Over the past 10 years, bottled water sales have more than tripled to $22 billion a year. These revenues are shared by the 475 American bottled water plants that produce over 600 different types of bottled water brands. One out of every six U.S. households uses bottled water as their primary or sole source of water.
We are told that tap water is full of chemicals and we are much safer with store bought water. But are we really safe?
1. Bottled Water is less regulated than tap water. Here is the biggest shocker of all – tap water is much safer for you than bottled water. Why? Tap water is subjected to strict health standards which are performed daily to ensure it is not polluted and contaminated. Whereas, bottled water undergoes the standard procedure only once a week. On top of all, bottled water is treated with disinfectants, which in turn can produce byproducts called trihalomethanes. This chemical byproduct is linked to birth defects and even cancer.
2. Bottled Water Comes from municipal water sources. If you think that your bottled water comes from that magnificent remote area (aka natural springs), you are mistaken. The fancy picture on the bottle and alluring commercials have nothing to do with the reality. The truth is bottled water is essentially the same tap water you can get at home.
3. Plastic Water Bottles are dangerous to your health. The plastic used to make water bottles is full of chemicals. Most plastic bottles contain BPA – bisphenol-A. It’s a toxic chemical that is linked to major health problems. Plastic water bottles also contain phthalates; they mimic hormones in your body. If left in the sun or exposed to heat, these chemicals are leaked in the water.
4. Bottled Water is a Rip Off. Bottled water is so pricey sometimes that it makes you think it’s liquid gold. You pay 100 times more for a bottle of water than you would for tap water at home. And the quality of the latter surpasses the bottled water. Additionally, bottled water is a rip off in terms of taste as well. In most cases it tastes the same as tap water.
5. Bottled Water is Dangerous for the Environment. Around 3 million tons of plastic are used to produce bottled water worldwide every year. And to produce this plastic, around 47 million gallons of oil per year is used. Despite the claim that nearly all water bottles are being recycled, around 75 percent of the plastic water bottles end up in lakes, oceans, streams, etc. Most of the time, they don’t get fully decomposed.
The FDA, in combination with the NRDC — Natural Resources Defense Council — recently tested over 1,000 bottles of water from 103 different brands and found most to be of ‘good’ quality, but admit the quality of some brands was ‘spotty’ due to one third of the bottled waters containing significant contamination in the way of bacteria or chemical contaminants.
They found that nearly one in four bottles of water (23 of the 103 tested) were in violation of California limits for bottled water for containing cancer-causing synthetic organic compounds or arsenic. Two of the brands were in violation for containing excessive fluoride and coliform bacteria, while one brand contained phthalate — a cancer-causing chemical that leaks from plastic — at two times the standard of tap water.
Eighteen of the 103 were in violation of excessive bacteria as allowed under the microbiological-purity guidelines, however, 34 of the 103 or 33 percent of the tested bottle waters, were in violation of microbial contaminants.
To sum it up, bottled water is not only cost ineffective and more dangerous to the environment, it is also less safe than tap water. Don’t waste your money on the bottled water scam. You are much better off getting a water filter or even drinking tap water.