Caring for an infant or toddler can be a tumultuous experience, to say the least. Given their developing bodies and vulnerability to illnesses, all aspects of a baby’s day require extra attention. And their dietary needs are no exception. One particular area that parents should be mindful of is the type of water they use in their little one’s formula.
This raises the question: Can I use filtered water for formula?
The answer is yes. Filtered water is optimal for formula. But it is important to take a look at why filtered water is so beneficial to infants and toddlers who consume formula. This entails an understanding of tap water and its contaminants. And along with this, an examination of the efficacy of our water filters here at Aquagear. Here are several significant points to consider when considering the benefits of filtered water for baby formula.
Filtered Water vs. Tap Water for Formula
The advantages of using filtered water over tap water are robust. Just as adult humans, and even dogs, experience better overall wellness when drinking filtered water, the same applies to our little ones.
Even in countries in which tap water is considered safe, residual amounts of heavy metals, chemicals, and other contaminants can sneak into the water supply. Lead and copper, two such heavy metals, when accumulated in the body over time, can lead to brain damage and stomach troubles. This is concerning for infants and toddlers. Young children are especially vulnerable to lead poisoning because they absorb 4 to 5 more lead than adults do from a particular source. And two-thirds of toddlers who are formula-fed receive their greatest lead exposure from water.
Lesser known but equally dangerous organic chemicals such as atrazine and tetrachloroethylene also linger in our tap water supply. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has deemed these and related substances to be “of concern to children’s health.” In addition to spawning learning problems in young ones, they can cause endocrine dysfunction and even cancer. Data compiled by the World Health Organization has also found atrazine to damage the filtering organs—liver, kidneys—in animal studies. Ethical guidelines prevent the replication of such studies on human infants and toddlers, but given children’s lower body mass and developing bodies, we can speculate the impact it can have on them over time.
Finally, tap water is notorious for harboring disinfectant byproducts such as chloroform. If this chemical sounds dangerous, it’s because it is. Similar to atrazine, chronic exposure can negatively affect the kidneys and liver. Pediatric research has found that due to the fact that infants and toddlers’ organs are still developing, they are more predisposed to toxicity from chemicals like chloroform.
Protecting Your Infant
Infants have a higher chance of getting sick than the average adult, given babies’ developing bodily systems (digestive, nervous, immune, etc.). Just as we take our little ones to the doctor and maximize their wellbeing in other ways, it is important to give them formula with filtered water. Empirical data can provide strong reasons as to why we should be protecting our infants and toddlers more diligently. Many findings have been conducted on the impact of common contaminants on babies. Here are a few to note.
Lead, a contaminant which gained notoriety from the situation in Flint, Michigan, is one particularly harmful substance to infants. High exposure to lead is linked with developmental delays such as talking, walking, and acquiring social skills. Furthermore, babies with too much lead in their bodies can experience gastrointestinal problems such as constipation, vomiting, and lack of appetite.
Perfluorooctanoic Acid, commonly known as PFOA, is another contaminant that parents should be aware of. This substance, along with its fellow “forever chemical,” PFOS, (perfluorooctane sulfonate) is prevalent in the water supply. Infants can experience developmental harm with prolonged exposure to PFOA. And given their smaller size and greater overall exposure to the substance, they are at a higher risk of facing complications relative to adults.
Finally, microplastics are another substance that are prevalent in water supplies around the world. A recent finding observed 10 times more microplastic particles in the systems of infants than in adults. Chronically, microplastics can lead to changes in lung cells, which can lead to respiratory ailments, and exacerbate symptoms in those with existing lung disease (i.e. asthma).
The best way to ensure that these substances are removed is by using a trusted water filter. And not only using a filter, but ensuring that it is maintained and replaced appropriately.
At Aquagear, our filters have been independently tested by an ANAB accredited laboratory. They are uniquely engineered to remove more than 99% of lead, PFOA/PFOS, copper, and microplastics. Aquagear filters also eradicate greater than 99% of tap water contaminants like atrazine, chloroform, and tetrachloroethylene. Many leading brands can not perform at this level, nor do they remove heavy metals like lead, as well as other insidious contaminants. By using Aquagear filters, you can maximize your growing child’s development by giving them quality water.
Reminders of the hazardous substances that lurk in our tap water can be daunting. Especially if you have an infant or toddler at home. Thankfully, there’s much you can do for your baby’s health when you choose filtered water for their formula. Filtered water is gaining wider popularity, and for good reason. Effective water filters can remove substances that are linked to poor health outcomes, both acutely and long-term.
By educating yourself on the benefits of filtered over tap water, you can take pride in being an informed and empowered parent. And you’ll pave a healthier future for your child, too.
Q: What about bottled water? How safe is that for infants and toddlers?
A: Sources will deem bottled water safe to use in baby formula. However, they recommend boiling the water first since it typically isn’t sterile. Given what we know about the harmful substance BPA, and the uncertainties over whether it can be boiled out, it is safest to use filtered water. Our filters at Aquagear remove over 99% of BPA.
Q: What other contaminants do Aquagear’s filters remove?
A: Our filters also eliminate 95% or more of mercury, chlorine, and asbestos. For the most recent comprehensive report, click here.
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