Activated charcoal is an excellent way to remove toxins from the body. It’s also a useful tool to clean drinking water. In Part II of this series, we discuss the various toxins in our drinking water, and how activated charcoal helps remove them.
Also known as activated charcoal, activated carbon is an odorless black powder that can adsorb many dangerous toxins. It’s often used in hospital emergency rooms to treat a wide variety of poisons, such as pesticides, over-the counter medications, prescription drugs, mercury, lead and other chemical exposures. Taking activated charcoal within 60 minutes of consumption allows the charcoal to bind to the toxins and safely remove them from the body, before they are digested and enter the bloodstream.
In addition to hospitals, activated carbon can be used in a variety of ways, including to clean and treat drinking water.
The Need for Drinking Water
Drinking water on a daily basis is essential for life. The average adult is advised to drink 8 glasses of water per day. Water is essential for a variety of functions, including the following:
- Regulates body temperature
- Helps maintain blood pressure
- Cushions the brain and other essential organs
- Lubricates the joints
- Flushes toxins out of the body via the kidneys
The human body can go weeks without food, but only a few hours without water in extreme conditions. It’s critical the water consumed is free of toxins that can be hazardous to a person’s health.
The Hidden Toxins in Drinking Water
While the importance of drinking water is understood, many tap water sources have been found to have the following toxins:
Arsenic. Sources of arsenic in drinking water are often from industrial plants and natural runoff from mining and agricultural locations. Arsenic exposure has been linked to cancers of the skin, lungs and bladder.1
Mercury. Sources of mercury in drinking water can include volcanoes, geological deposits, the ocean, and other natural sources. Man-made sources can include mining, industrial plants and coal combustion. Low grade mercury exposure has been linked to the following ailments:
- Weight loss
- Memory loss
- Inability to focus and concentrate
Studies also indicate higher levels of mercury exposure can cause depression, myocardial infarction, carotid atherosclerosis, delayed reaction times, diminished motor control, coarse shaking and gingivitis.2
Lead. The most common sources of lead in water is from corroded water pipes. Lead can remain in the body for years, causing the following symptoms:
- Abdominal pain
- Loss of appetite
- Memory loss
- Pain in hands and feet
Continued, long term exposure to lead could lead to kidney and brain damage.
Fluoride. Fluoride was added to drinking water to help prevent tooth decay. Even though fluoride is considered safe, many special interest groups believe it could cause cancer.
Pesticides. Pesticides used on crops seep into the soil and eventually make their way into drinking water. The improper disposal of pesticides are another source of contaminated drinking water.
These are just a few of the many toxins that could be in drinking water at any time. Even though government agencies have taken many steps to ensure tap water is safe, issues still arise. For example, Flint Michigan and other cities have issues with lead in tap water. Activated charcoal is an excellent option for removing these dangerous toxins.
It’s possible a person may be experiencing any of the above symptoms, and taking various medications to relieve them. What they don’t realize is the root cause of their symptoms could be the water they drink. As a result of a misdiagnosis and/or not focusing on the actual cause of their health issues, they take medication that is ineffective, never getting to the source of their ailment.
How Activated Carbon Works
Activated carbon filters work to remove harmful toxins from water, albeit without removing minerals or changing the taste. As water passes through the filter, many types of toxins and metals are trapped, while the “cleaner” water continues through the filter.
Studies indicate activated carbon is effective at removing toxins from water:
- A study on the effectiveness of carbon cartridges and fluoride reduction in drinking water found that the filtration systems “significantly decreased the fluoride concentration even as much as 100% in some cases.”3
- A North Dakota State University study found that (carbon) water filters “can reduce some unhealthy contaminants such as volatile organic compounds (benzene, trichloroethylene, chloro-benzenes, vinyl chloride) and other contaminants that originate from petroleum products.” The study also notes water filters are effective at removing living contaminants such as “Giardia and Cryptosporidium, along with some heavy metals.”4
Note: For maximum effectiveness, it is advised to change the carbon filter after a certain amount of water has passed through the system.
Activated Carbon Products
While activated carbon can’t remove all toxins from tap water, it is still an excellent water-treatment option. Here are a few of the top activated carbon products:
For those concerned about water quality while traveling, the Dime Water - Travel Reverse Osmosis System is a great investment. This travel pack comes with 5 different faucet adaptors, enhanced carbon, 5-micron filtration, and an enhanced carbon polish.
This reverse osmosis travel kit removes 99% of pharmaceuticals and fluoride from municipal water.
Thanks to the DIME WATER - DRO-100-NV 4 stage RO Water Saver, a person can stop purchasing bottled water altogether.
Features of this product include the following:
- Rids water of 99% of pharmaceuticals and fluoride
- Easy under the sink installation
- Carbon post filter included
- Supports 100 gallons per day production membrane
- Designed to last 20 years
In addition to being used to treat drinking water, activated charcoal makes an excellent soap. In addition to helping treat acne, Simple Life Mom - Acne Detox Soap draws out impurities in the body through the skin making it a great all-around cleanser.
Ingredients include the following:
- Filtered water
- Activated charcoal
- Coconut oil
- Tea tree
All ingredients are 100% natural and made from scratch. There are no man-made ingredients or fragrances included in this product.
Drinking water is the cornerstone of any health plan. Unfortunately, water can contain many dangerous pollutants that can make a person ill. A person may not be aware the water they drink has made them sick, or not realize it is the source of the heavy metals lodged deep in their cells.
Activated charcoal is an excellent way to remove toxins from both the body and water supply. By being proactive and using activated carbon water filters and charcoal soap, a person can be one step closer to good health.
1. Young-Seoub Hong, Ki-Hoon Song, Jin-Yon Chung. Health Effects of Chronic Arsenic Exposure. J Prev Med Public Health. 2014 Sep; 47(5): 245–252. Published online 2014 Sep 11. [doi: 10.3961/jpmph.14.035] PMCID: PMC4186552 PMID: 25284195 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4186552/#__sec4title
2. Robin Bernhoft. Mercury Toxicity and Treatment: A Review of the Literature. J. Environ Public Health. 2012; 460508. Published online 2011 Dec 22. [doi: 10.1155/2012/46508] PMCID: PMC3253456 PMID: 22235210 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3253456/
3. Behrooz Eftekhar, Masoume Skini, Milad Shamohammadi, (et al.) The Effectiveness of Home Water Purification Systems on the Amount of Fluoride in Drinking Water. J Dent (Shiraz).Published 2015 Sep; 16(3 Suppl): 278–281. [PMCID: PMC4623834] PMID: 26535409 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4623834/
4. Roxanne Johnson, Tom Scherer. Filtration: Sediment, Activated Carbon and Mixed Media. WQ1029, Revised Nov. 2015. https://www.ag.ndsu.edu/publications/environment-natural-resources/filtration-sediment-activated-carbon-and-mixed-media