PERREAULT Magazine March 2014 - Page 47

Are You Drinking Pure Water?

In the informative documentary "Tapped", the devastating effects the bottled water industry has had on humans and the earth's eco system are explored. In this film, a Food and Drug Administration officer was shown stating that, depending on the city, many municipal water departments are required by law to test their water as often as 400 times per month. This FDA officer went on to share that there is only one person - in the entire FDA - assigned to monitor all of the water purification for the whole USA. Shockingly, this single person not only manages the water purification process for the entire country, but also simultaneously oversees other areas.

In addition, water bottled in the USA by private corporations does not have to be tested for contamination by the FDA. Instead, the bottling companies are left to conduct their own internal self-testing. Many of these companies have not revealed their testing methods and/or results, despite numerous public requests.

In the film, when a third party lab was hired to test some popular brands of bottled water, harmful chemicals were found, making the argument that drinking filtered tap water may be a safer choice.

It is a common practice of the bottling industry to tout that their bottled water is better than average tap water, and in many cases it is clearly proven not to be true.

See Reuters Articles:

www.commondreams.org

While we can easily understand the foolishness of paying for water that is essentially purified tap water, we often forget the secondary, hidden "costs" involved with bottled water.

Safe? Your Packaging?

Bisphenol-A, or "BPA" is a chemical found in many plastic containers, including water bottles. Also, phthalates, used to soften plastic, are often found in plastic water bottles and known to leach into the stored water. Many people have their food packaged in plastics containing BPA or phthalates, making their diet one of the primary sources of exposure.

Many of the top USA doctors, scientists, consumer groups and politicians, have health safety concerns regarding BPA leaching from food containers. They continue an ongoing heated debate with the FDA and many bottling companies regarding the discontinuation of the use of BPAs and feel this type of packaging is a threat to people's health, in particular, infants and children.

Hidden Cost To The Public?

Secondary, "hidden" costs can be found in many other ways. It comes in the form of taxes paid to clean up the plastic waste through recycling (if you can find a recycling bin in your area). It appears in the medical costs for those people who are sick from the air polluted during the creation of plastic bottles. It lurks (literally!) in the middle of the Pacific Ocean as a mass of plastic that is twice the size of the state of Texas. As some of our top marine scientists are advising us, if we keep polluting the ocean at our current rate, most of our ocean life will be killed within the next 20 to 25 years.

Why do we make bottling companies rich by buying their products, when most of the time a good water filter will give you better water for a few pennies? Not only do we pay these bottling companies directly for their bottled water, but we also pay indirectly through secondary "costs", such as exposure to toxic phthalates and BPA and others, wider reaching "costs" that are not always easily recognized.

Is the convenience of a bottle worth the cost?

Continued on page 48

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