Bottled water is sold all over the world. They are widely available in grocery stores, restaurants, recreation centers, schools, gas stations, and almost everywhere. Bottled water is a staple stock item. But is bottled water safe?
In recent years there has been a controversy circulating about bottled water, which says that the water in the bottles, even in fancy labeled brands claiming to come from far away, is actually from city tap water. While others say that city tap water is actually good for you because it’s fluoridated and fluoride is good for your teeth.
But what is the truth about bottled water? And how safe is plastic, really? And how are these chemicals impacting your health?
In this article, I will be shedding some light on these very important questions.
You must be aware of this famous slogan: “reduce, reuse, recycle.” The majority of Americans know they should recycle their plastic bottles. But do you know where does all this plastic come from in the first place?
Over 60 million water bottles are thrown away each day, and only a small percentage of these (around one in six) get recycled. No wonder so many chemicals are being leached into our precious soil. Now imagine the environmental impact it has.
Bottled water is a trillion dollar industry. How does that affect the environment and our drinking water? If the toxic chemicals are leaching into the soil, how much more is going into our rivers and lakes? Could there be a connection too between our drinking water and cancer?
3 Hazards commonly found in plastic water bottles:
1. Bisphenol A (BPA)
Bisphenol A (BPA) is a chemical that industry uses to stabilize epoxy resins and polycarbonate plastics or hard plastics. It is also used in softer plastics to prevent cracking.
What does that have to do with your drinking water? It’s important to know that the plastic used for bottled water often contains BPA. It’s known to leach into the water when exposed to heat, which in turn creates “faux estrogen” or what is also known as bad estrogen. High levels of circulating bad estrogen is recognized as a cause of ovarian, prostate, and breast cancers.
Furthermore, BPA has been found to adversely affect fetuses, infants and children’s brains, and prostate glands.
The problem is the leaching of the chemicals into the food, especially if it’s microwaved. When you eat foods from these containers, you are at high risk of being poisoned by this dangerous chemical.
BPA has been found to adversely affect the endocrine and reproductive systems and to increase the risk of breast, prostate, ovarian, and brain cancer. It also increases the occurrence of hyperactivity, attention deficit disorder, aggressive behavior, and asthma.
These problems can be prevented if we use glass and stainless steel containers instead of plastic. It’s important to discontinue the use of BPAs to protect our environment and our bodies.
2. Polyethylene terephthalate (PET)
PET bottles are BPA-free but they pose other potential health risks. According to the North Dakota State University reports, PET bottles contain contaminants of fecal matter, saliva, and food residues in the plastic so they are hazardous to your health when re-used. This is primarily as a result of the soft plastic which is nearly impossible to clean, thus the reason for the significant presence of contaminants after multiple usage.
Phthalates are another chemical compound used to make plastic flexible, particularly PVC (polyvinyl chloride). These also leach into the water contained in their bottles or water supplied by PVC pipes. The problems they cause in humans include: liver cancer, testicular atrophy, and sterility in males.
How do you know what kind of plastic is used in the various brands of water bottles?
In my opinion, I would say that there is no such way that you can be certain whether the plastic used is free from the dangerous chemicals because bottling companies change plastics without notice. I would suggest to avoid plastic water bottles altogether.