If you are concerned about chemicals and hormones in the water coming out of your tap, you may want to invest in an inexpensive home water quality test kit . The Good Housekeeping Research Institute (GHRI) teamed up with the Water Sciences Laboratory at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln to test four popular models to see just how accurate they really are. First, lab researchers tested the kits using Lincoln, NE, tap water that had been analyzed for contaminants and water-quality conditions. Next, they spiked water samples with carefully measured concentrations of two herbicides (atrazine and simazine), nitrate, copper, lead, bacteria, and other common contaminants. They then followed each test kit's instructions — as you would at home — to see how they performed. These water test kits found many of the contaminants but most missed finding common contaminants like free chlorine, iron and nitrates, all of which can be damaging if contained in high concentrations.
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