You can’t survive without water. You need it so your body can stay healthy and strong. You have to use it to wash dishes and do laundry, and you use free-flowing tap water to run your shower or fill your bath every day.
But the water you use to wash, cook, and bathe might not be the same water you like to drink. Many people prefer to drink bottled water, and some even use this prepackaged, bottled liquid when they cook. Bottled water manufacturers claim that this water is purified and healthy for you to drink. They even say that the water is enriched with minerals to provide added benefits.
While you may think drinking bottled water regularly provides more benefits than drinking tap water, you may not know that water bottled in plastic is actually not that good for you-or for the environment. Below, you’ll find all the information you need to know about bottled water and why you should invest in a different option for purified water.
Bottled Water Sometimes Comes From the Tap
Many bottled water manufacturers claim that their water comes from mountain springs and that it’s completely pure. However, researchers have found that only 55% of bottled water brands sell water that truly comes from springs. Around 45% of bottled water actually comes from the tap, just like the tap water you use at home that links to a municipal source.
Any company that labels their water as “spring water” must meet certain EPA guidelines. For instance, they must collect spring water from locations where the water naturally flows to the earth’s surface. Alternatively, they must collect the water from boreholes that connect to the underground source.
However, other labels, such as “mountain water” and “glacier water,” aren’t so closely monitored. In fact, these terms aren’t regulated by the EPA or any other entity, and researchers have found that that water is most likely just treated tap water. The Environmental Working Group (EWG) has also found that 32% of bottled water manufacturers don’t disclose their water treatment procedures on their labels. Another 18% don’t list where their water comes from.
In short, these manufacturers use loopholes to process and treat tap water and sell it as if it came from another source. Instead of buying bottled water and spending countless dollars each year on this item, you could just invest in a faucet or pitcher filter and drink clean water directly from your tap.
Drinking Bottled Water Has Adverse Health Effects
While you can reap amazing benefits from drinking a healthy amount of water each day, drinking bottled water can actually have more adverse effects than advantages. The plastic in disposable water bottles often contains BPA, a chemical that mimics estrogen and can cause health issues.
For example, since the chemical mimics estrogen, girls can experience early puberty, women may experience fertility issues, and men may suffer from a decreased sperm count. Additionally, a person’s immune system may alter in function, and he or she could have an elevated risk for obesity, diabetes, breast cancer, and prostate cancer.
Some bottles may even contain phthalates, a component that makes the plastic flexible. Phthalates have been linked to reproductive issues and developmental problems like liver cancer, testicular atrophy, and lower sperm counts.
Additionally, since a lot of bottled water is treated tap water, it can still contain other health hazards. While the water is treated at the manufacturer’s processing plant, the methods they use can only eliminate certain toxins, minerals, and microbes. So, bottled water can contain a range of contaminants, like chlorine, aluminum, prescription and over-the-counter medication, and other byproducts. Exposure to these contaminants can cause health issues.
Plastic Bottles Can Negatively Impact the Environment
Because bottled water is a modern convenience, it’s become incredibly popular for people to purchase and drink regularly. However, all those plastic bottles impact the environment terribly. Billions of bottles are disposed of each year, and as the plastic sits in landfills, the toxins in the plastic degrade and release into the environment. Burned plastic also releases toxins into the air, adding to already poor conditions.
Creating plastic for bottled water also uses a lot of diminishing fossil fuels-in fact, more than 1.5 million barrels of oil go to waste each year in the US to create disposable water bottles. That same amount of oil could power 100,000 homes for one year.
Use a Better Alternative
While drinking bottled water in minimal amounts over your lifetime likely won’t cause too many negative side effects, you should try to avoid drinking bottled water every time you need something to drink. If you want cleaner, better-tasting water, opt for reusable water bottles or pitchers that have their own filters.
The best option, though, is to invest in a whole-house filter like an iron filter or a reverse osmosis system. Work closely with the professional at Johnson Water Conditioning to determine which appliance will work perfectly for you and your needs.