. I emptied it before going through TSA and refilled it after getting through security. If you are traveling with the Go Berkey Kit make sure your filters are dried out, and the chambers are empty!

Photo courtesy of Emily Asbury.

Going anywhere fun with your Berkey this summer? We love seeing your Berkey adventures! Send us a photo via Facebook or Instagram, and you may be featured on our social media!

Happy Travels Berkey Family!

Tiny Shiny Home

June 19th, 2018

We are honored to have Ashley Longnecker with www.tinyshinyhome.com as our guest blogger this month. Check out what she has to say about their epic adventures and why the Big Berkey is the one kitchen item they will never be without!

Good morning Berkey friends! I’m Ashley – mom, teacher, adventure seeker, route planner and executive chef of the Tiny Shiny Home crew. We are a crazy family of six traveling North America in our renovated 1972 Airstream Sovereign in search of epic adventures and a minimalist lifestyle.

We primarily boondock which means we camp in the middle of nowhere without hookups such as water or electricity. Our Airstream is powered by the sun which gives us the freedom to be off-grid for long periods of time. We haul our water with jugs and a collapsable water bladder and pump it into our 40 gallon fresh water tank.

We have been nomadic for over 3 years now and have had the most incredible time exploring with our 4 amazing kids. We crave new adventures, epic hikes, and an ever-changing backyard.

With summer in full swing and lots of hiking plans, we require a rather large amount of water. From our house to our first RV, and now nestled in our  Tiny Shiny Home, our Big Berkey is the one kitchen item we will never be without. We even made sure to design a space for it during our Airstream renovation.

When people come into our home on wheels they always ask us about the ‘shiny thing on the counter’ and usually leave convinced they need to get their own. With the ever-changing quality of water in North America, we are so thankful to always have filtered water everywhere we go.

Having a Berkey water filter gives us one less thing to worry about. Since we know we will always have high-quality drinking water, that means our hardest decision is whether we visit the desert, the mountains or the ocean next. To follow along on our adventures, you can find us on Instagram and Facebook @tinyshinyhome or on our blog, TinyShinyHome.com and on Youtube at TinyShinyHome. See you down the road!

-Ashley Longnecker

Max La Manna and his Zero Waste Movement

April 26th, 2018

We are honored to have Max La Manna with www.eatingwithmax.com as our guest blogger this month. Check out what he has to say about his zero waste movement and how you can make a difference too!

Ever since I could remember, and perhaps it was the way I was brought up, I was mindful of our resources on this planet. I was conscious of how we used resources and what resources we used. When I used to buy bottled water, I wondered, “what happens to the bottle next?” I knew I could throw it away, be done with it and forget about it. But I started questioning where is “away” and where is the bottle ending up next?

My name is Max La Manna; I’m a zero waste vegan chef living in Brooklyn, New York.  I grew up with a chef father and food was the center focus of our family.  As a family, we grew and harvested a variety of different vegetables. This was a lot of fun as a child because you would plant a seed and wait patiently for weeks for plant life to take its course. Once it started budding, vines were growing, and you reaped a full, plentiful veggie patch – you were ecstatic! The young me was vegan at heart but didn’t know it yet.

For me, being zero waste and a chef came at the same time – hand in hand! I was working in a restaurant and saw how much food was being thrown away. When I asked the chef about the food waste, he simply shrugged his shoulders and didn’t care.  This made me very upset, and I knew that something needed to happen. I moved on and started cooking privately, incorporating this zero waste method – where no food would ever go to waste.

Today, we live in a world of convenience where everything we want is at our fingertips.  However, everything has a cause and effect. The number one occupant in American landfills, according to the EPA is FOOD WASTE! We can feed everyone on this planet with the food that we produce, but instead, it is thrown away because it’s grown imperfectly and is therefor non-profitable.

We hear the saying, “leave the planet in better shape than how you found it” – I’m working on that right now – it may take me my whole life, but I am okay with that.

In order to make a better, cleaner world I am going to need clean, pure water to help me achieve this goal. How do you do this? Say no to plastic packaging! Bring your own vessel for water – I guarantee you will save money and help avoid plastic from ending up in landfills and our oceans.  We as humans can live without food much longer than water.  Water is so vitally important for our health and well-being. When I introduced Berkey into my routine, I noticed it made a huge difference right away in the taste and how I felt. This is because it removes toxins and impurities from the water that I was consuming. Did you know that Berkey Filters will remove over 200+ contaminants?

I want to operate my body and mind at the highest level and having the clean, pure water that Berkey provides is going to help me reach this goal.  I leave you with this, imagine a world, where everyone has access to clean, pure water. What a world that would be and how different we would all be.

– Max La Manna
Follow along with Max’s adventures here: www.instagram.com/eatingwithmax

Berkey Filters vs. Other Water Filters

April 4th, 2018

Do you know what’s in your water?

Do you even want to know what could be living in your water?

Not only do you have to worry about bacteria, viruses, chlorine, heavy metals, micro-organisms and pharmaceutical drug contaminants but some water companies add fluoride to your water supply as well.

So it’s apparent that you need a water purifier but how do you know which one to choose? Let us help you compare the differences.

1. Cost!
How often do you have to replace the filters? How much do they run? What’s the initial set up cost? Berkey Filters offers seven different sizes starting at $175! The unit comes with two black carbon filters. They can last 2-5 years depending on your water source. That’s about is 1.7 cents a day! Replacements are $107. And each filter can be cleaned up to 100 times!

The additional fluoride filters will reduce fluoride up to 95% and are $50. They will last one year or 1,000 gallons, whichever comes first. Disposable filters that you buy at bargain prices online require frequent changes. Clean water doesn’t have to be expensive!

2. What is being removed?
The Black Berkey purification elements remove over 200+ contaminants including chlorine and lead. These filters have been tested to remove both pathogenic bacteria and viruses higher than the EPA purification standards. Because the Berkey will remove viruses, it is considered a purifier, unlike other filters on the market.

You can find a more comprehensive list here http://www.berkeyfilters.com/berkey-answers/performance/filtration-specifications/ along with our actual testing results and percentages.

3. Portability
One of the great benefits of Berkey Filters is the portability! Each of the seven different sizes contains the same Black Berkey filter element, delivering the same clean water. Our travel sizes make it convenient to use our reliable filtration systems in small RV campers, summer cabins, or anywhere storage space may be limited. All of our units are counter-top models but can also be used outdoors. They are fully functional using only gravity. Therefore they are not dependent on electricity or any other outside source to function. They also do not need to be hooked up to your kitchen faucet and come in handy when the power goes out!

4. Questionable Water Sources
We always recommend using the cleanest water source available when filtering water in your Berkey System. However, lake, stream, pond, river, or flood water can be filtered in the Berkey System. In an emergency scenario, the Berkey will even filter pool water and make it safe to drink! (this excludes saltwater pools because the concentration of salt will more than likely ruin the elements quickly).

Want to learn more about pretreating questionable water sources?
http://support.berkeyfilters.com/liveagent/index.php?type=page&urlcode=805661&title=Dissinfecting-Extremely-Contaminanted-Water

5. Can’t I just buy a filter from the store?
Carbon-based, paper and certain resin based filters do not have filters that can be cleaned, there is no feedback mechanism for filter replacements, most do not remove pathogenic bacterias, and most systems provide only 40-700 gallons (150-2,660 liters) before the filter must be replaced.

6. What about a whole house system?
Because the Berkey system is a gravity fed system, the water processes through the filter naturally by water pressure and gravity. The longer contact time with the filters is one of the reasons it can remove viruses and so many other contaminants.

Many regular home filter systems operate under pressure, significantly reducing the amount of time the water is in contact with the filtration media. Since gravity is used for water filtration in a Berkey system, the contact time with the media is much longer. This extended contact time has a direct impact on the media’s ability to reduce Chloramine and other potential contaminants.

7. Should I look into a Reverse Osmosis or Distiller system?
Another impressive thing about the Berkey system is that it will remove the harmful contaminants from your water, but allow healthy minerals (such as calcium, magnesium, and potassium) to remain. Reverse Osmosis or Distiller systems will remove everything from your water including these beneficial minerals! These systems become useless during emergencies when power and or water pressure is lost.

A Distiller specifically does not remove VOC’s (chemicals found in herbicides, pesticides, and fertilizers). It also wastes nearly five gallons for each gallon of water that is filtered.

A Reverse Osmosis wastes a lot of water, about three gallons of water for each gallon it filters. It also does not remove pathogenic bacteria and does not have re-cleanable filters. Plus, there is no feedback mechanism for filter replacements and the reservoir tank can become a breeding ground for bacteria. Yuck!

With respect to cost per gallon of water, calculated upon the cost per gallon for replacement filters and energy costs, Distillation systems and RO systems that are properly maintained typically cost between 35-65 cents per gallon. Again, a Berkey system typically costs about 1.8 cents per gallon!

8. I want more evidence! By comparison, Berkey water filters outperform commercially available water filters from both the portable and household water filter categories. Take a look at these Berkey water filter comparison charts and see for yourself that Berkey outperforms the competition in almost every category.

https://www.berkeyfilters.com/berkey-answers/performance/water-filter-comparison/

What is BPA?

November 14th, 2012

It seems that in recent years the chemical “BPA” has become a big concern. Many companies that sell products like water bottles, for instance, now boast that their products do not contain BPA. When we are shopping, many of us check the tags of food-related plastic products for the words “BPA free” but we don’t even know what this phrase really means. So what is BPA and is it a chemical of concern or not?

Where is BPA found?

The abbreviation BPA stands for Bisphenol A. This chemical has been used since the 1960s to produce epoxy resins and polycarbonate plastics. Epoxy resins are typically used to coat metal products like bottle lids, canned foods, and water supply pipes. Polycarbonate plastic, which is a hard, clear plastic, is used in many items especially water and infant bottles, food storage containers, tableware, and even compact discs and medical devices. A product that has a recycle code of 3 or 7 may be made with BPA if it is a polycarbonate material.

How are you exposed to BPA?

Although BPA can be found in many common household items, humans are primarily exposed to BPA when it leaches from products into food and beverage items. While polycarbonate plastic is very durable, repeated exposure to high temperatures causes the plastic to break down and release the BPA. This can occur when you repeatedly heat food in BPA-containing plastics in the microwave or pour hot liquid into a plastic container that is composed of BPA. If the container is scratched, it may cause more BPA to be released when heated.

How much BPA are you exposed to every day?

Currently there is controversy over how much BPA we ingest daily. A 2003-2004 CDC National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey detected BPA in 93% of urine samples taken from a study group of 2,517 people aged six years and older. This raised many concerns about BPA and led to a study by the National Institute of Health’s National Toxicology Program (NTP) in 2008. This study tried to determine daily intake levels in various age groups and estimated that infant daily exposures range from 1 to 13 micrograms of BPA per kilogram bodyweight (µg/kg bw) while children up to the age of six can range from 0.043 to 14.7 µg/kg bw. Adults were estimated to only have a daily intake ranging from 0.008 to 1.5 ug/kg bw.

The FDA however disagrees with these estimates, claiming that they are too high. Since 2008 there have been more studies about BPA exposure and the FDA reports that average daily intake for infants is more likely to be 0.2 to 0.4 µg/kg bw while children and adults both share an average daily intake of about 0.1 to 0.2 µg/kg bw. The FDA’s National Center for Toxicological Research also developed a mathematical model of what happens to BPA inside the body. Apparently, it is not like other toxins that remain in the body tissues for long periods of time. BPA is quickly metabolized to an inactive form and eliminated in both children and adults. If this is true, it is good news because it means the BPA does not have as much time to cause long-lasting effects in the body.

What are the possible effects of BPA exposure?

According to the scientific studies, adults will not likely experience effects from BPA exposure. On the other hand, both the NTP and the FDA recognize the fact that infants, in particular, may have a greater risk of effects from BPA. Infants may not be able to metabolize and eliminate BPA as fast as children and adults since their liver, the organ that detoxifies the body, is still developing. Their neurological and endocrine (glandular) systems are also still developing and might be affected as well. Therefore, NTP and FDA believe there is some concern that infants may experience effects on the brain, prostate or mammary gland, and females may experience early puberty due to the alteration of hormones.

It is important to keep in mind that there is a lot of uncertainty concerning the studies conducted thus far. For instance, most experiments were performed using rodents or primates but not usually humans, making it difficult to know exactly how humans are affected. Also the studies use different experimental designs, meaning that the studies differ in how the test subjects are exposed and how the effects are measured. This lack of consistency between studies makes it difficult to compare the results. Uncertainties such as these mean that we need to be cautious that we are not underestimating or overestimating the risk of exposure and effects from BPA.

Err on the side of caution

FDA recognizes that there are many uncertainties that need to be clarified by more research. In the meantime, the FDA is trying to reduce exposure to BPA by supporting the development of BPA-free linings in infant formula cans as well as other food can linings. The FDA also encourages major manufacturers to stop selling infant bottles and feeding cups that contain BPA.

If you would like to limit your entire family’s exposure, it is recommended that if you purchase products that are marked with recycle codes 3 or 7 make certain they are not made of polycarbonate. If you use plastic containers made with BPA, do not put hot or boiling food or drinks into them and do not heat them in the microwave either. Remember to always discard plastic containers that have scratches or pits as these can potentially release more BPA when heated.

As a concerned consumer, it is important for you to stay on top of this research so that you know how to best protect you and your family. The FDA provides a Consumer Updates page and can even email you with recent consumer updates as well.

 

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