The Water Post

Help! I’m Reacting to Water???!

This is a message I’ve gotten a few times, and I haven’t had a very complete response to it to date because I haven’t been able to solve the problem for myself. And now that I have it mostly solved, I still don’t have any clear explanation for the phenomenon or any guaranteed solutions for anyone. Just some suggestions.  But here is literally everything I know about and have tried re: finding safe water to drink when you have corn allergy, chemical sensitivity, or a mast cell disorder.

I am making many claims below that need elaboration or references. I will come back and add details and links as I have time, but I thought it was important to just do a brain dewump ASAP because there are people who need this info that currently don’t have safe water.

tl;dr – The Short Version

If you are allergic to corn and are reacting to your water,  DO NOT DRINK Dasani or Aquafina. These are KNOWN to contain corn derivatives in the form of “added minerals” and/or the bottles are made from corn plastic.

It’s up in the air as to what people tolerate the most for water. Crystal Geyser used to be the goto, but they changed their plastic to be 50% PET and many people began reacting. Others can still tolerate it. I would just begin trialing bottled water from any of the following brands: Crystal Geyser, Fiji, Starbucks Ethos brand, Mountain Valley Spring in glass bottles, Starkey,  Voss in glass bottles, Poland Springs. Also join the Facebook Corn Allergy and Intolerance group, because you are going to need some real-time group support getting this figured out.

Update 2020: I have not tolerated any of the dozens of brands of bottled water I tried over the last 8 years. But I recently tried Starkey Water, made by Whole Foods, and tolerated it! Please note that if you google Starkey, the first thing you will see is a Consumer Reports study stating that it contains high levels of arsenic, as does Crystal Geyser. There are other articles explaining that this isn’t a big deal, but I’ll let you do your own research on how worried to be about that. I would suggest that if you are concerned, filtering your bottled water would be an option.

Where’s the Corn  (or other allergens) in Water?

Quite honestly, I do not know why precisely water is such a problem for corn allergy folks.  It definitely is but I really can’t provide a lot of clear physiological explanation for why that would be. It is true that some corn derivatives may be used in water treatment, and that mineral fortification treatments may have corn-based excipients in them. However the degree to which we see water issues really outpaces what could be explained by that,  in my observation.
I think it is likely an issue with multiple sensitivities and the intersection of mast cell activation disorders that causes the issue. And the result of that is that there is no universally tolerated water, and there are several folks  within my online social circles at any given point in time who are not completely tolerating *any* water.
Here are the things that I have observed can be problems for myself and others with corn allergy and/or mast cell activation disorders:

Bottles: Glass Sanitizers

Antimicrobials seem to be a huge trigger for corn allergy folks as well as MCAD folks. No-rinse bottle sanitizer products can contain corn derivatives and even corn starch when they are the drop-in tablet form.

Bottles: Glass Mold Release/Coatings

I don’t know how many other folks have this issue, but I frequently have a problem with borosilicate glass causing water that was safe to become unsafe after it sits in the glass for a few hours. All soda-lime glass (such as mason jars and modern Pyrex) are fine. Some borosilicate is okay, but not most.  I am not 100% sure what the issue is, but I think it is some kind of coating on the glass, maybe what the mold that forms the shape is dusted with.

Bottles, Pipes, Faucets, and Containers: Metal Coatings

 This is a similar issue to the borosilicate glass mentioned above. At least a few people have problems with metal besides me, but many of them have a nickel sensitivity. I almost definitely DO NOT as I frequently wear metals containing nickel, and have several safe water bottles that are made from 304 grade stainless steel, which is the same % nickel as the 304 steel bottles that I do not tolerate.  I am positive it is some kind of coating on the metal, and am fairly sure that that the coating is water soluble, however I have not yet sucessfully run enough water through a metal item I reacted to to make it safe when it was not previously.  Note: because I am so sensitive to something about how metals are made, I was unable to tolerate any gravity-style water filters such as Berkey or Propur because the metal tanks themselves added something to the water that I reacted to.

Bottles, Pipes, Faucets, Tubing and Containers: Plastic

The plastic itself could be made from corn or a corn derivative, or one could have a non-corn sensitivity to the plastic itself. (I think my problems are both corn and non-corn, making most plastic unsafe for me.)  Many people can use HDPE or Polypropylene.. I can not use any Polypropylene so far and HDPE I can use some and not others. So weird. I also have some PVC tubing that was bad for me for a while and then became better after I ran enough water through it. So in my case it is a combo of the plastic itself and some coating on the plastic.

Added Minerals

The minerals can be either chelated with a corn derivative, or can be added along with a corn-derived excipient, or could be cross-contaminated with corn before addition. I have never tolerated anything with “added” minerals even when I can consume the minerals themselves in other forms such as supplements or found in whole food.

Water Treatment

There are a number of possible water treatment chemicals that can cause either corn allergy or chemical sensitivity reactions.  The safest is UV light. Chloramines are the worst for the most people. Chlorine is a problem for many, as is fluoride. I am fine with chlorine and fluoride but can’t handle “something else” about most water. No, I have no idea what the something else is.

Groundwater: Pollution Runoff

Groundwater can be contaminated at its source with agricultural or industrial runoff. This could be both a corn and a chemical sensitivity issue.

Filters: Filter Plastic, Housing, and Impregnated Antimicrobials

This is really covered in other sections above, but I wanted to explicitly point out that water filters are made from either plastic or ceramic housing and impregnated with something to keep it from growing mold or mildew. Further for gravity filters the tanks will be made out of plastic or stainless steel which can be issues for some people, and for faucet-style or under sink filters there will be some kind of plumbing tubing and connectors the water passes through to go into and out of the filter.  All of these things can be issues, depending on you and your sensitivities.  Water distillers will also have plumbing, tubing, condensation plates, and collection tanks that the water comes into contact with after distillation that can re-contaminate the water on its way out.

Filters: Filter Media

Most water filters are made from activated carbon, aka charcoal. That charcoal can be from many things including bone char, but is very, very commonly coconut, so not appropriate for a coconut allergy.  Activated carbon can also be activated using an inorganic acid (phosphoric is a common one) that seems to cause a chemical sensitivity reaction even though it “shouldn’t”  remain in the carbon.  I react to some coconut carbon and not others, and I am not sure why precisely.  There is another kind of carbon called “granular activated carbon” that is made granular by mixing the carbon with plastic which causes it to form into beads. Needless to say, one can react to the plastic in it.

Okay, So What Should I Do?

There is unfortunately no one-size-fits-all solution here.

Bottled Water

There is no one bottled water that works for everyone.  There is such a variety of what is tolerated that it doesn’t seem worth listing.

Definitely AVOID Dasani and Aquafina, both of which have TONS of bad reactions reported, some anaphylactic. We think it’s due to corn plastic and “added minerals” that are either corn derived or mixed with some corn-derived excipient.


Obviously buying bottled water can get expensive, and the manufacturers could change something. Filtration is a good option to replace bottled.  Here are a few options:

Berkey Gravity Filters
Many use the British Berkey ceramic filters, with the Fluoride post-filter. The black berkey filters have multiple reported reactions from the corn community. The ceramic filters contain granular activated carbon from coconut so are no likely a good bet if you are coconut allergic. They are “supposed” to be latex free, but you should really do some work to contact them on your own if those are concerns.  Note: I have read some reports that while many companies including Berkey and ProOne claim that they remove flouride, this has not been proven by a third party in a lab setting. Supposedly only RO or distillation can truly remove fluoride.

Here is a demo of the Berkey fluoride filter priming & installation. This is using the Berkey Black filters and a clear plastic tank, but the principle is the same as the ceramic & steel setup.

Sensitivity concerns

The gaskets are supposed to be silicone, but there is also a gasket you use when “priming” the filter using the faucet that could be latex rubber. The carbon inside the ceramic filter is said to be corn and coconut free. The antimicrobial used in the ceramic filter is silver. The fluoride filter is secondary and is in a plastic housing. I react to water run through this filter, but most are okay with it.  The tank for the filter is made from 304 stainless steel. I react to some coating on it. Others are fine with it. The steel does contain some nickel.

My experience

I isolated the stainless steel tank concerns from the filter concerns by making my own glass gravity filter with help from a friend (involves drilling holes in glass which can be tricky.) I found that the ceramic filters did not add anything allergenic to the water for me, but did not take out almost any allergens from water that was allergenic in the first place. If I added the fluoride filter, it would remove more allergens from unsafe water, but also added something unsafe back in- safe water run through the ceramic + fluoride filter became slightly unsafe, just enough I wouldn’t want to drink it every day.

ProOne Gravity Filters

The ProOneG2.0 filters are supposed to get out similar contaminants to the ceramic berkey, plus the berkey fluoride filter, but in one stage. These filters also do not require priming.

Here is a demo of a ProIbeScout filter. This is a much smaller system that what I would use- the more filter elements in a tank the faster it will work.

Sensitivity concerns

In 2017 we were told that the ProPur (previous company name) g2.0 filter contained activated carbon in that didn’t come from coconut or corn and is not activated using a corn-derived acid. The plastic stems are made from ABS. The tanks are made from 304 stainless. In 2021, we were told that the gaskets used on the filter are latex free but now made from EPDM synthetic rubber which is a change from 2017. I am still waiting to hear on when this changed.  Many “synthetic rubbers” are not necessarily safe for latex allergy, so please check with the latex experts if you are latex allergic.

My experience

I react to the stainless tank. When I put the filters in my glass gravity filter housing, it does not contaminate safe water, but doesn’t make unsafe water 100% safe. Only like 95% safe. Still not drinkable for me on a regular basis- my throat becomes swollen and I begin having joint pain, dizziness, hives, etc after a few glasses.

ZeroWater Filters

This isn’t a great bet for corn allergies, and many independent studies say that it doesn’t remove as many contaminants as other similarly priced products from Brita and Pur. However I’m putting it here because they are one of the few filters that do not use coconut carbon. They did recently (2021) begin using coconut carbon, but enough people gave them the feedback that they are in the process of switching back and should both  have the coconut-free filters back in production by summer 2021 and be able to give people lot #’s so that they can know which ones do not contain coconut.

Multipure Aquaversa- faucet filter/inline sink filter

This is the filter I am using.  It is a carbon block filter. I found via the NSF water filter database (at that time hosted by the EWG.) After so many water filter fails costing me a ton of money, the main reason that I was willing to give this a shot is that they have an unconditional 90 day money back guarantee.

The particular model I have is the “countertop” model which works on the same principle as say, a Brita or Pur faucet filter, except that the filter portion sits on the counter instead of attaching to your faucet because it weighs 5 lbs. Then a hose runs from the faucet to the filter and from the filter back to the faucet. You press a button on the faucet diverter and it reroutes the water from the faucet to the filter and then back out of the filter to a smaller spigot on the end of your faucet- so essentially the clean water is coming from your faucet.

Here’s a demo of the several different Aquaversa models:

Sensitivity concerns

The carbon block filter does contain coconut carbon. The hoses are made from PVC and are latex free but could be a plastic/chemical sensitivity concern. . The connectors and dome are made from stainless steel. There are gaskets inside the dome that I believe I was told are silicone, but should be double-checked. The  hoses and connectors are standard 3/8″ internal diameter and 1/4″ internal diameter so one should be able to order third party tubing and plumbing connectors if the hoses or connectors were a sensitivity issue.

My Experience
I seem to react to the PVC hoses that come with it. After the PVC has been flushed for a while I do better with it but still not perfectly. I  found this out by accident when I gota brand new version of the same hose and put it on my old filter and began reacting. I have not been able to isolate the hose issue from the connector issue well enough to know if the stainless steel connectors bother me or it’s just the hoses. What is working for me for right now is to take the inflow hose and only use that one, then basically have the water come straight out of the filter without running it through a hose. Below is a playlist two videos I shot for a friend who is severely latex and chemically sensitive to demo what I had to do.

Note: This playlist is unlisted because I don’t really want it coming up on youtube searches so you’ll have to come back to my blog to find it. Also note- most of the products visible in my kitchen in this demo are NOT safe for me. And also my kitchen is a complete disaster. I’ll probably shoot a nicer video someday.

Since this demo I have gotten an over-the-sink shelf that works much better for me than the plant-stand setup in the video. Having it just run back to the faucet would be so much better.  Surgical-grade silicone hoses all caused reactions, so my only hope for that would be to outgas a PVC outflow hose enough that I don’t react to it anymore. Seems possible, but I haven’t done it yet.

This filter takes my unsafe tap water and makes it safe. However it does not take out whatever is in certain plastic hoses like an “emergency pump” hose for pushing water through the filter while the water is shut off, so I think that means I can’t just pick up this filter and take it with me traveling. So far it only definitely gets MY tap water from MY HOUSE safe.

Update 2020: I’ve moved since I first wrote this article and so far what I have to do is bring the supply hose that goes from the wall up to the faucet with me from the previous house, since that is made from PVC as well and takes some time to off-gas for my safety.  Then I also need to bring tanks of my safe water from the previous house, and titrate up on the water from the new source over a couple weeks. I mix a tablespoon of new water in with an entire bottle of the old water, and increase that. When I’m about at the 50/50 mark I can usually just go up to 100% new water and be okay. I will have joint pain for a few months before my body gets used to it.

So far this only works when moving within my region, which has VERY clean water compared to many parts of the country. I think if I were dealing with very contaminated water, I would not be able to do this.


Distillation isn’t just for making booze. Distillation is when you heat a liquid to catch and condense the evaporated substance. In the case of an alcoholic liquid, since alcohol boils at a higher temp than water, you are catching the alcohol and leaving the water in the boiling tank. With water you are heating up to the boiling point of water in order to collect the and condense the water, leaving any impurities (that presumably have a lower boiling point than water) in the catch tank.

Distillation SHOULD make the purest possible water. In theory. It also is devoid of any minerals which can make people feel even more thirsty when they drink the water. I have met several people who really can only drink distilled water, so if you turn out to be one of those folks, you need to be careful to find a source of trace minerals to add back to your diet since you won’t be getting it through water.

Distillation is also very expensive and inefficient. It takes a pretty big amount of energy to boil off that much water on a daily basis, and the units themselves are quite expensive. The more expensive the unit the faster it can create water, however it also uses more energy.

I don’t have a recommended brand of distiller since I haven’t used one that I didn’t react to. However I do have one brand that has a 100 day money back guarantee, which I think is a good reason to try that one first if you’re going to try distillation. And that is Waterwise Water Distillers.
Sensitivity Concerns
Even though distillation should make the purest possible water, it isn’t for sure that you won’t react to it. I did. I think this is because the condensation plate that collects the evaporated water and the tube it drips down into the collection carafe. For the larger distillers that have an internal collection tank, that tank is made out of stainless steel and  I believe I would react to that stainless tank.

Below is the letter I wrote to waterwise to ask them and their response.


Hi there!

I need a little info to decide which distiller to try.  I seem to have some kind of mineral or nickel sensitivity issue with a lot of stainless steel if it isn’t rated for high temps and sometimes even if it is, and then am also trying to vet these systems for my friend who has a severe latex allergy.  Can you help me out with the following questions for the 4000 and 7000 distillers respectively?
For the 4000

1) What are any gaskets or seals made from? Silicone, synthetic rubber, natural rubber, a combination?

2) What is the condensation plate & drip tubing made from?

3) What is the final filtration stage after distillation- granular activated carbon? If so, what is the source material, how is the carbon activated, and is the carbon mixed with a plastic to make it granular? Is the carbon replaceable with anything I choose, and is it possible to skip it and do final filtration in a carbon gravity filter instead?

4) The product page says it can do 6 gallons in 24 hours. I assume this means one pne-gallon boiler tank full in 4 hours, is that about right?

For the 7000

1) What are any gaskets or seals made from? Silicone, synthetic rubber, natural rubber, a combination?

2) What is the condensation plate & drip tubing made from?

3) What is the final filtration stage after distillation- granular activated carbon? If so, what is the source material, how is the carbon activated, and is the carbon mixed with a plastic to make it granular? Is the carbon replaceable with anything I choose, and is it possible to skip it and do final filtration in a carbon gravity filter instead?

4) What is the collection/reservoir tank  that holds the filtered/distilled water made from. How possible would it be to ‘catch” the filtered water in another container if the collection tank caused me some kind of chemical or nickel sensitivity issue?

For Both:

What are the conditions with the 100-day guarantee, if for some reason all the questions above sound good but I still can’t drink the water, will I be able to return the unit?

The Response:


Thank you for you inquiry. The Model 4000 Waterwise Boiler is made from Type 409 Stainless Steel, and All Waterwise use a high temperature food grade silicone for boiler gaskets. No latex is used in gaskets. All Condenser coils are made from Type 304 Stainless Steel. On the Model 4000, the final condensate (purified water) from the condenser drips into the Organic Coconut Shell Activated Carbon Post Filter Cup then into the glass collector. During manufacturing the Virgin Organic Coconut Husk in the cup is charred and then pressurized with steam to open the small pores of the carbon to activate it. No plastic is mixed in with the carbon in the process; the carbon is screened to get the various granular sizes needed for each particular application. All Waterwise Steam Distiller/purifiers utilize Volatile Organic Gaseous venting; the same off gassing which occurs when you turn on a hot water tap or boil a pot of water on the stove. They do not concentrate any gasses and the small amount off gassed is negligible in the air. So Post Carbon filtering is optional, is used to ensure the freshest tasting, purest water is produced, and really probably only necessary in cases where large amounts of gasses are present (like when you live next to the treatment plant) so the carbon is a secondary method to insure nothing changes the taste  of the distilled water. Since distilled water is so pure the least contaminant may give it an off taste, but some customers are quite satisfied with out using the optional post filters. The Model 4000 does make 1 gallon in 4 hours then shuts off automatically.

The Model 7000 uses the same material in the gasket, condenser coil and post filters, however the boiler is made from Type 316 Stainless Steel due to manufacturing considerations. The reservoir is made from Type 304 Stainless Steel. Changing the reservoir on the 7000 would be difficult due to the float system which turns the distiller on and off as needed to keep the reservoir full but could possibly be done, but we would not recommend it. The Model 7000 does 9 gallons in a 24 hour period and stops distilling when the float reaches the top of the reservoir.

We have had questions and concerns mentioned but no particular notifications of any adverse nickel or chemical reactions to our products that I am aware of in my 10 years here, but our 100 day money back guarantee does cover return shipping if you notify us within the 100 days that you wish to return it and we send a pre-paid label for return shipping and we do refund 100% of your money on any product returned. Simply call us and we send the label and refund your money if you’re not satisfied. For the last 40 years as a family owned and operated USA Company that does business worldwide, we do stand behind our products. If we can be of further service, please call our toll-free number below or email.

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42 thoughts on “The Water Post

  1. I seriously use only but Poland Springs and I’m ok with it not everyone is trying them all out is how you’ll find out what works for you good luck hope you find something you can handle I know it’s hard I’ve been working on myself for 5 years and still working It’s always something never a dull moment i wish it would all go away though.

    1. Hi Frances,

      Unfortunately yeah, just trying until something works is the only way to do it. Definitely avoiding the ones that are a known fail for everyone with corn allergy helps.

      Just a heads up, this post seems to have posted before it was 100% complete so please reload and check to see if there is more than what you read previously. I do have a solution that is working for me at home, just not 100% on all water everywhere, which is obviously the ideal state. Thanks so much for the good wishes. Hope one of these solutions is helpful to you as well. I have also been working on this issue for 5 years, sigh. 😦

  2. Excellent post Corn Allergy Girl– very informative, complete and useful information for those of us who deal with this terrible water sensitivity. Your work is so very valuable & greatly appreciated!

  3. Thank you for this amazing amount of information and detail!! The coating on the glass is supposed to be removable with scrubbing, I asked a friend who works with manufacturing for defense related issues. But I am not sensitive to it, so I can’t tell for sure, though I now scrub my glass jars.

    1. Thanks for the info Kim! I have tried scrubbing before to some degree although maybe not hard enough. It will probably be a while before I try any borosilicate glass again.. I’ve gotten a little tired of reacting to containers for not. If I do manage to make an unsafe container safe with scrubbing I will definitely update!!!

      1. Belatedly, I realized “scour” would be a better term. It should work on metal as well as glass (though you have a clean fix avoiding borosilicate glass). A diluted iodine or sodium metabisulfite should work. Soap probably leaves contaminated residue. Oh, and I wonder if plumbers tape, gaskets, and primer plus adhesive might be causing some issues for running water through pipes. For stainless steel, a purely mechanical attachment would be possible. You could also use a safe substance instead of a gasket or glue. I’d use fine grit sandpaper (use a file, if worried about glue on sandpaper) on the pipe, skip the primer, and use an adhesive that is safe for you. When you mentioned that there is variability in reaction to pipes, I wondered about these issues. Manufacturers and plumbers frequently slop primer and adhesives all over the insides of pipes and fittings, which would explain the gradual improvement of symptoms (friction and curing of the offensive material). I wondered this about water, too. If you still come to Maryland, let me know if you want to try some water first. Glad to send. Our deep well is combined with cleaner setups than most, thanks to copper pipe theft that meant I had to redo it ten years ago. I did it myself, so I know what is in it, which might be useful, too.

      2. I mean, I understood that you didn’t mean “just swipe at it with a washcloth a few times”. 🙂

        I suspect many or all of the things you’re discussing are problems for me. I have learned somewhat recently that pvc supply hoses are a big problem. I had assumed it was the pvc material itself but it could be the metal connectors on each end or materials used to affix the metal connectors to the supply hose. All of these are things i wouldn’t really be able to scour the insides of of course.

        Whatever the actual cause, the solution is to simply… run enough water through them that whatever it is mostly goes away. I still can’t drink directly from the PVC hose, but the carbon block filter removes whatever it is that the hose adds. After enough water has been run through it, but not before. And I do not know how much is “enough” water. We took the supply hoses that go from the wall to the sink in my last house with us when we moved, and I am trying to just never need a new supply hose that goes from the sink to the filter, although at some point I am going to have to replace it. I have not yet run enough water through the hose that is supposed to go from the filter back to the faucet- the water is always contaminated for me when it comes out of that so far. So I’m getting my drinking water directly out of the filter for now, probably forever.

        What I have is working at home, but traveling is incredibly difficult. Like, i could try your water, but then if it was okay I’d only be able to come to Maryland. And I actually don’t have a way to force water that doesn’t come through a tap through a distiller yet because of the plastic hose issue- i need some kind of pump mechanism that is only made out of safe-for-me-hoses and I haven’t yet narrowed the parameters of what is safe materialwise.

        I think what I really need to be able to travel without literally bringing my water with me in a tank (which is what I do now) is a filter that has a small enough pore size to get out all of these things regardless of what they are. However I’m not entirely sure such a filter is possible so I guess that leads me to distillation. The info you’ve provided and what I’ve discovered myself COULD lead me to making a portable distiller setup safe, although idk how i would scour out the inside of the drip tube on one of those things. Also trying to imagine myself finding a spot in an airport to plug in my water distiller and distill a bottle of aquafina into something safe. Heheh. (I do use a doctors note to travel by air with my own water but if i get stuck on a layover or in a foreign country where they don’t follow the same protocols I would end up needing to buy whatever water and just make it safe.)

        Until I get all that figured out though, I’m landlocked and checking my water under the plane with me wherever I go.

      3. I will brainstorm with colleagues on these issues to get the chem and bio aspects along with the rest. Some quick thoughts… replace pvc with silicon tubing, remove any unnecessary faucet filters (I thought I saw one screw on type on your video, not positive tho), try the well water directly out of the pressure tank valve or closest to it, try water out of the pump itself ( if you can access the pipe at the pump), or even try the water directly out of the pipe before the pump (when you remove the pump, water will remain in the pipe that leads from the well – this is a huge pain to do, however). Regarding Maryland, yes, it is not a replacement for overall travel hehehe… I thought I remembered you attending an annual festival of some kind here, that’s what I had in mind.

        If you found you could drink water from the pump or pressure tank, let me know. An all stainless, you could pre test before install, or silicon tubing might be possible direct to tap and shower (no reason to splash in what bothers you).

        At a sink, you could also run a narrower diameter pipe, to provide pressure, into the sink to avoid using water lines to the faucet. With the right connection, you could use a shorter length (easy to scrub) of silicon line directly to your filter unit. Or, maybe you’ll get lucky and be able to drink at the pressure tank or pump snd no filter needed.

        Regarding stainless steel, I wonder if the weld material bothers you sometimes. If you had stainless that worked well, you could have a custom weld. The cheaper weldings are different,

        Some descriptions make me wonder if mold or biofilms (which could be collecting allergens and sporadically releasing them) in the pipes and housing are to blame.

        Portable water cleaner sounds needed. Will brainstorm and report back.

      4. Oh yeah, I forgot to mention that I already tried silicone hoses, a few kinds. Platinum cured medical grade. Major reactions. That was before I discovered that the “unsafe” PVC hoses became “safe” if enough water was run through them so it’s possible the silicone hoses could become safe if enough water was run through them as well. “Enough” is more than 50 gallons though as I’m quite sure I ran at least that much through them while testing.

        I did try my mom’s well water directly out of the pump and that was a no, but her pump was also rusty and i think the tank was new. I’ll work on collecting some data about her well.

      5. Curious if you tested the well water for the hundreds of compounds testable nowadays. Also, do you know how deep it is? I am trying to help a neighbor figure out her health, so we have been doing much well discussion as of late…maybe something will arise

      6. No lab testing yet. If you have any referrals to specific companies I’d love them, but the main blocker here is just my time and energy. Weirdly, my water problems are not actually my highest priority. You would think they would be super urgent but.. they’re solved well enough for now. That said, this mystery is one that does need to be researched for more than just my sake. So I appreciate your suggestions and will get data as fast as I can. Which is to say, very slowly.

      7. Yeah, I hear you regarding time and energy expenditure, alas. Glad water issue is not urgent now. I forgot to mention pressure tank liners – plastic ones, glass (could always swish light acid before install or after), and corrosion of unlined. Wishing you luck. And some spare time to put your feet up for the holidays! Sip some of that ☕️ I sent

      8. Oh, I forgot, no specific testing company referral, but I may have one after my neighbors finish their water crisis. I found Evian bottled in glass is good for me, btw.

  4. Thanks so very much for sharing this very important info. So much time and effort goes into researching for safe options available, and we’re so appreciative that you share these vital resources! You change lives, girl 🙂

  5. Thank you for the good information and the time you take to put together the information on this very helpful website.. I haven’t had any problems with Berkey so far. Actually, it is the only filter I’ve been able to use so far. I can’t use the ceramic filters though as I react to the silver. We do use the fluoride filters. I don’t know for certain if it takes the fluoride out or not, but it does improve the taste, and the fluoride filters do fill up in about a year, so they are taking out something. I do react to various types of bottled water. What do you know about Deer Park in the clear bottles? So far Deer Park spring water and Aldi’s own brand of spring water in the smaller bottles are the only bottled waters I can tolerate on a regular basis.

  6. Do you know how this info might translate into a whole-house filtration system? We bought a house on a well with too much iron. It’s a bummer because well water should be the best case scenario! I’m not one who has had to worry about water before but I don’t want to CAUSE myself a problem with a bad system. We don’t want to only treat at the sink because the iron isn’t good for the appliances etc.

    1. I’d suggest only filtering what you need. Filters rapidly breed biofilms. Then running filtered water through pipes mean you pick up whatever is in the pipes more easily. If drinking water is an issue, just filter that. If needed, a separate shower filter. You need smaller filters and setups that can be cheaply replaced, if possible. If you can reach your pump, I’d suggest looking at it and learning about your own setup, not trusting a professional. Is the iron in the water or from a corroding cast iron pipe in the ground? If it is corroding, why is the PH of the water so harsh? There are water tests for a few hundred variables, highly recommend. Test straight from the pump and from the house, if you need to figure out where the contaminated is sourced. Also, if you don’t have a deep well, and your land is near former or current farms, people, or your own septic, take that into account. At the end, it is cheaper and cleaner for some folks to drink mineral water in glass. Not that I like that solution.

  7. My daughter has a coconut allergy, and we need a whole house filter to remove iron. I’ve read the above comment and it’s recommendations, but do you have any advice on a whole house filter that does not contain coconut?

  8. I seem to react to Penta ultra-purified water, which comes in BPA/BPS-free bottles. Any idea why that would be? (I have suspected MCAS. I react to most foods and all toothpaste. Mostly brain symptoms.)

  9. Hi your website has helped me a lot especially when I was in the hospital but I was wondering if it is tolarable for people with an intolerance to corn to eat foods cooked in normal water.(Like pasta or potatoes)

    1. Some people are fine with this, depending on the person’s sensitivity and also the quality of their water source. Just about everyone with a moderately sensitive corn allergy will react to some waters, so I always encourage people who are currently tolerating tap water to have a ‘back up’ of a filter or bottled water for use when traveling or if their local water quality changes.

      1. I enjoyed your posts but after reading it all I guess I was wishing for an answer is it here? In the end what system are you using, I do drink aquafina water and I have terrible reactions the throat and chest burning and throat issues I have searched for weeks now on line and many companies have switched to coconut filters as I also have that allergy as well as immune issues so I am sensitive to many things I just want a pure water filter so in the end what one do I want? poland springs I was told to avoid as its just spring water and one time I got gastroenteritis from it any suggestion for water filter with no coconut would be helpful

      2. I mean, the answer is drink the water you don’t have reactions to. If you read the post I do say which system I personally use, but I can’t really guarantee that’s the system you will tolerate. And I do say in the beginning of the post under the “tl;dr” section to about Aquafina and try crystal geyser. You may not tolerate the crystal geyser but many people with corn allergy do well with it.

  10. Hello, first I wanted to thank you for all that you’re doing. I recently discovered you when I became allergic to water and couldn’t figure out why. Very long story short I was diagnosed with MCAS. After reading your blog about water sensitivity, I started drinking Fiji water which has been amazing (it’s the only water I can drink). As you know, Fiji becomes very expensive and I’m upset about the amount of plastic I’m going through, so I’m looking for another solution. Per your suggestion, I ordered the Aquaversa counter top model, it arrived yesterday and sadly I am also sensitive to it. I’m wondering if it is the PVC tubing as you described in your blog. What I wanted to tell you (you may already know) is that I called the company and they have a stainless steel spout now that you can attach to the top of the purifier so the filtered water no longer has to run through the PVC hosing. It just comes directly out of the top of the purifier and there is only one in-going tube. I’m praying that this solves my problem and yours if you weren’t aware of the new spout. Thank you again for being so dedicated to helping others.

    1. hey! I’m so glad that was helpful!

      I did know about the stainless steel spout, but since I’ve had massive problems with tolerating stainless such as in the berkey, I hadn’t gotten to the point of wanting to add a new piece to my aquaversa. I should order one to try out with my next filter replacement though.

      Did you get to check out the video of how I ended up solving at least the outflow PVC hose problem? I basically just turned the whole damn unit upside down, lol. It’s a bit annoying though as it dribbles due to gravity for some time after you turn off the faucet. And it also doesn’t solve the issue that the inflow PVC hose was and is a problem until enough water has run through it, and the filter does NOT get everything out from the PVC inflow hose, it just reduces the amount. Same problem with the supply line underneath the sink that goes from the wall up to the faucet – I literally take that out of the wall when I move homes and take it with me.

      I don’t know how MUCH water has to go through those PVC hoses before they are okay, because it kind of just happened naturally as I was desperately experimenting with what would make my water filter work and sending my spouse on clandestine midnight excursions to fill my camping tanks with water from my old rental home from the exterior hose faucet because I had already exceeded the supply I had brought with me to drink while I figured out safe water in the new spot. (Fortunately no one was living at the old house when we were doing that.)

      Anyway sorry you have to deal with this same crap but glad I could help. LMK how it goes and if I can help you troubleshot- everything we discuss here will help someone else in the future.

      1. Ohhhhhh also, something that I do when I move homes that may help you with your switch from Fiji to filtered:

        The filter gets *most* of the contaminants out that bother me, but not all. Based on the fact that my original safe water was friggin tap water with chlorine and fluoride, it is clear to mr that what my body accepts without reaction is not really based in whether it’s healthy or not, but rather just what it’s already used to.

        So when I move homes, I bring a couple camping tanks of my old safe water with me. Then in the new home, I hook up the filter including replacing the supply hose under the counter with my old one from the last house, and drink mostly my old safe water with maybe 1 tbsp of new water mixed in. I try to do a dilution that does not cause any noticeable reaction. I then increase the amount of new to old water daily. Sometimes I will react a little but I try to keep it just under the line of something that requires medication to deal with. By the time I get to 50/50 old and new water mixed, i can usually go up to 100% new water. I’ll often have joint pain or other long-term reaction symptoms for a few weeks but not much more, and eventually that fades.

        Note that I have tried to do this before with totally unfiltered tap water and it has been a miserable failure, so it does not work for all contaminants, just some. Also I am very seat-of-the-pants with what level dilutions I do and the speed at which I increase. You could go absolutely wild and do serious serial dilution if you wanted and start at homeopathic doses and titrate up. Let me know if this is something you want to try out and I can send some more links on the principle of what I’m doing and how serial dilution works.

      2. Hey there! This water thing is so insane. You have an incredible amount of patience to go through all of this and document it for everyone. Your efforts are greatly appreciated.

        Like you, I cannot tolerate Berkey water. Not sure if it’s the filter or the stainless steel or both. However I don’t have any detectable reaction to any other stainless steel so maybe it’s just the filter. I received the spout attachment yesterday and hooked it up. I didn’t have a strong adverse reaction to it like I do with other waters or like I did when the PVC outflow hose was connected, however, I did have some reaction. Sometimes when I introduce something new I will react initially and then my body will adjust and get used to it. Other times my neurological symptoms will gradually get worse and I will have to discontinue use. I’m praying I will adjust to this because I’m desperate.

        I did see your video where you turned the filter upside down. That was my next step if this stainless steel spout doesn’t work. I didn’t realize that the in flowing PVC hose also caused problems… thought the filter would take care of that. After reading your post last night I woke up this morning with a great idea to disconnect the in flowing hose from the filter and run hot water through it into the sink for like 30 minutes to try and remove some of the contaminants. Thank goodness I called the Multipure company before doing it, with a general question about whether or not I can run hot water through the filter for cooking. They informed me that hot water will rupture the hose and completely destroy the filter. They also told me that the hose is made from polypropylene. You’ve mentioned that the hose becomes more tolerable over time…I know you don’t know exactly how long but can you give an approximation? Are we talking a few weeks…a month…a year? Trying to decide if I should just let water run through it for while to try and reduce contamination, but if we’re talking years… Also, why did you have a need to replace your old hose? Does it deteriorate over time? I believe you also mentioned investigating surgical grade hosing…were you ever able to find anything? The customer service rep at Multipure informed me that the hose can be swapped out if we find something that we’re not sensitive to. Please forgive me if I’m asking questions that you’ve already answered in your blog or videos.

        I just saw your suggestion of mixing Fiji with the filtered water and gradually increasing it. My daughter had suggested that with the Berkey, but I read that most people are sensitive to Berkey, so I didn’t bother. I’m always so “all or nothing,” but I will definitely try this!

        Thank you so much for helping with this…about to go test a glass of water!

        Take care.


  11. Hi,

    I wanted to double check with you regarding whether propur filters contain NRL. Specifically the black washer piece that is screwed into the underside of the filter. I know you said above that it is latex free but I’ve seen this piece referred to as “rubber” in their instruction manual. My baby has many extreme sensitivities including corn and latex and we haven’t been able to find any safe waters for him yet. I emailed propur but have not heard back from them in months. any details and insights would be appreciated. Thanks!

    1. Hi Stella. I was cc’ed on an email thread a lot of years ago where every rubber ring and seal on the filter was vetted and did not contain NRL. Weirdly, the filter units ship with a non-slip mat for the base that IS made of NRL and we hadn’t thought to ask about that. If you buy their gravity filter containers and don’t just make your own to put the filters in, you’ll need someone who isn’t allergic to latex to open the package and remove the latex slip pad and decontaminate the other parts before use.

      Here’s what I was able to dig up from 2017. This is the Propur G2 filter. The following was written by a rep from propurusa named Steve.

      ” ProOne G2.0 adhesive contains no latex.

      Silicone washers for spigot contain no latex.

      The washers for both the filters and spigot are made of silicone rubber.

      The plastic base of the filters is made of ABS plastic.

      The adhesive used is FDA food grade adhesive. I don’t have access to the specific chemical content of this adhesive.

      There’s a nylon ball inside the spigot.

      The spigot does go through a polishing process. I can only assume a compound is used during this polishing process. I’m unable to get specific info as to the chemical content of this compound.

      There may be other chemicals that components which make up our gravity systems touch that I’m not aware of.”

      I noted in my post above but the person I was doing this research with/for and I BOTH had issues with the polished stainless steel of the gravity filters. I ended up using the Multipure i mentioned above and we ended up making a glass gravity filter for the friend. It involved drilling holes in glass, which is not as hard as it sounds but does require a specific kind of drill bit and some wrist strength because the drill torques a bit as it goes through the other side of the glass. Just something to consider in part of your water research for your kiddo- it could be the materials it’s being housed in or the pipes it’s running through. PVC tubing has been a big problem for me, and silicone too. PVC seems to eventually stop leeching into the water after a lot of gallons are run through it. I’ve never managed to make silicone tubing safe for me, which is weird, I would expect it to be quite inert. This isn’t a corn problem for me and I don’t think it’s a latex problem, it’s just some MCAS thing.

      1. Thank you for your reply! We have made our own glass housing for the filter. We use spring water that we collect ourselves and distill the filtered water in glass flasks afterwards. My son still reacts to it but it has been the best scenario we have tried so far after a whole year of trying all kinds of different waters. I suspect he reacts to silicone too but its unavoidable and just one washer…i’m guessing all filters will add something to the water that makes him react but the basic glass distillation set up I have going might not remove enough from the water to make it safe without the filter either…we tried stainless steel distillers and he reacts to them… any other ideas would be welcomed!

  12. Stella, I would appreciate any info you can share on your glass distillation setup. I’m working on figuring out a glass setup for a friend/client. The distilled water needs to only touch glass.

    Thank you very much in advance for your precious time!

  13. How do you stay hydrated if you can’t drink water? I believe I am reacting to the minerals in spring water. However, distilled and reverse osmosis water burn my stomach. This is an awful predicament.

  14. I have the same issues as you, can hardly drink any water at all. I’ve tried lots of filters, including Berkey. Its the Berkey filter that makes me ill, not the metal or plastic container. I have a reaction to all bottled water, got worse over the years. Tap water is only ok if the chlorine is low. Recently diagnosed with MCAS.

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