The New H2O Dilemma
Tonja Ward | 2/19/2009, 7:30 p.m.
We hear you!! So, let’s take a look at the real problem and define some practical solutions.
For starters, there’s one essential fact…WE NEED WATER. Our bodies are 70 percent water. Water lubricates joints, helps with digestion and rids the body of toxins, and helps maintain a normal body temperature. While we can survive for about 3 weeks or more without food, we can only survive about 3 days without water!! It is vital for life. Interestingly studies are now identifying the direct benefits of water to improved health. One study showed that women who drank more than five glasses of water a day had a 45 percent less risk of colon cancer!! And, another study showed a decreased chance of bladder cancer when 2.5 quarts of fluid or more were consumed daily!!! Do you think you are drinking enough water?
Bottled water has inadvertently impacted the health of our environment. More than half of all Americans drink bottled water; about a third of the public consumes it regularly. Sounds good except that four out of five plastic water bottles end up on landfill sites. Plus, the fuel required for bottle production processing also contributes to global warming.
Plastic is also a health concern. The numbers that appear on the bottom of plastic bottles identify the different types of plastics. Most water bottles are in “1” Polethylene Terephthalate (PETE). This plastic is intended for one time use and researchers have found that washing and reusing these bottles might cause a breakdown in the plastic. This could possibly cause a leak of the suspected cancer causing carcinogen DEHA, into your water.
The popular hard plastic “7” which is used for the colorful reusable water bottles, baby bottles, food storage containers and water dispenser containers is Polycarbonate. Polycarbonate is made from Bisphenol A or BPA. BPA leaches out when the container comes in contact with food or water and ends up in our bloodstream. New research has experts worried that BPA may cause harm because it appears to mimic the effects of estrogen interfering with hormone levels and cell signaling systems. It is potentially dangerous to fetuses, babies and young children. It is also associated with increased rates of breast and prostate cancer, uterine fibroids, early onset of puberty in girls, type 2 diabetes, obesity, and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.
Then there are the questions about the purity and integrity of the water sold in these bottles. How are we to know that what we are drinking is not just straight tap water with a label on it? This “bottled water craze” is expected to continue to rise but you don’t have to be crazy in the midst of it all!
These solutions will take a little extra effort and a little extra money up front, but with this small investment (or a larger strategic investment), you’ll get the quality water you deserve, save tons of money in the long run, and lower environmental emissions.
1. Use glasses or stainless steel water bottles. The properties of glass and stainless will not allow them to leach chemicals and other toxins in your water. You can also wash and reuse the glass jars food comes in e.g. fruit spreads, apple sauce, pasta sauce, etc. to serve as you new containers. And yes, those good old mason jars work well, too.
2. Boil your water or purchase a water purifier or water filtration system to clean up your water a bit more. As simple, low-cost “Britta Filter” or another counter-top filter like “Water-Wise” (www.waterwise.com), will remove certain chemicals and are easy to use. Filters that are integrated into your water filtration system, like a Jupiter Filter (http://www.jupiterionizers.com/), will remove even more chemicals, but will cost a bit more – a cost you could potentially work into your mortgage.