The bottled water is readily available in all parts of the world. Most people prefer taking bottled water, as opposed to tap water because they believe that they are safe and more purified compared to the tap water. There are also numerous health awareness campaigns that advocate for high consumption of water, which is at least ‘five 16 ounce bottles’ daily. The bottled water is readily available in schools, places of entertainment, amusement parks, groceries and fuel stations amongst others. In the recent years, there has been a lot of concerns about the safety of bottled water. Approximately 60 million water bottles are discarded on a daily basis in United States, which means that the consumption of this water is very high. There is therefore need to determine the safety of this water (Oke, 2018). This study seeks to discuss the question ‘Is it hazardous to drink from bottled water?’
The water bottle companies usually claim that their water is usually from the mountain springs. Some of the bottled waters, have however been found to be tap water implying that they are just ‘glorified tap water.’ Studies have shown that 40% of the bottled water is tap water, even though they have fancy labels. This means that other than buying tap water, which are in plastic containers and are quite costly. One may just use the tap water in containers that are considered safer. The tap water may also contain fluorine and chloride, which can easily be filtered to prevent accumulation of the chemicals in the body. Furthermore, the tap water is usually treated and constantly monitored for the presence of toxins. In bottled water, on the other hand, no one is certain about the potential contaminants that may be present, as there is no guarantee of constant monitoring (Quatrinni et al., 2016).
The bottled water containers are usually plastic, which contaminate the water as a result of exposure of the bottles to different temperatures. One of the chemicals used in the water bottles is the Bisphenol A (BPA). This is a chemical that is used in industries, for stabilization of polycarbonate plastics and epoxy resins. The chemical is also used to prevent cracking in plastics that are soft. Bisphenol A (BPA) is widely used in the water bottle industry. When the bottled water is exposed to high temperatures, the compound turns into ‘bad estrogen’ and then it leaches into water. The chemical has been found to cause different kinds of cancer, which include: prostate, ovarian and breast cancer. The compound has also been found to have adverse effect in children and infants’ brains, as it causes aggression and hyperactivity in children (Oke, 2018).
The other compound that is potentially present in bottled water is the Polyethylene terephthalate (PET). The plastic water bottles that are made of PET are mostly free from BPA, however they too have contaminants. Studies indicate that the pet bottles, usually have contaminants such as saliva, fecal matters and food remnants. The presence of these contaminants pose a great risk to the human health. This is because, one may be exposed to food borne diseases, which are quite fatal. The fecal matter has also been found to have many pathogenic micro-organisms especially bacteria that are likely to cause diseases. One of the most dangerous diseases that can be transmitted through fecal matter is cholera, which kills the patients within 6 hours, if it is not treated. The re-using of PET bottles therefore poses a great risk of contracting fatal illnesses (Pinto et al., 2009)
Phthalates is the other compound that is used in the manufacture of water bottles. The compound has the potential of leaching into the water, especially the polyvinyl chloride, which has been found to be carcinogenic. The PVC has been specifically associated with cancer of the liver. The compound has also been linked to other illness such as the testicular atrophy and it has also been found to cause sterility in males. When one consumes high amount of bottled water that has the compounds, the PVC is likely to accumulate in the system. This will then trigger mutation, after sometime, which may disrupt the functioning of the DNA and hence cause cancer (Bosnir et al., 2003).
The bottled water contain minerals, some of the minerals include: Magnesium, potassium and calcium. These are essential minerals that help in proper functioning of the body, however the mineral water also has other minerals that are not good for the body and they include: barium, lead and arsenic. The body requires only a small amount of minerals for proper body functioning, the consumption of high amount of minerals have negative health effects, as they may interfere with the normal body functioning. The presence of heavy metals such as lead has been found to have adverse effects, as they trigger mutation of DNA in the body, which may also result in cancer. The consumption of minerals should therefore be regulated to prevent the adverse health effects (Oke, 2018).
The tap water is generally safe for drinking as the water is purified by the municipal council and a constant monitoring for the presence of contaminants such as E.coli, is done on the waters to ensure that they are safe for drinking. Most recently the government, introduced new monitoring system for the presence of heavy metals present in tap water (EPA, 2017). There are however concerns that the purified tap water from the city council may potentially have heavy metals and bacteria, which may also affect one’s health. The problem can however be addressed by using filters that can help to get rid of the chemicals such as fluorine and chlorine, which are used in waste water treatment. The accumulation of these chemicals in the body, has also been found to cause negative health effects such as cancer. The bacteria in the water, can also be removed by boiling the water. The filtering and boiling of tap water guarantees safety of an individual, as opposed to buying bottled water, which is also quite costly compared to tap water (Albertini et al., 2007).
The drinking of bottled water is therefore hazardous, due to the numerous potential contaminants that may present in the water. One has no certainty of the purification and water treatment methods used for the bottled water. There are also numerous diseases that have been associated with the bottled water due to the presence of plastic material. The diseases include: testicular atrophy, breast cancer liver cancer, prostate cancer, ovarian cancer and sterility in men (Oke, 2018). The fact that the recycled plastic bottles can also not be cleaned to a point that they are 100% safe and free from contaminants, also makes the consumption of the water from re-used bottles a health hazard. This means that the use of bottled water is generally hazardous and measures need to be taken to find alternative containers that can be used to carry mineral water as opposed to plastic. Measures also need to be but in place to constantly monitor the bottled water.
Works cited page
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Bošnir, Jasna, Dinko Puntarić, Ivo Škes, Maja Klarić, Spomenka Šimić, and Ivan Zorić.
“Migration of phthalates from plastic products to model solutions.” Collegium antropologicum 27.1 (2003): 23-30.
Oke, Deborah. Is it really safe to drink bottled water? The truth About Cancer. 2018. Web.
2nd Nov 2018. https://thetruthaboutcancer.com/is-bottled-water-safe/
Pinto, Barbara, and Daniela Reali. “Screening of estrogen-like activity of mineral water
stored in PET bottles.” International journal of hygiene and environmental health 212.2 (2009): 228-232.
Quattrini, Sara, Barbara Pampaloni, and Maria Luisa Brandi. “Natural mineral waters:
chemical characteristics and health effects.” Clinical Cases in Mineral and Bone Metabolism 13.3 (2016): 173.
United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Drinking Water Contaminants –
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