What exactly is MTBE?
We here at Stonybrook have been saying for years that our filtration system removes the harmful chemical, MTBE. I was curious to find out exactly what this chemical is, how it gets into our water in the first place and what it does to our bodies.
MTBE is short for methyl-t-butyl-ether, which is among a group of fuel oxygenate chemicals. It was developed in the 1970’s as a replacement for lead in gasoline. It’s purpose was to increase oxygen content and reduce harmful auto emissions into our atmosphere. At some point though, MTBE found it’s way into our drinking water. It seems that MTBE is seeping into water supplies through leaking underground storage tanks and pipes, watercraft emissions and marine engine spills. Did you know that each year roughly 1 million gallons of fuel are dumped into our water sources by recreational boating alone?
While the effects of MTBE on the human body are still being researched, early research shows that consumption (through drinking water) and inhalation and absorption through the skin (from showering) can have harmful affects on the human body. It is most likely a cancer causing agent, it also affects the immune system and can cause kidney damage.
The EPA’s Office of Water is actively involved in finding out the geographic locations where MTBE is present in water sources, and are also conducting more tests and research on the harmful affects of being exposed to this chemical.
In the meantime, I have complete peace of mind that one more harmful chemical has been removed from my drinking water, thanks to the Stonybrook Water system. Contact us if you are interested in having your water tested and to set up a free, two week trial!!
~ Good Health to All~