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EPIC is the original manufacturer for bottled water dispensers and gravity water filters as seen in catalogs such as GAIAM, Real Goods, The Wooden Spoon, Lehman's Hardware, Solutions, Seventh Avenue, Good Catalog, The Sharper Image, National Geographic and more.

Epic Water Systems is the Only Doulton Distributor that can make a "Lead Removal" claim. Most of our products are hand painted. And we provide one year filter guarantee, and no questions asked!
Contact us for your filter replacements and accessories:
EPIC WATER SYSTEMS
14111 King Road
Frisco, Texas 75034
972-712-6004, Fax 972-712-2192

(for email contacts, use the «Contact us» menu)
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EPIC WATER SYSTEMS
14111 King Road
Frisco, Texas 75034
972-712-6004, Fax 972-712-2192
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FAQ
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS: MEDICINE, BIOLOGY, CHEMISTRY
medicine
What Is Cryptosporidiosis? Cryptosporidiosis is a disease caused by the waterborne protozoan cryptosporidium. Symptoms of the disease include vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal cramps, and fever usually lasting one to two weeks. In immunosuppressed patients, such as people with AIDS, the disease can be fatal. Outbreaks are usually caused by drinking water that has been contaminated with human sewage or animal waste. Cryptosporidium sickened some 400,000 people and caused more than 60 deaths in Milwaukee in 1993 when it contaminated the public water system.
What Is Giardiasis? Giardiasis is an infection of the small intestine by the protozoan Giardia lamblia. Predominant symptoms are diarrhea and flatulence, but about two thirds of infected individuals develop no symptoms. In some cases the infection becomes chronic. Often no treatment is necessary, but antimicrobials (metronidazole and quinacrine) are sometimes prescribed. The organism is spread via the fecal-oral route. Considered a tropical disease, giardiasis is becoming more common in developed countries.
What Is Cholera? Cholera or Asiatic cholera is an acute infectious disease caused by strains of the bacterium Vibrio cholerae. The bacteria, which are found in fecal-contaminated food and water and in raw or undercooked seafood, produce a toxin that affects the intestines, causing diarrhea, severe fluid and electrolyte loss, and, if untreated, death. Treatment consists of administration of glucose and electrolyte solutions; vaccines are of limited effectiveness. The disease remains prevalent in regions of the Third World where public sanitation is poor.
What Is Typhoid Fever? Typhoid Fever is an acute generalized infection caused by Salmonella Typhosa. The main sources of infection are contaminated water or milk and food handlers who are carriers. Symptoms include high fever, rose-colored spots on the abdomen and chest, and diarrhea or constipation. Complications, especially in untreated patients, may be numerous. The disease is treated with the antibiotic chloramphenicol; typhoid vaccination is a valuable preventive measure.
What Is Dysentery? Dysentery is the inflammation of the intestines, characterized by frequent passage of feces, usually with blood and mucus. Amoebic dysentery is caused by infestation by the ameba Entamoeba histolytica. Bacillary dysentery is most often caused by the Shigella bacillus. Spread by fecal contamination of food and water, both forms are common where sanitation is poor. Treatment of bacillary dysentery is with a broad-spectrum antibiotic; a combination of an antibiotic and an amoebicide is necessary for successful treatment of amoebic dysentery.
What Is Diphtheria? Diphtheria is an acute, contagious disease caused by the Corynebacterium diphtheriae. It is spread through respiratory droplets of infected individuals. The bacteria, lodging in the mucous membranes of the throat, secrete a potent toxin, which causes tissue destruction and the formation of a gray membrane in the upper respiratory tract that can loosen and cause asphyxiation. The toxin may also spread via the blood and damage tissues elsewhere in the body. Diphtheria can be prevented by vaccination.
What Is Pneumonia? Pneumonia is an acute infection of one or both lungs that can be caused by a bacterium, usually the pneumococcus bacterium, virus, fungus, or other organism. Symptoms include high fever, pain in the chest, difficulty in breathing, coughing, and sputum. Viral pneumonia is generally milder than the bacterial form. Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia, which is caused by a parasitic protozoan, generally only occurs in patients whose immune system is suppressed, as in AIDS or leukemia. Antibiotics are used to treat bacterial pneumonia and have greatly reduced the mortality rate of the disease.
What Is Tuberculosis? Tuberculosis is a contagious disease caused by the bacterium Mycobacterium tuberculosis, identified by Robert Koch in 1882. Also known as TB and consumption, the disease primarily affects the lungs, although the intestines, joints, and other parts of the body may also become infected. It is spread mainly by inhalation, occasionally by ingestion through contaminated foods (e.g., unpasteurized milk) and utensils. Symptoms as the disease progresses include fever, weakness, loss of appetite, and, in the pulmonary form, cough and sputum. The incidence of tuberculosis—once affecting millions—greatly decreased in many developed countries with improved sanitation, early detection through X rays and skin tests, and antituberculosis drugs, but in the late 1980s the number of cases began to rise, particularly among AIDS patients, the poor, and immigrants from developing countries. Another troubling development was the spread of strains resistant to isoniazid, the drug most often used in treatment. A vaccine, Bacillus Calmette Guérin (BCG), that confers partial, temporary immunity is given by the World Health Organization to high-risk children.
What Is Hepatitis? Hepatitis is any of several viral inflammations of the liver that cause nausea, fever, weakness, loss of appetite, and, usually, jaundice. Five viral forms have been identified. The most common are: hepatitis A (infectious), spread through contaminated food or water; and hepatitis B (serum), usually transmitted by sexual activity, transfusion of infected blood or transplantation of infected tissue, or use of shared syringes by drug addicts or of poorly sterilized medical and dental instruments. A third type, hepatitis C, is also transmitted by contaminated blood transfusions and tissue transplants. Although rarer, hepatitis C is more likely to become chronic and to result in cirrhosis. Hepatitis can also occur as a complication of other diseases or as a toxic reaction to alcohol, drugs, or other chemicals. Vaccination for hepatitis B is recommended for all infants and others at risk for the virus; a hepatitis A vaccine has also been developed. Chronic hepatitis B and C may be treated with interferon.
What Is Influenza? Influenza is an acute, highly contagious disease caused by one of several constantly changing viruses. The disease usually begins abruptly with fever, muscular aches, and inflammation of the respiratory mucous membranes; its more severe complications are pneumonia and bronchitis. Influenza epidemics have decimated large populations; an outbreak in 1918 killed more than 20 million people. An injection with influenza virus vaccine can confer immunity to a particular strain.
What Is Polio? Poliomyelitis or polio is an acute viral infection that, in its severe form, invades the nervous system and causes paralysis. In its mild form the disease produces mild symptoms (e.g., low-grade fever, malaise), or none. Also known as infantile paralysis, it is found worldwide, occurring mainly in children. The Salk vaccine (injected killed-virus vaccine) and the Sabin vaccine (oral live-virus vaccine) have greatly reduced the incidence of polio, nearly eradicating it from developed nations. In 1985 the World Health Organization began an effort to eradicate polio worldwide by 2000. The last reported case of polio in the Americas was in 1991.
biology
What Is A Giardia? Giardia is one of any of various flagellated, usually nonpathogenic protozoa of the genus Giardia that may be parasitic in the intestines of vertebrates including human beings and most domestic animals.
What Is A Cryptosporidium? Cryptosporidium is a waterborne protozoan that causes the disease cryptosporidiosis.
What Is A Micron? A unit of length equal to one millionth of a meter.
What Is E. Coli? Escherichia coli or E. coli is a common bacterium that normally inhabits the intestinal tracts of humans and animals but can cause infection in other parts of the body, especially the urinary tract. One strain, sometimes transmitted in hamburger meat, can cause serious infection resulting in diarrhea, anemia, kidney failure, and death. E. coli is widely used in laboratory research, especially in genetic engineering
What Is Vibrio Cholerae? Vibrio Cholerae is a short, motile, S-shaped or comma-shaped bacteria of the genus Vibrio and causes cholera.
What Is Salmonella? Salmonella is any one of various rod-shaped bacteria of the genus Salmonella, many of which are pathogenic, causing food poisoning, typhoid, and paratyphoid fever in human beings and other infectious diseases in domestic animals. Salmonella Typhosa causes typhoid.
What Is Shigella? Shigella is one of any of various nonmotile, rod-shaped bacteria of the genus Shigella, which includes some species that cause dysentery.
What Is Bacteria? Bacteria are unicellular, generally microscopic organisms having three typical forms: rod-shaped (bacillus), round (coccus), and spiral (spirillum). The cytoplasm of most bacteria—the oldest life-forms on earth—is surrounded by a cell wall; the nucleus contains DNA but lacks the nuclear membrane found in higher plants and animals. Many forms are motile, propelled by movements of a filamentlike appendage (flagellum). Reproduction is chiefly by transverse fission (mitosis), but conjugation (transfer of nucleic acid between two cells) and other forms of genetic recombination also occur. Some bacteria (aerobes) can grow only in the presence of free or atmospheric oxygen; others (anaerobes) cannot grow in its presence. Facultative anaerobes can grow with or without oxygen; obligate anaerobes are poisoned by it. In unfavorable conditions, many species form resistant spores. Different types of bacteria are capable of innumerable chemical metabolic transformations, e.g., photosynthesis and chemosynthesis. Bacteria are both useful and harmful to humans. Some are used for soil enrichment with leguminous plants, in alcohol and cheese fermentation, to decompose organic wastes and clean up toxic waste sites, and in genetic engineering. Others, called pathogens, cause a number of plant and animal diseases, including cholera, syphilis, typhoid fever, and tetanus.
What Is A Protozoan? Protozoan are members of an informal grouping (sometimes considered a subkingdom) of microscopic one-celled protists. Most are solitary, but a few live in simple colonies. The majority are aquatic, living in fresh or salt water; some live in soil. Despite their small size and lack of multicellular organization, protozoans carry on all the metabolic functions of higher animals: digestion, excretion, respiration, and coordination of movement. Some species can photosynthesize, and many are parasitic, often causing diseases in humans and other animals.
chemistry
What Is Hydrogen Sulfide? A colorless, flammable poisonous gas, H2S, having a characteristic rotten-egg odor and used as an antiseptic, a bleach, and a reagent.
What Is Chlorine? Chlorine is a greenish-yellow, poisonous gas with a disagreeable, suffocating odor. Chlorine is soluble in water; chlorine water has strong oxidizing properties. Chlorine is used in water purification, and as a disinfectant and antiseptic. Chlorinated hydrocarbons (e.g., DDT) are long-lasting pesticides and have become troublesome environmental pollutants. Many poison gases contain chlorine.
What Is Lead? Lead is silver-blue, dense, relatively soft, and malleable, with low tensile strength. Lead compounds (all poisonous) include tetraethyl lead (a gasoline antiknock additive now used mainly in developing countries) and oxides used in mordants and pigments. Continued exposure to lead—through inhalation of fumes or sprays and ingestion of food containing lead —can result in a cumulative chronic disease called lead poisoning. It was once a serious occupational hazard, but protective equipment and other precautionary measures have reduced its incidence. Lead poisoning remains a serious problem in children, who are more susceptible to it. Causes may include ingestion of paint chips from peeling walls or pipes or inhalation of contaminated dust during home renovation.
What Is Cadmium? Cadmium is a silver-white, lustrous, malleable, ductile metal. Its major use is as an electroplated coating on iron and steel to prevent corrosion; it is also used in nickel-cadmium batteries.
What Is Radon? Radon is a gaseous radioactive element, discovered by Ernest Rutherford in 1899. A colorless, chemically unreactive inert gas, it is the densest gas known. Highly radioactive (emitting alpha rays), it is used chiefly in the treatment of cancer by radiotherapy. In homes and other buildings in some areas of the U.S., radon produced by the radioactive decay of uranium-238 present in soil and rock can reach levels regarded as dangerous, but the seriousness of the problem is unclear.
What Is Mercury? Mercury or quicksilver is a metallic element, known to the ancient Chinese, Hindus, and Egyptians. Silver-white and mirrorlike, it is the only common metal existing as a liquid at ordinary temperatures. Mercury is used in barometers, thermometers, electric switches, mercury-vapor lamps, and certain batteries; a mercury alloy, called an amalgam, is employed in dentistry. Mercury compounds have been used as insecticides, in rat poisons, and as disinfectants. Not easily discharged from the body, the metal is a cumulative poison; its ingestion in more than trace amounts in contaminated food or its absorption by the skin or mucous membranes results in mercury poisoning, which can cause skin disorders, hemorrhage, liver and kidney damage, and gastrointestinal disturbances. Workers in many industries have been affected, and mercury pollution of rivers, lakes, and oceans, usually through the discharge of industrial wastes, has become a serious environmental problem. Most mercury pesticides have been withdrawn from the U.S. market, and in 1972 more than 90 nations approved an international ban on the dumping of mercury in the ocean, where the metal has tended to work its way into the food cycle of aquatic life and to reach dangerous levels in certain food fish.
What Is Asbestos? Asbestos is a common name for any of a group of fibrous silicate minerals resistant to acid and fire. Asbestos usually occurs as veins in rocks and seems to be a product of metamorphism. Chrysotile asbestos (H4Mg3Si2O9), a form of serpentine, the most important commercial asbestos, has curly fibers. Amphibole, the other main type, has needlelike fibers. Asbestos is produced chiefly in Canada; asbestos products include brake and clutch linings, water pipe, and roofing materials. Studies have shown that amphibole asbestos particles in the air can cause lung cancer and the lung disease asbestosis, and many former and all new uses of asbestos in the U.S. have been banned.
What Is Phenol? A caustic, poisonous, white crystalline compound, C6H5OH, derived from benzene and used in resins, plastics, and pharmaceuticals and in dilute form as a disinfectant and antiseptic. Also called carbolic acid.
What Is Benzene? Benzene is a (C6H6), colorless, flammable toxic liquid with a strong odor. A hydrocarbon, benzene is the parent substance of the aromatic compounds. It consists of an unusually stable hexagonal ring of six carbon atoms, each of which is bonded to a hydrogen atom. Derivative compounds include phenol and aniline. Obtained from coal tar and petroleum, benzene and its derivatives are used in making dyes, drugs, and plastics. Benzene has been identified as a carcinogen.
What Is A Hydrocarbon? A hydrocarbon is any organic compound composed solely of carbon and hydrogen. Hydrocarbons include aliphatic compounds, in which the carbon atoms form a chain, and aromatic compounds, in which the carbon atoms form stable rings. The aliphatic group is divided into alkanes (e.g., methane and propane), alkenes, and alkynes (e.g., acetylene), depending on whether the molecules of the compounds contain, respectively, only single bonds, one or more carbon-carbon double bonds, or one or more carbon-carbon triple bonds. Petroleum distillation yields useful fractions that are hydrocarbon mixtures, e.g., natural gas, gasoline, kerosene, home heating oil, lubricating oils, paraffin, and asphalt. Coal tar is also a source of hydrocarbons. Hydrocarbon derivatives contain additional elements, e.g., oxygen, and include alcohols, aldehydes, ketones, carboxylic acids, and halocarbons.
What Is A Aromatic Compound? An aromatic compound is any of a large class of organic compounds including benzene and compounds that resemble benzene in chemical properties. Aromatic compounds contain unusually stable ring structures, often made up of six carbon atoms arranged hexagonally. Some of the compounds, however, have rings with more or fewer atoms, not necessarily all carbon. Furan, for example, has a ring with four atoms of carbon and one of oxygen. Also, two or more rings can be fused, as in naphthalene. The characteristic properties of the class, notably the stability of the compounds, derive from the fact that aromatic rings permit the sharing of some electrons by all the atoms of the ring, which increases the strength of the bonds.
What Is A Carcinogen? A carcinogen is any agent that causes cancer in animal tissue. Ubiquitous indoors and out, in the workplace and at home, carcinogens can be inorganic, such as asbestos and arsenic, or organic, such as certain molds and viruses. Others include various types of radiation, such as ultraviolet and X rays. Carcinogens can be inhaled (radon and tobacco smoke), ingested (nitrites), or absorbed through the skin (DDT and other pesticides). Using a procedure called the Ames test, potential carcinogens can be tested for their propensity to damage DNA and cause mutations. It has been predicted that 30% of Americans will die of cancer caused in part by environmental carcinogens before they reach the age of 74.
What Is DDT? DDT is a colorless contact insecticide, C14H9Cl5, toxic to human beings and animals when swallowed or absorbed through the skin. It has been banned in the United States for most uses since 1972.
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