Dangers of bottled water

Dangers of bottled water

by Sanjay B

Gone are the days of drinking boiled and cooled water. What with life being stressful and chaotic with no time to devote to quality and healthy lifestyles, added work pressure, home and children to look after, more and more families resort to using bottled water to save time and fuel.

Not only is bottled water harmful to health, but it also is destructive to the environment. Over sixty seven million water bottles are discarded each day out of which only a mere ten percent is recycled. Recycling of water bottles is not good always since it is labor intensive, costly and only burns natural resources.

Dangers of bottled water

Avoid drinking bottled water

A lot of fuel is expended too when these bottles of water are transported each day to super markets, homes and office premises. What the majority of us fail to realize is that, the bottled water is nothing more than just plain tap water. Hence, when we drink out of bottled water, we are ingesting ourselves into even more chemicals from these plastic bottles. The best container to drink out of is glass and when we choose water stored in plastic bottles, we are in fact ingesting these chemicals into our bodies- BPA or bisphenol is an estrogen mimicking chemical. It brings about health disorders like learning and behavioral problems, altered immune system function, fertility problems, and brings on early onset of puberty in girls,  decreased sperm count, prostatic and breast cancer, diabetes and obesity are other disorders brought about by drinking from plastic bottles.

If you are a young mother or if you happen to be pregnant, your child can be even more at risk. Do not feed your baby from plastic bottles, rather, switch to glass bottles.

Yet another chemical that is present in plastic bottles is the phthalates. These are endocrine disrupting in nature and are linked to a wide range of developmental and reproductive side effects such as reduced sperm count, testicular atrophy and liver cancer.

Apart from the chemicals that these bottles are made of, when we drink bottled water, we expose ourselves further to dangerous substances like fluoride, chlorine, arsenic, aluminium and so on, which are basically poisonous contaminants of water.

Several drugs are mixed together in the drinking water sold in bottles. Some can be allergic to drugs and it needs pondering on, to analyze whether the allergic symptoms you have been exhibiting are due to ingestion of small doses of these drugs.

Bottled drinking water is even more harmful when left strapped to your bike or car, or left exposed to hot sun. Ultra violet rays from the sun speeds up leaching of the plastic chemicals into the bottled water. Yet another toxin by the name dioxin is also released to the water when left in the sun. This dioxin accelerates breast cancer.

When on the move, take boiled and filtered water in glass or steel bottles or containers to minimize health hazards. Instead of vitamins and minerals being added to bottled water, it contains high fructose corn syrup, food dyes that can play havoc with your emotional and physical health.

Home water delivery of drinking water poses more risks than the smaller pint or quart water bottles. The home delivery bottles are made of denser plastic and they are reused multiple times. Silvery white metal antimony has been discovered in many branded bottles of water. The longer the bottle of water remains on the shelf of a super market, chances of antimony being leached into the water is greater. Studies over the past several years have revealed that bottled water contains arsenic, bromate, cleaning compounds, mold and bacteria.

It’s a gross misconception to assume that bottled water is cleaner and healthier. Even though all manufacturers of bottled water swear by the purity of their water, contrary is the case. The plastic material used is the PET or poly ethylene teraphthalate which is extracted from virgin petroleum. The chemical leaches into the water when the bottle becomes warm. The phthalates are known for disrupting endocrine functions and can harm both humans and animals.

Disposing of these bottles also poses a serious environmental hazard. While manufacturing these bottles, toxic emissions are emanated that are drastic in effect. While disposing of these, it clogs and clutters up beaches, roadsides, empty lots and land fills. These mounds of plastic accumulate for years without decomposing but strangling our planet earth.

To avoid a toxin over dose, educate yourself on the plastic used by manufacturers to bottle water. A glance at the bottom of the bottle can tell you what kind of plastic is being used. There is a resin code at the bottom of each bottle.

PET is the kind of plastic mostly used to bottle single-serve water. It is safe for single use but refilling increases the risk of chemicals leaching into the water.

HDPE is high density polyethylene and is used for making gallon jugs. This is not linked to any kind of leaching.

Polypropylene can be easily molded which means that it is made with fewer chemicals and does not promote leaching. Your best solution is to filter your own water. Be economical and environmental friendly and install a water filter cum purifier at home. The best water that can be drunk is clear spring water or water that has been filtered by reversed osmosis. Avoid bottled water in plastic such as polyvinyl chloride (PVC) and polystyrene.

As we struggle to minimize consumption of fossil fuels, bottled water increases this trend.  Since virgin petroleum is used to make these plastic bottles, the more bottles we use, the more of virgin petroleum is needed to crate fresh bottles. As a result, more fossil fuel is burned to fill bottles and distribute them. A study reveals the following astounding facts- it requires 273 billion liters of water to make empty bottles. Treating and filtering tap water for bottling paves way for even more waste. For every liter of water you see on the shelves, it takes two liters of water to make it. And only half of the bottles are ever recycled and they end up as waste, clogging the earth.

It’s high time we bid good bye to bottled water.

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