Are the Sodium Levels in Water Softeners Safe?
By Lana Bandoim
Hard water is a problem for many households, so they install water softeners. The sodium in a water softener replaces the calcium and magnesium found in hard water. There are multiple benefits to using a softener, but the sodium levels are a concern for some people. Should you be worried about the sodium levels?
Sodium Daily Dose
The American Heart Association recommends that adults do not consume more than 2,300 mg of sodium per day. This is about one teaspoon of salt. However, most adults eat more sodium than the recommended amount because it is in many processed foods. If you have high blood pressure or other medical problems, then the recommended daily dose is lower.
Sodium is in a variety of foods. Eggs, dairy and some vegetables have natural sodium. Cured meats, canned food, fish and soups are also big sources of sodium in most people’s diets.
Sodium in Water Softeners
The amount of sodium in water softeners can vary. In addition, the hardness of the water has an impact on how much sodium ends up in your tap water. This means that water that has more magnesium and calcium will require more sodium to soften.
The sodium ions replace minerals such as magnesium and calcium in the water. This reduces stains in sinks, bathtubs and other areas that minerals can create. Water softeners also reduce the scales and accumulation of deposits in pipes. This can prolong the life of some appliances in the home. In addition, people claim that water softeners make their hair shiny and softer.
Sodium Levels and Health
Sodium levels can vary in the water, so your home may have more or less sodium depending on the type of water softener. The Environmental Protection Agency reports that the average water softener adds 50 mg of sodium to one liter of water. This is well below the recommended 2,300 mg of sodium per day. However, people who have to control salt in their diet need to be aware of the extra sodium from their water softeners.
For most people, the sodium levels in water softeners are not an issue. If you are concerned, talk to a doctor and find alternative ways to deal with hard water. You may want to use a different system to soften the water such as one that relies on potassium chloride instead of sodium. Another option is to use a water purification system.
To learn more about your health and wellness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Sunset Hills, Mo.