The consumption of bottled water has skyrocketed in the last decade, with most people believing that this type of water is significantly healthier than tap water. Another reason for the increased consumption of bottled water is that it comes in different flavors and types – there’s seltzer, mineral, and flavored water which is more fun than drinking plain water from the tap. However, many experts don’t agree with the notion that bottled water is better by tap water by default – in fact, many say the plastic bottles are full of fluoride and other chemicals which can harm your health.
The most common chemicals found in bottled water
Polyethylene terephthalate is a chemical which may have been considered safe in the past, but several studies have shown that PET isn’t so safe as previously thought. PET can leak in the liquid over time and has been related to a variety of health problems.
Bisphenol-A is found in almost all plastic water bottles and is very dangerous for our health. When exposed to high temperatures, BPA can leak into the water and has been found to have a negative effect on our endocrine and reproductive system. Furthermore, the chemical has also been associated with prostate, ovarian, breast and brain cancer.
Phthalates are chemicals which are added to make the plastic water bottles flexible, but have also been linked to hormone imbalance, improper mental development in children, allergies, asthma, hyperactivity and various types of cancer.
Besides these harmful chemicals in the plastic bottles, even the water isn’t so healthy as advertised. Bottled water has been found to contain fluoride, antimony and other chemicals which you can see listed below.
Fluoride is added to both public water supply and bottled water in safe limits set by the FDA, but a number of studies have linked it with reduced dental health and mental development in children. According to experts, this chemical is just as dangerous for our brain as lead, mercury and other toxins.
Antimony is a known carcinogen whose levels rise up to 90% in water bottles kept for more than 6 months.
Estrogen mimicking chemicals
According to one study, bottled water contains a variety of xenoestrogens which mimic the behavior of estrogen in the body and may cause hormone imbalance.
According to a 2013 study, most bottled water brands contain over 20 000 dangerous chemicals which can disrupt your hormones and cause a variety of health problems. Check out these infographics to see the safest bottled water brands you can buy:
How to avoid chemical exposure from bottled water?
There are many better options than bottled water such as tap water filters. By installing a water filter on your taps, they will remove all the chemicals from tap water and make the water safer to drink. Here are the best water filters you can buy:
Solid carbon filters
Charcoal filters can remove toxins from tap water without destroying the minerals inside. They can be either attached to a faucet, added to pitchers and water bottles or installed as a part of a water filtration system.
Reverse osmosis filters are effective, but they will also destroy all the minerals in the water. Another problem with these filters is that they produce too much waste, as only a small portion of the incoming water comes out clean, which is a big disadvantage.
Distilled water is clean, but also lacks minerals – if this is your main water source, you need to find a way to add the minerals back in.
In general, staying away from bottled water isn’t only great for your health – it’s also good for the environment. Plastic pollution is becoming a global problem quickly, and less than 30% of all water bottles are actually recycled. Most of the plastic water bottles end up in the landfills and oceans where they become a big threat for the environment. This is why it’s best to stay away from bottled water or buy reusable glass bottles and fill them with water. You can fill these bottles with filtered tap water or natural springs. There’s really no scientific evidence that bottled water is safer from tap water, so it might be best to avoid it – in this way, you’ll keep the environment safe and even save up a nice sum of money.