Water is fundamental to our everyday life. But when it comes to consuming clean and safe water, regular water always lags behind its sparkling plastic bottle counterpart. Of course, we all consider bottled water safe, healthy, and a perfect go-to option for traveling, which has increased its sale radically worldwide. But did you know that the crystal-clear water coming in clean plastic bottles is also not free from contaminants? It also has dark sides, no matter how convenient bottled water sounds for quenching on-the-go thirst. Read on to discover some startling facts you never knew about bottled water.
Our body contains almost 70% of water, which is essential for proper functionalities of our cells, tissues, and organs. Primary benefits of water includes detoxification, oxygenation, cell nourishment, protection of organs, cancer prevention, etc.
Facts To Know About Bottled Water
We buy bottled water, especially the branded ones, believing that its glossy outer appeal is a testament to its quality. But there is more to it than taste and sparkle. The fact is that bottled water is not any safer than regular tap water you consume at home or in restaurants. According to health experts, tap water and bottled water go through purification processes to kill possible germs, parasites, and other harmful elements. However, there is still no guarantee that they are 100% free from contaminants. So, before consuming packaged drinking water, you must be aware of the following facts:
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1. Unknown Water Sources
You can find out where the drinking water is coming from at your home and/or other public places. But can you do the same for bottled waters that mention ‘fresh’ and ‘blue mountain springs’ on the labels? (1) Water sourced from underground or above-ground for public consumption must meet strict guidelines laid down by government agencies. In the case of bottled water, however, you have no choice but to believe the promises made by the manufacturers! It has been found that 25% to 45% of branded water is bottled tap water.
Moreover, bottled water is not better than your sink water, which is worse than bottled tap water. You have no idea whether the water is coming through clean channels or rusted lead pipes. Health experts explain that the lead pipe is a sure-shot recipe for disaster, and it is especially very harmful to pregnant women and children.
2. Toxic Chemical Release
Bottled water often contains much more toxic chemicals (mostly the human carcinogen ‘arsenic’), including pollutants and other contaminants, than regular tap water. In addition, as the packaging is primarily made of plastic, it also leaches harmful chemicals into the water. The most common chemical, BPA, is a hormone disruptor linked to asthma, cardiovascular diseases, liver problems, diabetes, low sperm count, infertility, ADHD, early puberty, and even cancer. (2)
Moreover, thousands of other chemical additives are used in plastics, which also cause tons of health hazards. Most of them store calories in your body without letting it use them for energy, thereby making you fat. In addition, PVC, a ‘plasticizer’ used in plastic packaging, contains phthalates, another group of hormone-disrupting chemicals.
3. Environment Pollution
Even the ‘purest’ and the most ‘eco-friendly’ package of water also harms the environment badly. The flexible plastic bottles used for this purpose cause enormous pollution to our air, land, and water. In addition, during manufacturing, the bottles, lots of air contaminants are released from the petrochemical plants, which lead to several health issues, including acute respiratory problems. (3)
More than 80% of the bottles produced are not recycled and eventually become litter. As plastic never disappears, it causes pollutes the land tremendously. Plastic water bottle debris is also polluting our oceans to a large extent.
4. Waste Of Energy And Money
Every time you drink from a plastic water bottle, you contribute to the wastage of lots of natural energy, resources, and money. It is a whole wasteful affair if compared with the cost of a gallon of tap water. Plastic manufacturing also adds to the emission of greenhouse gas.
Steps To Take Before Buying Bottled Water
Well, now as you know that your fancy and de-odorized bottled water is not at all that healthy, it is time to see what you can do to prevent it from affecting your health. Though it is not possible to altogether avoid the circumstances of consuming packaged water, there are some precautionary steps that you can take.
Check The Water Source
Before buying bottled water, check the label to see if the source is mentioned. Is it sourced from a spring or some other underground source? You need to figure that out first. However, there is no guarantee that the manufacturer will mention this on the label. And if you come to know about the harmful source of bottled water, there is not much you can do. Your only option is to sue the company in such a situation probably.
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Ensure Guideline Compliance
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has laid down strict guidelines for companies selling bottled water. First, check if the manufacturer has procured the necessary quality assurances from government agencies. One of those guidelines stresses the implementation of safe and sanitary manufacturing conditions.
Carry Your Own Water
Don’t buy bottled water. Instead, boil or filter the tap water available at home and carry it in a bottle instead. Tap water is considered the safest as well as the most eco-friendly option. However, it gets contaminated with impurities and pollutants, including chlorine, arsenic, added fluoride, nitrate, etc. Hence, opt for tap water filtration at your home and make a world of difference for your health and this planet.
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