Dangers of Drinking BottledWaterHave you ever given a thought to the fact that thebottled water that we drink to quench our thirst on ahot day can lead to severe health issues? Thefollowing article throws light on the possible dangersof drinking bottled water. Take a look...Use of plastic in various forms has become aninevitable part of our lives. Every other commodityhas some plastic content in it and so does thebottles used for water packaging. In spite of beingaware about the harm that plastic is causing tohuman life and the environment, why are we stillusing it on such a large scale? Probably because it isthe most easy-to-use component in manufacturingand convenient for users as well. For instance, whenwe buy a mineral water bottle we dont have toworry about carrying it along all the time. Once thebottle is empty, it can be thrown away. Another
thing is, bottled water has become so common andhabitual that it is available anywhere andeverywhere. No one has to remember to carry waterfrom home. A few bucks can get you a chilled bottleof water right away. We have got so used to thisbottled water that billions of used plastic bottles arebeing collected in the landfills for recycling everyyear. Health ConcernsAll of us are well aware about the fact that anythingmade out of plastic is harmful to our health andshould be avoided. How come then we tend tooverlook the dangers of bottled drinking water?Actually, the truth underlying it is we have beenenticed by the bottle producing companies to believethat it is safer than the drinking water in our houses.They tell us that the water filled in these bottles isnot regular tap water, but is from protectedresources and it is further purified to remove all thecontaminants, if any. By this they assure us thatthey are providing 100% pure and safe drinkingwater. However, the case is different in reality.
Brace your ears to hear that the water filled in thesebottles, most times, is normal tap water provided bymunicipal drinking water sources and not from anyprotected sources termed as spring, purified ormineral water.These were concerns about the water filled inbottles, but what about the bottle itself? Howharmful are the components used whilemanufacturing these plastic water containers? Well,the major concern lies here. A number of chemicalsare being used for producing these plastic containerswhich can leach into the water when the bottle isstored for a long duration and at high temperatures.Although the validity of such bottles is normally upto two years, experts have called for furtherresearch in order to understand and confirm thesafety of bottled water. According to them a toxincalledantimony, used in manufacturing PET (PolyethyleneTerephthalate; it is a type of plastic known to be thesafest for producing mineral water containers)
bottles has great potential to leach into the waterstored in them. Whilesmall amountsof antimony can causedizzinessand make you feel slightly ill,higher quantitymay lead tosevere vomitingand even provefatal. The amount of antimony in water, according toseveral studies, is up to the recommended levelafter bottling, however, it is almost doubled whenthe bottles are stored for more than 3 months.Other chemicals likephthalatesandbisphenol Amay leach into water and causefatigue and dullness. They can also disrupt theendocrine systemcausing
hormonal imbalance.The FDA (Food and Drug Administration) is theauthority under which U.S. bottled water falls. Hereit has to pass through certain tests of purity andsafety before going to the distributors. However,around 70% bottled water does not cross the stateboundaries for sale which exempts it from the FDAexamination. Tap water on the other hand, fallsunder the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency)which is more stringent in its rules and regulations.This proves that the tap water we doubt for itssafety is a much more trusted and healthy source ofdrinking water. If you have a problem with the tasteof the local tap water you can use carbonated filters,which removes almost all contaminants and gives abetter taste to the water. Other Dangers of Plastic Water BottlesEnvironmental DegradationIt is a common misconception that all the bottlesused for water packaging are recycled and hence
they are a good storage option. But let me tell youthat a majority of used bottles are thrown on streetsand road sides, which do not reach the recyclingcenters. Around 70-80% of used bottles aredisposed of and not recycled, which is more thanenough to cause environmental pollution.Apart from this, the energy required for productionas well as recycling of plastic bottles has a majorcontribution to environmental degradation. Around44-47 million gallons of oil per year is required forproducing plastic bottles, which when not recycled,are burned to create space in landfills using a hugeamount of fossil fuel. In return, huge amount ofgases are released in the atmosphere contributing toair pollution and ultimately to global warming.Furthermore, to make up for the difference of non-recycled bottles, manufacturing companies requirearound 8-10% fossil fuels of the entire world forbottle production. This extra usage of fossil fuels canbe prevented with proper recycling procedure andcan be available for production of other goods andcommodities.
Declination of Marine LifeThe reason behind adverse effects of plastic water-bottles on marine life is the careless attitude ofpeople tossing around 1-2 millions of plastic bottlesper hour, into trash cans instead of putting theminto recycle bins. Moreover some cities, due to lackof enough space in landfills, dump the trash intoseas and oceans wherein fish and other marineorganisms mistake the bottles for food, whichamounts to life-threatening consequences. Alternate SolutionsAs an alternative to unhealthy bottled water, onecan install drinking water systems. Many times wefindwater coolersat several public places which is a hygienic watersystem. You can also havewater filtersattached to the tap in your house, which will purifythe water then and there before getting filled in yourdrinking water containers. The best option amongstall, though, is a
water bottle, obviously not a plastic one, with a built-in filtrationsystem. Just refill the bottle every time and let thefilter do the further job of providing you with cleanand safe drinking water. This will not only cut downthe expense of buying a water-bottle when you areaway from home but also take care of your health.As an effective remedy over the use of plastic watercontainers, we can concentrate on the homefiltration systems suggested above to improve thequality of tap water. Once the water is purifiedthrough filtration, it can be stored in permanentwater containers instead of disposable plasticbottles. This will help to minimize the negativeimpact of plastic on the environment. Hence, say NOto bottled water and save yourself as well as ourenvironment.