It's a month into school, and you have just ran out of your 30-pack of Deer Park water. What do you do now? Well, if you are like majority of Americans, you just refill the last disposable plastic water bottle you had. Saves time and money, right? While this might be true, I am sure majority are not aware of the toll it is taking on their health.
Food & Water Watch reported that in 2009, Americans spent $10.6 on bottled water, costing them up to 1000 times more than if they were to have drunk tap water. But apparently, unlike what many people would think, tap water undergoes more federal safety regulations than bottled water does. Federal, state, and local environmental agencies require tap water to be thoroughly inspected, and for the results to be open to the public! Although many water bottles claim to be "purified", independent testing done in 2008 revealed that 10 brands of water bottles contained 38 contaminants!
Water bottles linked to cancer? Believe it or not, and supported by The American Cancer Society, plastic water bottles contain a poison that can be harmful to the body if used more than a week maximum. A study done by The Centers For Disease Control did a an experiment where they found a chemical called Biphenyl (BPA) in 93% of the people in their experiment. Everyday Health reported that 38 scientists from a journal called Reproductive Toxology, along with many other supporters, stressed a concern that BPA can have harmful effects on the body. They think that BPA has a biological effect similar to estrogen, and might cause breast cancer and/or infantile issues as a result. As for you males, this chemical has also been linked to interrupt testosterone.
Another chemical called phthalates has also been found in present. But, the levels of it have been found to be much lower in tap water than in bottled water. Being from Washington, D.C., I was always told to not drink from the tap because there were traces of lead and other chemicals found in the tap water a while back. But, after doing this research, I wonder which is worse...to drink DC tap water or bottled water.
In addition, I learned from the Natural Resources Defense Council that when a plastic water bottle sits around (especially in the heat), bacteria starts growing inside the water bottle. Bacteria are attracted to moisture and generally warm atmospheres. So when you close that cap on your water bottle, the bacteria are having the time of their short lived lives! If you did not already know, yes, this means that heating up food or anything in plastic containers is also hazardous to your health.
Science is such a controversial topic, and this is another issue that many scientists have conflicting thoughts over. But my mom has told me plastic water bottles are bad for me for years now, so I am going to believe her just in case! If you want reduce your likelihood of having negative health effects from plastic, avoid using plastic #7. All you have to do is look on the plastic and you will see a number.