Tips for Taps Blog
Tap Score now shows more detailed information about the health effects of chemicals that may be in your water. For each metal, organic chemical or other parameter detected, you’ll see a list of potentially affected organs in your body, with links to the supporting scientific research.
Your Personal Environment, Your Personal Health
Tap Score is the first environmental health testing and analysis tool designed for individuals and families who want to test, analyze, and understand the long term impact of their everyday environment on their personal health.
We offer you professional chemical and biological laboratory testing in a clear and user-friendly way. Clients receive testing materials from us in the mail as well as professional support to improve household air, water and other environmental risk factors. Tap Score gives you insight into the health of your personal environment and then helps you improve it.
Tap Score Health Analysis
For every chemical and biological parameter that we test for your Tap Score Report, we’ve gathered data and research on its known health effects. This means analyzing public health data and toxicology / epidemiology reports produced from trusted sources like public health associations, government institutions, universities, NGOs and other related health agencies.
Take a look at your latest Tap Score Water Quality Report!
We have polished up our home treatment suggestions, added information about the health of your pipes and fixtures, and perhaps most importantly of all, we introduced a new feature called, Total Organ Effects.
The following sections describe Tap Score’s new Total Organ Effects feature:
- What Are Total Organ Effects?
- What Will You See on Your Tap Score Report?
- How Can You Find Out More?
- Why Is this Cool?
- Which Organs Does Tap Score Track?
- Where Do We Get Our Data From?
- What’s Next for Organ Effects and Tap Score?
What Are Total Organ Effects?
One common reason why a chemical may be regulated in US drinking water is because science shows it may pose a serious health impact. Experts debate (sometimes for decades) how to interpret available research about the chemical’s effect on your body. Eventually they determine what a “safe” level of exposure to that chemical might be, although this sometimes changes as new research appears.
For hundreds of water-borne contaminants, we dug up these studies. Then we listed what the prevailing research showed. Namely, for each chemical we listed the most severe and well known health effects as well as the less severe and lesser understood human health effects.
What You’ll See on Your Tap Score Report
After testing your water, when you look at your Tap Score Report you will see in each chemicals’ health section, the corresponding images of all organs affected.
When the effect on a given organ is well researched and described by reliable scientific sources, we color the organ icon purple. In cases when there is less evidence of the contaminant affecting that organ directly, the image is colored gray.
A well-defined case includes dose-response relationships for which multiple Tier 1 research institutions have published toxicology and/or epidemiology analysis for a particular contaminant. A poorly-defined case might have either no advanced research available or might have substantial controversy among research papers.
How Do I Find Out More?
When you click on the link that appears below the list of organs for any given contaminant, you are taken to a document that provides more detailed information about how that specific contaminant effects that particular organ.
Why Is this Cool?
It can be very time consuming to parse through decades of health research on contaminant toxicology and epidemiology. We've done this for you. Now every Tap Score Report gives you a quick look at your water quality’s bodily impacts and, for those who crave more detail, the research is laid out right in front of you. We’re also happy to answer any specific questions you may have if you don’t see what you’re looking for in our research.
The Total Organ Effects feature is ultimately a big time saver and helps you understand why different chemicals are safe or unsafe in your water. Here are the three reasons we are working hard to grow out this new feature:
- Simplify: Total Organ Effects make it easy to quickly scan your water quality report for chemicals potentially affecting an organ you are concerned about.
- Save Time - Total Organ Effects will save you hours spent researching public health data. You can click an image and see the relevant research in one place.
- Aggregate - Total Organ Effects will eventually grow to show you the total burden of many different environmental risk factors in aggregate.
Which Total Organs Does Tap Score Track?
We have begun by categorizing all water and environmental health effects into 15 categories of human organs and related body effects: adrenal glands, blood, developmental, endocrine system, eyes, gastrointestinal system, heart, immune system, kidneys, liver, lungs, nervous systems, reproductive system, skeletal, and thyroid. We chose these 15 because they reflect the majority of scientific research into human health and environmental toxicology and epidemiology.
Where Does Our Health Data Come from?
The health data comes from a myriad of sources, ranging from Federal EPA Reports, to State Health Department Reports, to university and NGO research and even International Agencies. In general, we look to the lowest concentrations for your health guidance values. We figure that you’re better safe than sorry, and if the European Union has a tighter health standard for something than your state does, we think you should know that!
As with all other components of Tap Score we will continue to improve upon the Total Organ Effects feature. In addition to adding more chemicals to our database, we are working to improve the visualization of each chemicals’ concentration-based organ impact.