Thursday, December 8, 2016
The bottled water story.
Bottled water risks include more than just draining your bank account. You see, those single-use bottles found in supermarkets, gas stations and gyms across the country are what I like to call “toxic rip-offs.” Why? Because you’re paying way more for a product that contains harmful compounds. Case in point: A recent German-led study found that a single bottle of bottle water contained nearly 25,000 chemicals. More on that later. And to be clear, I’m not talking about those hard plastic, reusable water bottles know for their BPA toxic effects. I’m referring to the ones people use once then either recycle or toss in the garbage. It’s time we explore how expensive, unhealthy and unsustainable bottled water is, along with some very harmful side effects of the bottled water industry. While I don’t want to discount the fact that some people are relying on bottled water to survive, for instance, families whose drinking water is contaminated from ever-more-common flooding, lead-contaminated, outdated infrastructure, fracking chemicals or pipeline spills, it’s safe to say that most Americans drinking bottled water are doing it out of convenience rather than necessity. Chemicals in the Bottled Water. Some of the chemicals detected in bottled water are linked to abnormal hormone function and an increased risk of cancer, among other ills. Most convenience-size beverage bottles sold in the U.S. are made from polyethylene terephthalate (PET). This is referred to as #1 on the bottom-of-the-bottle recycling code. Believed to be a relatively safe single-use plastic, evidence is emerging that PET may leach antimony trioxide, a catalyst and flame retardant in PET. In fact, the longer the water is sitting in a PET bottle, the more chemicals released into the water. Warm temperatures also are believed to accelerate leaching. (Translation: Leaving bottled water in hot cars is dangerous.) Workers chronically exposed to antimony trioxide report issues like respiratory and skin irritation, irregular periods and miscarriage. Phthalate endocrine disruptors also leach from PET. One study found antimony levels in bottled water increased anywhere from 19 to 90 percent after 6 months of storage at room temperature. Antimony is considered a carcinogen by the International Agency for Research on Cancer, part of the World Health Organization. continue