Did you know that the bottled water you are drinking is most likely just tap water? It’s true! 40% or more of the bottled water is just plain tap water. The manufacturers can put 10% spring water into the bottle and still call it spring water.
But let’s just pretend for a moment that bottled water is 100% pure spring water without any bacteria, run off pesticides or other contaminants.
What about the plastic the bottle is made of?
German scientists found that the PET plastics (polyethylene terephthalate) which the water bottles are made from, have hormone disrupting chemicals that leach into the water. An Ecotoxicologist named Martin Wagner at Goethe University in Frankfurt says that it appears that these chemicals may interfere with estrogen and other hormones, just like the phthalates and BPA plastics do.
Wagner and his other team members used yeast to analyze samples of mineral water, two from cardboard, nine from glass bottles, nine from PET plastic. The yeast was designed to change colors in the presence of estrogen. It revealed that there were high levels of estrogenic activity in the two cardboard samples and in the seven of the nine plastic bottles and also in three of the nine glass bottles.
To determine if the compounds were coming from the German mineral water, Wagner emptied the bottles and replaced it with a pure snail medium and a species of snail that is sensitive to estrogenic compounds. He found that the female snails living in the plastic bottles had more than two times as many embryos inside of their bodies as the snails in the glass bottles. “Something from the plastic must have leached out and changed the reproductive patterns of our snails. What we found was really surprising to us,” Wagner said. “If you drink water from plastic bottles, you have a high probability of drinking estrogenic compounds.”
There are over 200 independent scientists who agree that bisphenol A or BPA is an estrogen-mimicking chemical that is linked to behavioral and learning problems, ovarian disease, disease of the uterus, attention deficit disorder, early puberty, obesity, prostate cancer, breast cancer, diabetes and decreased sperm count. High levels of BPA will alter the bodies ability to produce normal thyroid hormones.
Phthalates are plasticizers that make the bottles more flexile and resilient. These are known endocrine-disrupting chemicals that have been linked to developmental and reproductive effects, including reduced sperm counts, testicular abnormality and liver cancer.
Facts about plastic water bottles:
- Plastic bottles are made from crude oil. The Sierra Club reported that 1.5 million barrels of oil are used each year in the making of these one time use plastic bottles. National Geographic reports that making all the plastic for the bottles just for the US requires 17 million barrels of crude oil annually.I don’t know which figure is correct, but even the lowest number reported by Sierra Club is staggering! That’s enough to fuel 100,000 cars a year!
- 4 of every 5 bottles end up in landfills, according to the Container Recycling Institute, a Washington-based group that promotes recycling. The Institute reports that 86 percent of plastic water bottles used in the United States become garbage or litter.
- Water bottles can take up to 1,000 years to biodegrade.
- The plastic water bottles leak toxins back into the groundwater. Isn’t this ironic?????
- The Earth Policy Institute estimates that the energy used to pump, process, transport and refrigerate bottled water is over 50 million barrels of oil annually.
- Plastic ends up in the ocean and then in the bodies of marine life and birds which mistake our garbage for food.
Buy a water filter or reverse osmosis system for your tap water. Be sure to get a filter that will eliminate fluoride, chlorine, herbicides, pesticides, and industrial solvents, norganic metals such as lead, arsenic, and other unwanteds from your tap water. This will be the best investment for the health of you and your family.