There are about a trillion reasons not to drink from plastic water bottles, not least of which are the devastating impact they have on the environment. Add to that the growing awareness of serious health concerns, and it seems like “Just Say No” is the answer.
1) Your Health
It is likely that if you have been watching and reading the news lately, you are hearing a lot about BPA (Bi- sphenol A) and the health effects associated with this ubiquitous estrogenic chemical — including cancers and many other diseases. This compound is the base chemical (monomer) used to make polycarbonate plastic food and beverage containers, the resin lining of cans, and dental sealants; it also is found in “carbonless” paper used for receipts as well as a wide range of other common household products.
BPA is the base chemical (monomer) primarily used to make polycarbonate — the production of plastics — such as baby bottles, certain water and beverage bottles, canned goods (lining the inside of cans), soda bottles, and other common plastic goods that typically hold food or beverages (although it is found in countless other polycarbonate plastic products, including medical devices). It helps preserve the life of perishable goods, but comes at a dangerous cost to human health.
Based on data analysis, The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) reported in 2008 that exposure to BPA was linked to an increase in cardiovascular diseases, type 2 diabetes, and liver enzyme abnormalities. And these effects were seen at relatively low-dose amounts of BPA, well below the amount actually consumed by Americans on a daily basis
See link to JAMA 2008 article —Bisphenol A and Risk of Metabolic Disorders:Frederick S. vom Saal, PhD; John Peterson Myers, PhDJAMA. 2008;300(11):1353-1355. doi:10.1001/ jama.300.11.1353.
BREAST CANCER IN WOMEN — THE BPA CONNECTION
A new study of fetal exposure to BPA, a plastic additive found in some food packaging, shows that the chemical altered mammary gland development in monkeys. The researchers reported that the changes they observed in the monkeys reinforce concerns that BPA bisphenol A could contribute to breast cancer in women.
Studies by Ana Soto and Carlos Sonnenschein, also authors of the new study, found that exposing rodents to small amounts of BPA could change their mammary gland development and lead to precancerous and cancerous lesions when the animals exposed as fetuses became adults.
The sum of all the findings “strongly suggest that BPA is a breast carcinogen in humans and human exposure to BPA should be curtailed,” she said.
2) The Environment
Each year, nearly 1.5 million barrels of oil are used to make plastic water bottles. Most of the bottles are discarded, ending up in our landfills and our oceans and never biodegrading.
The United States Environmental Protection Agency states the following facts:
32 million tons of plastic waste were generated in 2011, representing 12.7 percent of total MSW.
In 2011, the United States generated almost 14 million tons of plastics as containers and packaging, about 11 million tons as durable goods, such as appliances, and almost 7 million tons as nondurable goods, for example plates and cups.
Only 8 percent of the total plastic waste generated in 2011 was recovered for recycling.
3) Simple Economics
In 2011, total bottled water sales in the U.S. hit 9.1 billion gallons — 29.2 gallons of bottled water per person, according to sales figures from Beverage Marketing Corp. The 2011 numbers are the highest total volume of bottled water ever sold in the U.S., and also the highest per-person volume.
From a Recent Article in National Geographic:
Translated to the handy half-liter size Americans find so appealing, that comes to 222 bottles of water for each person in the country — four bottles of water for every man, woman and child, every week.
At retail, Americans spent $21.7 billion on bottled water in 2011, just under 2007’s spending.
Calculate that! in one year, you could be spending upwards of $300.00 for water in one year!