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Thread: Bottled Water Isn't Healthier Than Tap Water, Report Reveals

  1. #1
    Senior Member roshni's Avatar
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    Bottled Water Isn't Healthier Than Tap Water, Report Reveals

    Bottled Water Isn't Healthier Than Tap, Report Reveals

    James Owen
    for National Geographic News


    February 24, 2006


    A bottle of spring or mineral water has become the lifestyle accessory of the health-conscious. No longer a luxury item, the beverage has become a common sight worldwide.

    But according to campaigners, the planet's health may be suffering as a result.

    more: http://www.davesdaily.com/out.php?id...led_water.html

  2. #2
    Senior Member jukespin's Avatar
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    A new report warns that people's thirst for bottled water is producing unnecessary garbage and consuming vast quantities of energy, even in areas where perfectly good drinking water is available on tap.
    The report, released earlier this month by the Earth Policy Institute (EPI), says global consumption of bottled water doubled between 1999 and 2004, reaching 41 billion gallons (154 billion liters) annually.
    Bottled water is often no healthier than tap water, but it can be 10,000 times more expensive, says Emily Arnold, a researcher with the Washington D.C.-based nonprofit.
    "At as much as $2.50 [U.S.] per liter [$10 U.S. a gallon], bottled water costs more than gasoline," she said.
    Most of this extra cost is driven by transportation and packaging.
    "Nearly a quarter of all bottled water crosses national borders to reach consumers," Arnold said.
    The report gives the example of one company in Helsinki, Finland, that in 2004 shipped 1.4 million bottles of Finnish tap water to Saudi Arabia—2,700 miles (4,300 kilometers) away.
    Well-known French brands Evian and Volvic export between 50 and 60 percent of their water to destinations across the globe.
    The report lists the U.S. as the world's biggest drinker of bottled water, consuming 7 billion gallons (26 billion liters) annually. Mexico has the second highest consumption, followed by China and Brazil.
    Italians drink the most per person, equivalent to about two glasses a day.


    contd.
    The Natural Resources Defense Council, which carried out a four-year review of the bottled water industry, concluded "there is no assurance that just because water comes out of a bottle, it is any cleaner or safer than water from the tap."
    The New York City-based action group added that an estimated 25 percent of bottled water is "really just tap water in a bottle—sometimes further treated, sometimes not."
    In Great Britain the Chartered Institution of Water and Environmental Management recently published a report questioning the quality, labeling, and environmental cost of bottled water.
    "Branding and bottling of water where there already exists a wholesome and safe supply of … drinking water cannot be seen as a sustainable use of natural resources," said Nick Reeves, the institution's executive director.
    He says the perception that the bottled product is purer than tap water is unfounded.
    "For example," he said, "the high mineral content of some bottled waters makes them unsuitable for feeding babies and young children."
    But the International Bottled Water Association (IBWA) says the product provides a convenient, healthy alternative to calorie-laden portable drinks or those containing caffeine and artificial additives.
    The IBWA, based in Alexandria, Virginia, points out that bottled water is fully regulated by government agencies, such as the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, to be guaranteed safe to drink.
    Meanwhile, in many developing countries, tap water is either unavailable or unsafe, making bottled water a better option.
    Tons of Plastic
    Even when bottled water is safer to drink, campaigners say that the packaging is threatening environmental health.
    Worldwide some 2.7 million tons (2.4 million metric tons) of plastic are used to bottle water each year, according to EPI.
    The plastic most commonly used is polyethylene terepthalate (PET), which is derived from crude oil.
    "Making bottles to meet Americans' demand for bottled water requires more than 1.5 million barrels of oil annually, enough to fuel some 100,000 U.S. cars for a year," EPI's Arnold said.
    About 86 percent of plastic water bottles in the U.S. become garbage or litter, according to the Container Recycling Institute in Washington, D.C.
    Plastic debris in the environment can take between 400 and 1,000 years to degrade.
    Arnold says incinerating used containers isn't a viable option, since burning PET produces toxic byproducts, such as chlorine gas and ash containing heavy metals.
    To help alleviate environmental harm from PET, some companies are adopting a more eco-friendly bottling alternative.
    For example, Colorado-based BIOTA bottles its spring water in a container made from a biodegradable plastic called polylactic acid (PLA), which is derived from corn.
    The bottling company says, given the right composting conditions, the container will disappear in 75 to 80 days.
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  3. #3
    I have several gallons (3 - 2.5 gallon containers) of store-bought drinking water stored in my backroom for hurricanes or power outages. I had 5.... 2 sprang leaks or something and are empty. They haven't been moved or touched but "magically" they're now empty. What a rip-off! Maybe they were:
    For example, Colorado-based BIOTA bottles its spring water in a container made from a biodegradable plastic called polylactic acid (PLA), which is derived from corn.
    The bottling company says, given the right composting conditions, the container will disappear in 75 to 80 days.
    .... but I don't think so!

    I also keep about 10 gallons of water in old bleach bottles so I'll have at least one flush if the power goes out! I have an electric pump that draws water up from an aquafer... so no electicity, no water.

    But I also have a 24 case of 14 oz bottles for emergencies too. Since they don't sell sterile water without a prescription I use it to cut the hydrogen peroxide (50%) that I use for catheterization. I figure it's probably the same exact water that I get from the aquafer but assume that it's been filtered... at least somewhat. Hopefully, after it mixes with the HP, any bacteria in it will be killed. So far, so good.

    Get an inexpensive "at the tap" water filter if you're unsure of your water quality and refill your drinking water bottles. Or get a couple of those heavy duty reusable water bottles. What a waste of plastic (and crude oil) and money bottled water is. Gotta love those fancy brand names and labels eh?

    That's why I recommend drinking beer from aluminum cans.... or LaBatts in bottles. But always recycle. Or just use papers or a bong if you're a pothead. Those "vaporizers" use valuable electricity or batteries so are also very environmentally unfriendly.
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  4. #4
    I find good bottled water tastes better than tap. Say Fiji or SmartWater. I did read a post on this newsgroup by someone who suggested drinking filtered water for cathing ( or maybe sp cannot remember post), no idea if it really does makes difference for health I just drink it for taste.

    I don't really understand all the anti bottled water sentiment. It's no different from any other drink. And most of those cheap filters for tap water dont do much, and the good ones are very expensive.

  5. #5
    I know its expensive but I love Fiji water. It really does have a unique taste.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by xsfxsf View Post
    I find good bottled water tastes better than tap. Say Fiji or SmartWater. I did read a post on this newsgroup by someone who suggested drinking filtered water for cathing ( or maybe sp cannot remember post), no idea if it really does makes difference for health I just drink it for taste.

    I don't really understand all the anti bottled water sentiment. It's no different from any other drink. And most of those cheap filters for tap water dont do much, and the good ones are very expensive.
    Here is the reason for what you describe as the anti bottled water sentiment.....

    Sure, grabbing a cold bottle of water from the grocer’s cooler is quick and convenient, but at what cost? Take a look at plastic bottles by the numbers and you’ll soon discover just how big a waste plastic water bottles can be!

    * Financial waste: Single-use bottles of water cost up to 10,000 times more than tap water! Going with tap water and a reusable water bottle can save you hundreds of dollars every year.[1] Want to know how much you’re wasting every year? Check out this Bottled Water Cost Calculator to find out for yourself.
    * Oil waste: PET (polyethylene terephthalate) bottles, the most commonly used for bottle water, are made of plastic which is produced using fossil fuels, which keeps us dependent on foreign oil. Americans use more than 17 million barrels of oil every year to support their bottled water habits.[2]
    * Energy waste: ransporting water through a municipal system is very energy-efficient, even over long distances. But carting heavy bottled water using inefficient vehicles (trains, trucks, boats) add unnecessary fossil fuel burning to the mix and contributing to climate change. And despite the fact that glass is heavier to transport, it requires the same amount of energy to make compared to PET plastic production.[3]
    * Solid waste: Americans consume more than 34 billion one-use plastic beverage bottles every year, 80% of which are not recycled. That represents 877 wasted plastic bottles every second.[4] Canadians recycle only 12% of their water bottles.[5] That plastic can take up to 1,000 years to decompose when sent to the landfill.
    * Water waste: While filling a plastic bottle with water makes sense, using enormous quantities of water to make the bottle in the first place doesn’t. 17.6 kilograms of water are required to make 1 kilogram of PET plastic - that’s not a great return on the water investment![6]
    * Toxic waste: Creating PET plastic is less toxic than other types of plastic bottles, but it is far from eco-friendly. Compared to manufacturing glass, PET production results in 100 times more of the following toxic emissions: nickel, ethylbenzene, ethylene oxide, and benzene.


    Health concerns with plastics used for water and food

    But the environmental waste isn’t the only troubling thing about plastic water bottles. Scientists are only just now beginning to discover plastic leaching problems that can create several health hazards for those who drink regularly from plastic water bottles

    * BPA: Bisphenol-A (BPA) plastic is a chemical used to line PET and polycarbonate plastic water bottles

  7. #7
    I love how spammers resurrect these old threads.

  8. #8
    Pepsi use our city tap water for its Aquafina. They run it through a charcoal filter before bottling. That said, Columbia has been ranked in the top ten best tasting city waters in the U.S. Dentists dislike bottled water, especially for kids. There is a clear link between mostly bottled water drinking kids and cavities attributed to the fact that it does not contain fluoride. Back in my kid days, us rural kids had nearly twice as many cavities as the city kids. We drank great tasting spring water and others drank not-so-great tasting well water, neither of which were fluoridated.

    Speaking of bottled water, I know many people keep it in their emergency cache. Does anyone know if that water can be stored indefinitely or if it goes bad at some point? I have never heard that issue addressed.
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by SCIfor55yrs. View Post
    Pepsi use our city tap water for its Aquafina. They run it through a charcoal filter before bottling. That said, Columbia has been ranked in the top ten best tasting city waters in the U.S. Dentists dislike bottled water, especially for kids. There is a clear link between mostly bottled water drinking kids and cavities attributed to the fact that it does not contain fluoride. Back in my kid days, us rural kids had nearly twice as many cavities as the city kids. We drank great tasting spring water and others drank not-so-great tasting well water, neither of which were fluoridated.

    Speaking of bottled water, I know many people keep it in their emergency cache. Does anyone know if that water can be stored indefinitely or if it goes bad at some point? I have never heard that issue addressed.
    Most water in plastic bottles has an expiration date printed on it. Plastic leeches harmful chemicals into the water, especially if kept reasonably warm, and I suspect it is the leeching of things like BPA that is more harmful over time than a sealed bottle itself.

  10. #10
    In Mount Laurel NJ, there are about 30 families affected by contaminated tap water. They may win in a settlement, but that won't give them back their GI tracts.
    And the truth shall set you free.

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