Bottled water risks include more than just draining your bank account. You see, those single-use bottles found in supermarkets, gas stations and gyms across the country are what I like to call “toxic rip-offs.”
Because you’re paying way more for a product that contains harmful compounds. Case in point: A recent German-led study found that a single bottle of bottle water contained nearly 25,000 chemicals. More on that later.
And to be clear, I’m not talking about those hard plastic, reusable water bottles know for their BPA toxic effects. I’m referring to the ones people use once then either recycle or toss in the garbage. It’s time we explore how expensive, unhealthy and unsustainable bottled water is, along with some very harmful side effects of the bottled water industry.
While I don’t want to discount the fact that some people are relying on bottled water to survive, for instance, families whose drinking water is contaminated from ever-more-common flooding, lead-contaminated, outdated infrastructure, fracking chemicals or pipeline spills, it’s safe to say that most Americans drinking bottled water are doing it out of convenience rather than necessity.
Fast Facts: Basic Bottled Water Stats
The average American drinks about 31 gallons of bottled water a year.
Less than 30 percent of plastic water bottles are recycled.
Bottled water is full of hormone-disrupting chemicals. Anti-estrogens and anti-androgens are present in the majority of bottled water.
Estrogenicity in water from plastic bottles is three times higher compared to glass.
Contamination of bottled water results in human exposure to endocrine disruptors.
Bottled water risks include an increased cancer risk. A recent study found 11 out of 18 bottled water sampled induced estrogenic effects in a human cancer cell line.
People in the U.S. buy half a billion bottles of water a week, more than enough to circle the globe 5 times.
Laboratory testing conducted by Environmental Working Group found popular bottled water brands to contain mixtures of 38 different pollutants, including bacteria, fertilizer, Tylenol and industrial chemicals, some at levels no better than tap water. Some even contain high levels of cancer-causing chlorination byproducts.
In the United States, 24 percent of bottled water sold is either Pepsi’s Aquafina or Coke’s Dasani. Both brands are bottled, purified municipal tap water.
Dr. Gina Solomon, a senior scientist at the Natural Resources Defense Council, an environmental advocacy group, told The New York Times that “there is no reason to believe that bottled water is safer than tap water.”