Do you still think that bottled water is safer than tap water?

Added April 19, 2010, Under: Diseases, Environment, Health

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Millions of people buy bottled water because they believe it is better or safer than tap water.

There is a new movie doing the circuit to selected venues in the US. It is also available on DVD and is called “Tapped”. It centres on the massive swindle that is bottled water. Bottled water is a $100 billion a year industry and Americans are the leading consumers buying $15 billion worth every year. Dr Mercola writes about it in his article “A Movie about Water you Need to See” on his web site www.mercola.com and he also talks about another movie called “Thirst”.

I have written about this topic of water before in my post “Full marks to Bundanoon” where I told you about this small town in New South Wales, Australia, that has shown the rest of the world how it should be done by banning the sale of bottled water. Concerned at the cost of making, transporting and disposing of the plastic bottles used for bottled water on the environment, Bundanoon took a stand. The people of Bundanoon installed chilled filtered water dispensers throughout the town while the shopkeepers, who could no longer sell bottles of still water, turned to selling reusable containers printed with the slogan “Bundy on Tap” which became a tourist attraction in themselves.

Millions of dollars are spent each week on advertising campaigns to give consumers the perception that bottle water comes from some pristine mountain spring or magical underground aquifer, assuring purity and quality. Bottled water often contains just tap water and sometimes even worse. Trillions of dollars have been spent in the developed world to make tap water safe and yet people in these countries are the biggest consumers of bottled water. Elsewhere in the world, over a billion people have no access to clean drinking water because it is contaminated by bacteria and chemicals. It is really absurd.

Federal regulations only require bottled water to be as good as tap… not better. According to some recent studies, bottled water may often be of lower quality. In fact unless bottled water is transported across state lines, there are no federal regulations that govern its quality. And all carbonated or sparkling waters are completely exempt from FDA guidelines that set specific contamination limits.

The Natural Resources Defense Council reports: “there is no assurance that bottled water is any safer than tap water.”

Americans and others in the Western World are paying from $1 to $4 a gallon for bottled water which costs up to 1,900 times more than tap water AND uses up to 2,000 times more energy to produce and deliver. Why do we continue to be hoodwinked in this way?

86% of all the plastic bottles bought by Americans end up in landfills. The bottles take a thousand years to degrade.

You can save yourself money AND help the environment by filling a reusable (safe) plastic bottle or aluminium bottle with tap water. Unsafe plastic bottles are those that contain high density polyethylene (BPA). The symbol#7 on the bottom could indicate such a bottle.

You can make your tap water safer and taste better by installing a quality in-home filtration system that will filter out the chlorine, lead and other contaminants at the point of use just prior to consumption. You can do this at the fraction of the cost of bottled water.

The city tap water that you will be using has to conform to the following guidelines – again courtesy of the Natural Resources Defense Council:

• City tap water can have no confirmed E. coli or fecal coliform bacteria. FDA bottled water rules include no such prohibition (a certain amount of any type of coliform bacteria is allowed in bottled water).

• City tap water, from surface water, must be filtered and disinfected. In contrast, there are no federal filtration or disinfection requirements for bottled water.

• Most cities using surface water have had to test for Cryptosporidium or Giardia, two common water pathogens that can cause diarrhea and other intestinal problems, yet bottled water companies do not have to do this.

• City tap water must meet standards for certain important toxic or cancer-causing chemicals, such as phthalate (a chemical that can leach from plastic, including plastic bottles); some in the industry persuaded the FDA to exempt bottled water from the regulations regarding these chemicals.

• City water systems must issue annual “right to know” reports, telling consumers what is in their water. Bottlers successfully killed a “right to know” requirement for bottled water.

Change from bottled water for the sake of your health and the environment. Buying bottled water is like pouring money down the drain.

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