Drinking habits of people have changed in the recent years. Bottled water has become a necessity, thinking that it provides the best water you can possibly have. You think that being bottled is a guarantee that it is clean, will make you healthier or younger. But does it really or is it all advertising hype?
An independent study of the bottled water industry which was conducted by the Natural Resources Defense Council or NRDC from 1995 to 1999 showed that bottled water is not guaranteed safer than tap water and that there were major gaps in bottled water standards. NRDC is an environmental action organization with millions of members that lobby on issues to protect the environment. The study indicated that there are some bottled water that contains contaminants, bacteria and synthetic chemicals. These chemicals included plastic chemicals, industrial solvents; trihalomethanes which is the chemical reaction generated by chlorine coming in contact with organic matter that is present in water and worse, arsenic which is a known carcinogen.
The bottled water industry has grown by leaps and bounds and is generating billions of dollars annually. All companies swear on the purity of their water but studies have shown that this is not the case. Take into consideration the bottle that is being used to contain the water. Generally the plastic material used is PET or polyethylene terephthalate which is extracted from virgin petroleum. This material is supposedly non-toxic. But according to a John Hopkins researcher Rolf Halden that while there are no dioxins in the plastic; the phthalates in the plastic bottle will leach into the water or beverage when the bottle becomes heated or warm. Phalates are endocrine disruptors and will harm human and animals. Many people leave bottled water outside where it may be exposed to the sun or in the car.
Not only will the bottled water itself cause harm, but producing and eventually disposing these bottles have a substantial environmental impact. Manufacturing the PET bottle generates 100 times more toxic emissions than making a glass or stainless steel water bottle. While there is a move to cut down on the use of fossil fuels, these bottles increase the requirement for virgin petroleum from which it is made from. Additional fossil fuel is again required to manufacture, fill and distribute these bottled waters. Disposing them fills up beaches, roadside, empty lots and landfills where these mounds of plastic bottles will stay for thousands of years.
While many are skeptical about tap water, there are solutions that will ensure the purity of the water that you will be drinking. Considering all these issues about bottled water, the best alternative would be to use tap water, filter them well and store them in glass or stainless steel bottles that can be reused over and over again.