BOTTLED WATER: Its Environmental, Economic and Health issue



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This is the truth behind it all!
History of bottled water:
The first history of bottled dated back in the 1770’s when a man had discovered a “magical” spring located in Vermont that supposedly cured any diseases. In the old settlement times people thought that naturally purified water has special powers. So settlers would travel hundreds of miles to come and collect this water. The only way they could carry the water were in glass containers therefore giving it the term “Bottled Water”.It was not till 1820 that bottled water became very popular and companies began to expand. The first Water Industry was founded by Jabez Ricker. He founded Poland spring. Jabez Ricker had originally shipped barrels of Poland spring water across to America but wanted to make more money. After realizing how much the water helped the farm animals and the water grow nice and healthy. He decided to advertise water to an all you can drink Poland Spring water for $2.50 a week. Eventually that became a big hit and from then on more and more people decided to from selling water.60 years later America decided to open companies like nestle, and Coca-Cola who each have over 70 brands of bottled water and distribute all over the world. Making bottled water one of the most intake in the world along with oil.


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Container of " magical water".


Health:
Water is of course an essential need. Our bodies need water in order to stay healthy and function. Did you know that 3/4 Americans drink bottled water on a daily basis and 1/5 Americans only drink bottled water. So of course we would expect that the water we pay a lot for is good for us. Well you wrong. Studies show that bottled water is actually damaging our health.
On October 15th, the Environmental Working Group (EWG) released an industry-rattling report that reveals the dirty truth about bottled water. If you regularly drink bottled water, brace yourself as the news is not pretty. EWG conductedcomprehensive testing on 10 brands of US bottled water and found an alarming array of contaminants, including:

  • cancer-causing byproducts of chlorination
  • fertilizer residue like nitrate and ammonia
  • industrial solvents
  • caffeine
  • pharmaceuticals like Tylenol
  • heavy metals and minerals including arsenic and radioactive isotopesa broad range of other, tentatively identified industrial chemicals
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Overall the bottled water tested contained 38 chemical pollutants altogether, with an average of 8 contaminants in each brand. More than one-third of the chemicals found, are not regulated in bottled water. The scientists in this study also did something else that may shock you. They included tests for breast cancer cell growth, conducted at the University of Missouri. One of the bottled water brands tested, stimulated a 78% increase in the growth of breast cancer cells compared to a control sample. This outcome indicated that chemical contaminants in the bottled water sample stimulated accelerated division of cancer cells. Now although a company may argue that the amounts of chemicals in any bottled water are far below any significant levels to cause any harm, think about the sheer volume of bottled water that the average North American drinks, not to mention all the other chemicals they intake through their food and other drinks. The accumulating effects have to account for something. What the study did not mention is that there is also a risk to one’s liver if taking in chemicals on a regular basis as our liver has to detoxify any and all drugs, toxins and foreign substances that enter our bodies. Hence one can conclude that bottled water can also put a heavier than necessary burden on one’s liver, which may lead to future health complications. Secondly, bottled water comes in PET or PETE #1 plastic bottles. This substance that holds the water has been under scrutiny itself for being carcinogenic. Although this has not been fully proven to this date, what has been proven is that this plastic has a high incidence of bacterial contamination. Hence never ever should these bottles be refilled, especially if left in warm temperatures. Also the water from these bottles should not be drank after standing half full for days without refrigeration.

Also present in the bottled water were the pharmaceutical Tylenol, arsenic, radioactive isotopes, nitrates, and ammonia from fertilizer residue. “In some cases, it appears bottled water is no less polluted than tap water and, at 1,900 times the cost, consumers should expect better,” said Jane Houlihan, co-author of the study. Bottled water may also contain chemicals that leach out of plastic bottles, which are made of PET, or polyethylene terephthalate. Nationwide, 70% of all Americans drink bottled water at least once a week.Not only that but bottled water containes very high levels on Atrazine, a pestecide or other wise known as a weed killer. Atrazine is mostly known for causing cancer and low sperm-counts. plus lets not forget that bottled water is not as regulated as much as tap water. Is this what you really want to be drinking?

Environmental:
Bottled water is an essential for us. And the fact that we can take it on the go is even better. Its spill proof and is easily disposable. But do you know what happens after you throw it away in the trash. It goes straight to landfills or gets sent to an incinerator. Unfortunately bottled waters are not bio-degradable So one made they keep their form. Plus the fact that it takes so much energy and oil to burn all those plastic bottles and all of that CO2 you are throwing in the atmosphere will tear a hole on our ozone layer. According to Meghan O'Rourke, "To many, Evian no longer denotes fresh-faced purity, but an oily blot on the green earth." Indeed, critics assert that bottled water hurts the environment, resulting in a vast amount of waste each year. The oil used to produce the bottles, they argue, wastes a valuable resource at a time when energy resources are scarce. Additionally, critics say, non-recycled bottles account for tons of waste each year. O'Rourke argues, "Our addiction to water purity is, ironically, making the world--and our water supplies--unhealthier than ever." A recent New York Times editorial stated, "Instead of consuming four billion gallons of water a year in individual-sized bottles, we need to start thinking about what all those bottles are doing to the planet's health."
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Economic:
Companies like Nestle and Coca-Cola are one of the biggest water distributes in the world with over 70 different brand of bottled water. And factories placed all over the world. But what people don’t know is that these companies are ripping us off. The bottled-water industry made about $6.5 billion in 2001, some 50% more than in 1996..While some bottled water is taken from underground springs--Poland Spring, bottled water from Maine, is one example--most other brands of bottled water have a very different source: the tap.
Major brands like Dasani (bottled by Coca-Cola Co.) and Aquafina (bottled by PepsiCo) are simply purified tap water. While neither claims to be spring water--federal law prohibits them from doing so--many consumers assume that they are. But the fact that most bottled water comes from a tap, before going through a high-tech filtration process that removes impurities, is not what has many Americans in the Midwest upset. Rather, they are angry that the right to the water under the ground on which they live has been given to companies that intend to bottle and sell that water around the country. Recently, a conflict has been brewing in Michigan and Wisconsin between bottled water giant Perrier and local environmentalists over that very issue.
The Perrier Company-which is a division of Nestle SA, the world's largest food company--is one of the world's largest bottled water companies. Aside from its famous sparkling water, which shares its name with the company, it bottles water sold all over the U.S. under such names as Ice Mountain, Arrowhead and Deer Park. Perrier decided to expand its business by moving into Michigan and Wisconsin in an effort to expand the capacity of its very popular Ice Mountain brand of bottled water. Because spring water is generally taken from self-contained, underground springs, removing water from the spring does not affect the aquifer, or underground reservoir, that provides water to the rest of the area. But, experts point out; very few brands of bottled water are actually spring water. Most of the Bottled water sold in stores originated in municipal water systems. The company that bottles the water must pay the municipality for whatever water it uses. But rather than follow the usual route of taking tap water from municipal systems, for which it wouldhave to pay, and purifying it, Perrier decided to secure the rights to the water while it is still in the ground. In this way,


Conclusion:
In the end, all bottled water is just tap water from our own sinks. And everyday people spend millions of dollars consuming this. It’s not only hurting us but it’s hurting our environment. Its companies like Nestle and Coca-Cola who are benefiting from all this. If water is a natural resource then why should we pay for it? Are they going to start to charge us for air? It’s ridiculous what these companies will go through just to get water to sell. Even if it pumping water throughout a drought. As it’s not already bad for us to pay everything else. It’s time for us to put a stop to these water companies and involve ourselves into recycling. It’s time to let companies know to stop investing money in bottled water and more into better recycling systems. Imagine how much a person could save just by recycling their bottles. And how much you are going to help save the world. So next time instead of getting bottled water and the market garb a reusable water bottle and fill that up. It will save you much more money. You might never know what you can do by just changing one small daily life style. The time for change is today.