What is Really in Bottled Water?
There is no denying that bottled water is global business. Consumption is continuing to increase year on year particularly in countries where clean potable tap water is available at very low or no cost”. Studies have shown that individuals who frequently purchase bottled water do so mainly because of perceived health benefits, and also because of convenience and taste.
The huge industry supporting the sale of bottled water has even started to raise concerns regarding how much energy is required to produce and use bottled water. It has been estimated that three litres of water are used to produce a single litre of bottled water. So they are not environmentally friendly. Yet more worrying still, is what is actually contained within the bottled water that is flying off of the shelves.
Quality You may be surprised to learn that bottled water companies are not required to reveal the sources of the water that they sell. Nor are they legally bound to provide reports on the quality of the water that is bottled for public consumption. Bottled water is generally derived from three sources – natural mineral water, water that is drawn from springs and wells, and it has even been found that some manufacturers are selling filtered municipal water that they draw from a tap, but at 1000 times more than we usually pay for it! An environmental working group tested more than ten popular brands of bottled water and found thirty eight low level contaminants, including disinfection by-products (DBP), caffeine, industrial chemicals, arsenic and bacteria. Plastic bottles The bigger problem may actually lie with the plastic bottle that the water is contained in. According to Martin Wagner and Jörg Oehlmann from the Department of Aquatic Ecotoxicology at the Goethe University in Frankfurt am Main, Germany, plastic mineral water bottles contaminate drinking water with estrogenic chemicals. Plastic and paperboard bottles are usually made with Bisphenol A or BPA. BPA is a manmade chemical that is produced in enormous quantities across the world and it is used in the manufacture of many plastics. Traces of it are found in within the food stuffs contained inside these containers, which is a huge worry when it has been linked to prostate cancer amongst other health concerns. Another group of chemicals found inside plastic bottles are phthalates. These are linked to a number of cancers and reproductive issues. Traces of phthalates leach into the water inside the bottles. They disrupt the endocrine system, by flooding our bodies with estrogenic compounds (which act similarly to the hormone oestrogen).
A study was conducted to test the effect of these man-made hormones on the New Zealand Mud Snail. Embryos of the snail were inserted into twenty brands of bottled water. Of those that were made of plastic and paperboard 78% demonstrated significant hormonal activity.
Essential to life
To lead a full and healthy life we need to keep ourselves hydrated. Most people in the Western World are seriously dehydrated and suffer a host of chronic illnesses as a result. So many essential functions require water. Unseen processes cannot take place without it, detoxification, transportation of nutrients, hormone balance and chemical processes. Drinking enough water can aid with digestion, reducing bloating and eliminating waste effectively. Water can keep your mind clear, preventing dehydration fuelled fogginess.
What water is safe to drink?
Unfortunately water that comes straight from your tap is not as pure as we would like, and this has contributed to the increase in consumption of bottled water. There are methods available that provide us with a constant convenient flow of clean water. Methods such as reverse osmosis and filtration systems, although they vary greatly in affordability and effectiveness.
Jug Filters can be a good solution, providing convenient healthy water in a cost effective way without expensive plumbing and electrical connections. These jugs cleanse some of the impurities present in tap water, and some products can even bring the pH to alkaline. As with all things, jug filters are not made equal. If you are considering this option then check for independent verification of filtration.
Water that you cleanse at home can be safely transported in glass and stainless steel bottles to prevent contamination with the harmful plastics that we have discussed.
We know how vital water is to life. It is important to keep hydrated throughout the day, so taking water with you on the move is a great idea. However, the health claims made by many brands of bottled water may be misleading. The water itself is often barely different from what comes from your municipal tap, and worse still, the packaging could be slowly poisoning the product inside.
It is suggested therefore that a jug filter could be an affordable and environmentally friendly option to guarantee the best quality of drinking water. Additionally, glass and stainless steel bottles are far better alternatives for transportation to maintain the integrity of the water inside.
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