Is it Time to Give Up Bottled Water? The Facts, Marketed Illusions, and Health Risks You May Not Know About
Americans love bottled water. In fact, in the United States residents drink more bottled water than any other beverage except for soft drinks. In all, that translated to 29 gallons of bottled water, per person, in 2007, for a total volume of nearly 9 billion gallons, according to the Beverage Marketing Corporation.
Why do we drink so much bottled water? Because of an illusion that it is somehow safer, more pure or more convenient than the water we can get at home. In reality, as many consumer and environmental groups are now pointing out, bottled water is not a good choice for your health or the environment.
The Bottled Water Crises
Would you believe that it takes three liters of water to produce 1 liter of bottled water? It's true, according to the Sierra Club, and the massive withdrawal of water from springs and aquifers is actually depleting household wells in rural areas while damaging wetlands and lakes.
Perhaps even more concerning are the vast amounts of waste. In the United States, more than 30 billion plastic water bottles are thrown away each year, and most are not recycled. A plastic bottle can take up to 1,000 years to decompose, and as a result of all of the plastic waste there is now a massive patch of garbage called the "Eastern Garbage Patch" floating in the Pacific Ocean. In fact, 90 percent of all floating marine litter is plastic.
Meanwhile, in order to produce the bottled water consumed by the United States in 2006 it required the equivalent of more than 17 million barrels of oil, according to the Pacific Institute. When you add in the energy it takes to transport the water to bottling plants, then transport the bottles to stores, your home and ultimately landfills, it equals filling a plastic bottle one quarter full of oil.
A gallon of bottled water can cost you up to $10, which is more than twice the cost of gasoline.
Are Your Risking Your Health by Drinking Bottled Water?
Ironically, while many people think bottled water is safer than tap water, drinking bottled water may pose a risk to your health. To start, bottled water is regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which has weaker regulations than the Environmental Protection Agency requires for tap water. While tap water is not allowed to contain any E. coli or fecal coliform, for instance, bottled water is allowed some contamination.
Further, FDA rules exempt waters that are packaged and sold within a single state -- which describes between 60 percent and 70 percent of all U.S. bottled water. About one out of five states don't regulate these waters, either, and carbonated water and seltzer are also exempt.
Even bottled water that is regulated may still be contaminated. The Sierra Club reports that the National Resources Defense Council (NRDC) tested 103 brands of bottled water and found contamination exceeding allowable limits in about one-third of the brands, including toxins such as arsenic, synthetic organics and bacteria.
As we pay from 240 to 5,000 times more for bottled water than tap water (no wonder Americans spend about $11 billion on bottled water every year, according to the Beverage Marketing Corp.), it may irk you to know that the NRDC found that about one-fourth of bottled water is actually bottled tap water (some say it's as much as 40 percent). And just because a bottled water is labeled "Spring," "Pure," or "from a pristine source," doesn't mean it is.
The NRDC found one bottle labeled "Spring Water" that was actually from an industrial parking lot next to a hazardous waste site.
How About Some BPA With Your Bottled Water? Health WARNING!
Bisphenol-A (BPA) is a chemical widely used to manufacture plastic water bottles. The chemical is capable of leaching from the plastic into the water you drink, and it's known that both heat and age increase the leaching of chemicals from the plastic. Why is this concerning?
Because BPA mimics the female hormone estrogen, impacting fertility, reproductive health and potentially promoting cancer. Recent studies also linked BPA to heart disease, diabetes and liver problems. What's worse is that chronic exposure to very low levels of BPA, such as might occur when drinking bottled water, is potentially very harmful.
"An expert panel of scientists has concluded that exposure to extremely low doses of bisphenol A is strongly linked to diseases such as breast cancer, prostate cancer, and diabetes, and to reproductive and neurological development," the Sierra Club reports.
And single-serve bottles are not the only ones to be concerned about. Consumer Reports found in 2000 that eight of 10 5-gallon water jugs they tested contained residues of BPA.
Superior Water, Convenience and Zero Waste: The Wellness H2.O
The Wellness H2.O enhanced water bottle is the next evolution in water technology. Not content with merely replacing wasteful bottled water, the Wellness H2.O combines the best portable filtration technology with rare Japanese stones and a patented enhancement process to produce an unparalleled quality of water.
The ultimate environment product. Eliminates 1,100+ plastic bottles, reduces carbon emissions and conserves natural resources.
Saves you up to $1,000 in bottled water purchases per year.
Only bottle to produce nourishing, better-than-bottled-quality, "enhanced" water without the cost or waste associated with bottled water.
Assures you and your family of safe and healthy water ... no matter where you go.
Order Your Wellness H2.O Now!
BPA is so widely used that it may be nearly impossible to avoid exposure entirely, however you can greatly reduce your exposure by avoiding BPA-containing products as much as possible, including one of the biggest BPA predators: plastic water bottles.
Plastic containing BPA may be called:
Though it is generally clear, it can be tinted in various colors. Plastic that contains BPA carries the #7 recycling symbol, as well, so never use those bottles.
A Convenient, Healthy and Environmentally Friendly Alternative to Bottled Water
Given the immense environmental toll, the health risks, the potentially poor water quality, and the fact that you can pay up to 5,000 times more for the privilege of drinking bottled water instead of tap water, many people are looking for an alternative ... and Sixwise has found it.
The Wellness H2.0 combines the convenience of bottled water without the waste and with superior water quality; it is the next generation of water!
The guiding principle behind the Wellness H2.O is that water should be free ... free from harmful contaminants, free from plastic bottles, and free from the tap.
The Wellness H2.O is a personal, reusable water bottle that features a unique filtration system that not only purifies ordinary tap water, but also enhances the water for better absorption and hydration. With this special filtration process you'll have access to high quality water wherever you go.
Over the life of a single Wellness H2.O water bottle you will eliminate the need for over 1,100 plastic bottles and all of the monetary and environmental costs associated with collecting, bottling, warehousing, transporting and retailing of water that is already available from any tap around the globe.
Superior Water Right From the Tap
There's no need to order expensive bottled water for your home use either. The Wellness Kitchen Water Filter reduces chlorine, chloramines, cysts, VOCs, pesticides, and herbicides -- including DEET -- below detectable levels for the life of the filter. It even has a digital LED display that tells you when it needs to be changed (to assure it is working and effective).
The Wellness Kitchen combines the best filtration and enhancement technologies to deliver the purest and most natural tasting water available. It effectively reduces harmful contaminants, while at the same time enhancing the water with adding important yet delicate wellness "ions and minerals" that your body needs.
So instead of buying bottled water, you can get superior water in your own kitchen. And when you're on the go, the Wellness H2.O ensures that you'll have clean, healthy water no matter where you are.
For the sake of the environment, your health and even your wallet, join the countless people who are doing their part to end the bottled water crises -- by ditching bottled water once and for all.
Bottled Water: Which City's Tap Water System is Making a Flood of Cash off of You?
Warning: Diabetes, Liver, and Heart Disease Linked to Everyday Plastics
Los Angeles Times August 2, 2006
The Sierra Club Policy on Privatization and Commodification
WebMD.com September 10, 2008