Water filters

ayerg73August 4, 2012

I know this is a little OT, but I've seen whole house water filters mentioned a time or two on this board and I'm hoping there are a few people that can answer my question.

My poor very chemically sensitive DH is now reacting to what we think is something in our pool. In researching how to reduce the chemicals, I've been learning about ozone generators.

I've also read that you can use whole house ozone water filters for your home. On paper it sounds great. However, there's nobody I can find near us that sells them and if I choose to bite the bullet and try to have one installed, I need to be sure it will be a good investment.

So - has anyone used ozone water filters of any size? If so, how happy are you with them?

And - has anyone done a whole house water filter? What types of filter is it and would you do it again?

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We have a whole house filter... the Blue Rhino by Aquasana. Like it very much. In addition we use a Berkey stainless water filter by the kitchen sink with fluoride filters for our drinking/cooking water. At first we just had the Berkey but then reading about the amount of chemicals taken up through the skin during showering as well as the amount aerosolized into the air to be breathed, we decided to go with a whole house. (What has been done to our water in the interest of 'public health'?)

Check out this link for your pool. I bought one of these when we had a little blue rubber pool and it worked amazingly well. Pretty great technology and the company is growing by leaps and bounds so obviously they're selling something that people are willing to pay for.

If your DH is chemically sensitive, you've given the heave-ho to all the toxic chemical cleaning and personal products I'm sure. If not, I encourage you to do so. We are all being poisoned from every direction now. It takes constant effort to avoid/minimize toxins in our environment/food/water.

Good luck... it can be done!

Here is a link that might be useful: pool filters

    Bookmark   August 4, 2012 at 2:10PM
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Thanks Deedles!

I will check into both of those systems.

I've wanted a whole house filter for some time because I am certain there are things in the water that will affect him (more noticeably that the rest of us, but I'm sure we are all affected) when he showers.

Yes, we've gotten rid of as much as we can in the house. DH is allergic to most soaps, shampoos and cleaners anyway. I am making our laundry detergent and finally found a dish detergent at Trader Joe's that he's not allergic to. *happy dance*

Sadly, we've also found that he's allergic to the chemical that is fed to cows to fatten them up, so it's organic grass fed beef along with anything else organic we can get our hands on in our tiny corner of the world.

The doctors can't understand how his cholesterol suddenly plummeted. Hmm... ;)

If you have any other ideas for me on any other items to look out for, I'd love that. I feel like I am constantly surprised by something else that we can't use. Sounds like you're as vigilant about these things as I'm *trying* to be!

    Bookmark   August 4, 2012 at 4:14PM
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I've had two EWS under sink water filter units which have been exceptional. They also sell whole house filters online. Excellent customer support.

Their regular filters will remove chlorine and in one house where I didn't trust the water supply I put in a filter with UV light and used that water for a humidifier. The water was so clean the humidifier didn't have a trace in it.

My brother also loves his. There are several types. These aren't cheap but they are superior.

Re the soap allergy. Our little GS is super allergic to everything not washed in this pure soap which DD2 found. Not expensive and it solved the problem. They also have shampoo and other products. There's a trial pack, too. Perhaps the link will be of use.

Cal Ben pure soap

Here is a link that might be useful: EWS - Water on the Web

    Bookmark   August 4, 2012 at 5:08PM
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rococogurl - Thanks so much. I'll check into that water filter as well. It looks like they sell it here in KY. That's been surprising hard to find, unfortunately.

As far as the soap goes, that particular brand doesn't list their ingredients, so I'll have to contact them to know if it's okay. I've been surprised to see that a lot of brands that advertise themselves as 'all natural' still cause us some problems.

We've been pretty lucky using Dr. Bronners soaps for most things. And my homemade laundry soap is super easy to make and cheap too, if your DD2 would be interested in trying it. :) We stick to vinegar for the softener and it's been working like a charm.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2012 at 6:36PM
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ayerg Good luck on the filter. It made a huge difference for us.

DD did extensive research on the soap and really swears by Cal Ben. DD has 3 little ones under 6 and two have had medical problems. She had to rewash everything in the house and we had to wash our clothes in her soap before we could even touch the baby.

Here's what they say the ingredients are: "an extra-hard soap made from white tallow and pure cocoa-butter oil with a very light almond essence."

But whatever works. It's huge for anyone having to deal with that and sounds like you have it well in hand.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2012 at 9:16AM
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We use Cal Ben soaps, too!! Great stuff! We use the bar soap which everyone that uses it wants to take a bar home with them, lol, and we use the laundry soap which is excellent and the dish soap. Not too happy with the automatic dish soap. Didn't seem to clean very well. Now for that I buy Palmolive ECO and use white vinegar in the rinse agent container. Works great. Another all pupose soap that I buy which is quite fantastic although the story of it's discovery puts some people off, is Miracle II soap. Phenomenal stuff.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2012 at 9:26AM
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That's awesome! I will definitely look into it. Sorry if it sounded like I was discounting your idea, rococo - I guess I've just become a little cynical trying to sort through all the 'natural' products!

    Bookmark   August 5, 2012 at 10:10AM
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ayerg73 - would you be willing to share your homemade laundry soap recipe with me? I believe I am allergic to detergents and am trying to find an affordable laundry cleaner to use (preferably homemade).

Has anyone tried using the Cal Ben bar soaps in homemade laundry soap?

Thanks for your help!

    Bookmark   August 13, 2012 at 3:54PM
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I haven't made homemade laundry soup but it's kind of a soft soap...would that work? I just buy a giant box of Cal-Ben's laundry soap and it lasts our family of 3 about a year, since it's so concentrated. Works great, too. (Gawd, I sound like a commercial)

    Bookmark   August 13, 2012 at 4:37PM
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Sure thing!

Homemade Laundry Detergent:
-1 1/2 cups of Soap Flakes
I order my Soap Flakes online and found them to be a good price compared to buying bars and grating them. You can also grate a bar of Fels-Naptha or Castile soap. Fels-Naptha has some pretty harsh chemicals in it as well, so I stay far away from that. I have had success using other brands of Castile soap, though.
-1 cup Arm and Hammer Washing Soda
-1 cup Baking Soda
-1/2 cup Borax

HE directions:
Use 1 Tablespoon for a small/light load or up to 2 Tablespoon for dirtier loads. Put soap directly in the washer with your clothes and not in the soap dispenser.
Regular machines:
Use 2-4 Tablespoons per load.

I've used this for over a year now and love it. The awful smell in my front loader is gone too. You can add essential oils if you'd like a scent, but I like it the way it is.

I only use vinegar for fabric softener. Fabric softener and softener sheets were the first things we realized DH was allergic to.

    Bookmark   August 13, 2012 at 4:48PM
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BTW, isleofviewmom, if you ever have any questions, feel free to email me. If I have any info that would help you, I'm happy to share it.

We've been fighting these allergies for years and I know how frustrating it is. DH has even been referred to some of the top allergists and dermatologists in the country and has stump them all...

Good Luck!!

    Bookmark   August 13, 2012 at 4:56PM
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Awesome, awesome! Thank you so much! It's good to get recipes from people who have made and tried things out. I have been suffering from this for far too long (tho there are worse things) - 8 years, with no relief. Never occurred to me that it could be detergent, until a friend was telling me about her contact dermatitis a couple days ago. Looked into that and am now hoping that getting rid of laundry detergents (I understand it takes many washes) will give me relief! Dermatologists would take one quick look at me and say, "oh, that's eczema. Here's your RX for a steroid cream." They never work and I'm tired of using them (both dermatologists and the steroids, ha!). Thank you, deedles, for letting me know how long the Cal Ben's laundry soap lasts, good to know. Thank you, ayerg73, for your recipe and offering up your help - I will most likely be back to ask questions soon :P Oh, here's one! How long did it take for your DH to feel relief after switching to homemade laundry soap? Were there other things you changed right away too?

    Bookmark   August 13, 2012 at 7:44PM
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It's hard for me to say how long it took for him to stop reacting because he's allergic to many things.

The problem is for years the docs gave him creams to put on the rashes they always wanted to call eczema (which our fancy schmancy dermatologist admitted just means they don't know what's really wrong...) and we found out he was actually allergic to some of the ingredients in the prescriptions they were giving him. He couldn't use many of the creams and Eucerin was loaded with the one of the offending chemicals.

Hopefully you don't share the same multiple sensitivities. But, you may want to consider eliminating all types of soaps, lotions, shampoos, etc until you stop reacting and then begin to add some of them back.

Our family uses Dr. Bronners soap for hand soap, my DH uses Yes to Carrots for shampoo/conditioner, we've found that Aveno has been a safe lotion for him and we can't use any dish detergent except for Trader Joes.

Once he begins to break out, if he goes through an entire series of steroids, the rash gets under control and we've usually pinpointed what he reacted to and have eliminated it.

However, after his last patch test, without steroids, some of the spots he reacted to lasted several months easy.

Right now we think he's reacting to a different brand of shock we used in our pool. Something that simple will cause weeks and weeks of misery.

If you can, I would really suggest getting the extensive patch testing done.

I hope switching detergents helps you! That was our first step several years ago and we're still experimenting! :)

    Bookmark   August 13, 2012 at 8:14PM
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"My poor very chemically sensitive DH is now reacting to what we think is something in our pool."

@ayerg73 - is it a chlorinated pool? Chlorine is a toxic chemical to which he might be reacting. It burns up my sinuses and dries my skin, so I stay away from pools.

    Bookmark   August 13, 2012 at 9:38PM
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Ya. Chlorine is no good for people, that's the main reason we got the whole house filter. Check out the link below if you're interested.

I feel bad for your hubby, Ayerg... I encourage you to look further than the MD's, but it sounds like you have?

Here is an interesting thread on Earthclinic re: allergies. Maybe there is some help in there for you folks that suffer from this. Apple cider vinegar gets lots of good reviews. Interesting.

Here is a link that might be useful: chlorine dangers

    Bookmark   August 13, 2012 at 10:41PM
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Yes, it's a chlorine pool. I know there are issues with chlorine, but, in all honesty, that was the one thing that would help rid him of the rashes.

I don't think the chlorine is the issue in this instance. We used a shock that had algaecide in it - something we'd never done before. I think that's the issue.

After looking at the ingredients, the only thing that seems to be in there he might have a problem with is copper. This concerns me when it comes to the pool tablets deedles talked about earlier. It uses copper and silver. I know that DH is very sensitive to nickel and has even reacted to his gold wedding band (Probably because the gold wore down and he was exposed to other alloys in the metal.) so, I'm concerned about using something with metals.

If you have ideas of other solutions, I would love to hear about them. I've researched myself silly...

Saltwater, while it uses less commercial chlorine, is simply making chlorine from salt, so that's really no better. I've looked into an ozone filter but that seems to only supplement the chemicals.

I know there has to be a way. My concern is spending thousands of dollars modifying what we're doing and then have DH react to something new.

Boy - he's lucky I love him! ;)

    Bookmark   August 14, 2012 at 7:43AM
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Thanks for the words of encouragement, deedles.

We have looked into many docs. DH is retired military and he's seen the spectrum of military docs as well as civilian.

This happened while in Kosovo - roughly 15 years ago. After researching, we have found that he may have been exposed to depleted uranium munitions. That plus the myriad of immunizations our soldiers are exposed to...who knows what the real cause of all of this is.

Anyhow, that all leaves us experimenting and doing our best to stop the reactions. Of course, there's always something new. (or just impossible to avoid, like his own sweat...)

I'll definitely look into the apple cider vinegar. We use a LOT of vinegar in the house, but I've never done much with apple cider.


    Bookmark   August 14, 2012 at 7:52AM
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