Outrageous bottled water facts you need to know
Bottled Water Vs Tap Water Facts : You Don’t Make Water Safe by Putting it in a Bottle
If you’ve spent more than a few minutes looking around the site, you’ve probably seen our articles on the contaminants in tap water and the diseases it can cause.
If you’re like most people, those articles have you vowing to drink bottled water from here on out.
That sounds reasonable enough. After all, bottled water is supposed to be filtered or come from pure mountain springs that haven’t been touched by the hand of man.
The fact of the matter is that bottled water is an enormous industry in America because Americans drink more bottled water than they do beer or milk—and we drink a lot of beer and milk.
Enormous industries don’t grow up around expensive practices like special filtration or mountain streams. The sad truth is that most bottled water is just tap water that someone put in a bottle to make it easy to sell.
It’s the worst kind of marketing, offering you a false sense of security and charging a hidden cost.
The Costs of Bottled Water
Everything costs something, even if it’s just a little bit of time. As it turns out, the costs of bottled water are significantly higher.
We can fill approximately 4800 water bottles with $2.10 worth of tap water. That’s 0.04 cents per bottle. And what are we paying for that bottle of water? If we’re buying it in a grocery or convenience store, it’s often at least one dollar, and sometimes two.
That’s 2300-4600 times what it would cost to fill that bottle with tap water, and that additional cost isn’t providing us any further safety than if we filled it with tap water ourselves.
Now consider this. Americans consume roughly 36.4 gallons of bottled water per person per year. That’s about 1.7 billion bottles a year, and at a dollar a bottle, well, it’s $1.7 billion. At $2.10 per 4800 bottles, that would be $743,750. The difference is $1,699,256,250.
Could your child’s school use their share of $1,699,256,250? Could your retirement fund? Got any potholes on your street that could be filled with money we spend on tap water in bottles?
The Money Isn’t Even the Biggest Cost
Plastic is a problem. It doesn’t biodegrade easily, and because it takes crude oil to make it, every plastic bottle, every plastic straw, every plastic anything contributes to climate change because it requires the burning of fossil fuels.
Do you know how many of those 1.7 billion bottles of water are recycled every year? It’s about 10%. That means we’re putting more than 1.5 billion plastic bottles in our landfills every year—and that’s not including the bottles used for other beverages. All told, the number of plastic bottles we dispose of is about 35 billion.
That means we have to make 35 billion new plastic bottles every year, and that requires the burning of fossil fuels. All told, bottle manufacture takes 17 million barrels of oil in a year—enough to fuel a million cars.
The Dangers of Bottled Water
Scientists at the State University of New York—Fredonia analyzed 259 bottles of water from around the world, and almost all of them had tiny particles of plastic in the water that would be consumed by humans. Only 17 of the tested bottles were free of these micro particles. The plastics involved (see image below) included nylon, polypropylene, polyethylene terephthalate and others that are even harder to pronounce.
The studies on what, exactly, these micro plastics are doing to our bodies haven’t been done yet. That’s why the World Health Organization has announced that it’s doing a review of the risks and considers the issue an “emerging area of concern.”
Most people have heard of BPA and the potential harm it can cause, but there’s a similar chemical—BPS—that’s used in many plastics and that hasn’t received the same attention. That means it’s still in things we use every day and potentially causing significant harm like:
- Hormone Disruption and Fertility
There’s a lot that goes into fertility, but hormones drive it, and some of the chemicals in plastics—like BPS—can disrupt hormone production with deleterious effects on fertility.
- Fetal and Infant Development
Hormones also guide the process of development from the moment an egg is fertilized until several years into a child’s life. Exposure to hormone disruptors—including those in plastics—can significantly damage a child’s fertility before they even hit puberty.
Exposure to what researchers call “estrogenic chemicals” like BPA and other plastic materials has been shown to increase the risk not just of breast cancer, but of prostate and testicular cancer.
- Simple Toxicity
Chemicals and micro plastics don’t have to be shown to cause specific diseases to have a deleterious effect on your body. Your body has built-in filtration methods to make sure your organs and tissues are protected from environmental toxins. Consuming microplastics is not only making them work harder but work on things they’re not designed to deal with.
As a result, researchers have found microplastics in both blood and urine. Once something is in your blood, it’s getting to all the cells and tissues in your body, and they don’t know how to cope with plastic.
The Only Way to Be Sure is to do it Yourself
There are procedures in place to ensure that water supplies are safe but many of them are enforced in retrospect if at all. That is, they will wait until something goes wrong and fine the people who were in charge of preventing it.
I don’t think I have to tell you that this isn’t the most effective form of enforcement. To a corporation—whether it’s the utility providing your tap water or the beverage conglomerate bottling it—governmental fines are part of doing business. If the fine costs less than the safety process—and that’s usually the case—the corporation is usually willing to forgo the safety process to maximize profits.
More to the point, fining the people who gave you tainted tap water isn’t going to prevent you from getting sick or worse.
The unfortunate reality is that there is only one way to ensure that your water is safe and clean. You don’t have to depend on a corporate entity to put your safety ahead of their profits. You don’t have to depend on government bureaucrats caring about their job. You can do it yourself by filtering your own water.
It sounds complicated, and it can be, but it doesn’t have to be. We’ve done the hard part and researched what works and what doesn’t and gathered the best selling tap water filters in this article .