What’s Wrong with Bottled Water?

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It may be convenient to carry a bottle of water when on the go, but there is a huge impact on the environment that many are not aware of.  For starters, we use millions of barrels of oil and billions of gallons of water every year just to make the plastic water bottles.  Plus, a tremendous amount of energy is wasted transporting bottled water when we have access to clean water from our kitchen faucets.

Bottled water may seem more pure or cleaner than tap water, but it is not.  The FDA actually has stricter rules for tap water than it does for bottled water.   Tap water is tested more frequently.  And since 40% of bottled water, including ones labeled “Spring Water”, comes from municipal tap water water, it’s simply a waste of money and resources to purchase bottled water.

Water is often bottled in #1 PET or PETE bottles (polyethylene terephthalate), which may leach DEHA, a known carcinogen, into the water.  Plastics numbered 3, 6 and 7 (polycarbonate plastic, not corn-based plastic as some #7s are labeled) contain Bisphenol A (BPA), which is suspected of causing neurological and behavioral problems in fetuses and children.  BPA mimics the female hormone estrogen, which may have detrimental affects, including cancer, on the brain, breast and prostate, the female reproductive system and the immune system in adults. Five-gallon water jugs, clear plastic “sippy” cups, baby bottles, and sport-water bottles are oftentimes made from #7 polycarbonate plastic.

Another factor to consider is the inability of plastic to biodegrade.  Plastic waste often ends up in landfills and waterways, where it has formed a floating patch of garbage in the Pacific Ocean roughly the size of Texas!  It has devastating effects on sea life.

So what is one to do?  Several companies now offer re-useable and recyclable stainless steel or aluminum bottles that can easily replace the plastic water bottle habit.  I just fill up mine with filtered tap water and carry it along with me wherever I go.  The water tastes great and most bottles are even dishwasher safe.  Many styles, sizes, colors and designs are available.

Sources:  RGNS Environmental Stewardship Project and the National Institute of Health

Tag(s): For Kids, Green Living, Hazardous Products / Health Issues, Money Saving, Water

Comments

6 Responses to “What’s Wrong with Bottled Water?”

  1. Tara on February 27th, 2009 5:35 pm

    It’s almost like a coin toss in some areas. For example, there have been a number of reports in the news over the last few months about prescription drugs being found in tap water. Apparently during testing in Los Angeles and other areas, they continued to find high levels of prescription drugs. That’s kind of alarming.

    On the other side, I’ve seen reports like you are talking about where water bottling companies have been found to just be bottling tap water.

    So, in the long run, I guess it mostly comes down to the bottle. Why waste the plastic when you can just install a filter if you have any concern about your tap water.

  2. Straight Talk: What’s the big deal with bottled water? | rooftop on August 23rd, 2010 2:41 pm

    […] is often bottled in #1 PET or PETE bottles (polyethylene terephthalate), which may or may not leach DEHA, a known carcinogen, into the water. Experts agree that you should not re-use […]

  3. So What’s the Big Deal with Plastic Water Bottles? — Flourish on August 24th, 2010 7:04 am

    […] is often bottled in #1 PET or PETE bottles (polyethylene terephthalate), which may or may not leach DEHA, a known carcinogen, into the water. Experts agree that you should not re-use […]

  4. logan on October 26th, 2011 12:54 pm

    what does FDA stand for?

  5. Joyce Benson on December 6th, 2011 12:25 pm

    The FDA is the United States Food and Drug Administration

  6. Positive AntiNuclear Antibody (ANA) SS-B/La « Xenophilia (True Strange Stuff) on September 21st, 2012 9:03 pm

    […] a difference. Water is often bottled in #1 PET or PETE bottles (polyethylene terephthalate), which may or may not leach DEHA, a known carcinogen, into the water. Experts agree that you should not re-use […]

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