Aug 01

Is bottled water dangerous?


In keeping with my philosophy of keeping things simple, the answer is… YES!

It’s actually dangerous on so many levels.  It’s not just about your health.

A few facts about water:

According to the Food and Water Watch, a non-profit working to ensure the food, water, and fish we consume is safe, accessible, and sustainably produced,  here are a few facts about water:

  • Bottled water is not safer than tap water.
  • Increasingly, bottled water comes from the tap.
  • Bottled water creates mountains of garbage and causes other major environmental problems.
  • Bottled water is thousands of times more expensive than tap water.
  • Bottled water companies mislead communities into giving away their public water in exchange for dangerous jobs.

I found a great little video that’s only 8 minutes long.  I hope you find it interesting.

That explains a lot, doesn’t it?

Is it really just bottled tap water?

Some bottled water is tap water that has been filtered.  Meaning that it’s no different than the water you would get out of your faucet if you had a Brita or Pur filter on it.  And yet it costs a thousand times more.  Bottled water manufacturers are not required to do water quality testing or to reveal the source of their water.  Two of the biggest brand names, Aquafina (made by Pepsi) and Dasani (made by Coke) are simply filtered tap water.  Seems like there should be something illegal about that.

The spring water isn’t much better.  Most of the companies that claim that their water comes from springs won’t actually tell the consumer what specific springs they come from.  They tend to be vague, saying that they come from springs in Oklahoma or Arizona.  Even Poland Springs water, which claims to come from the actual spring called Poland Spring in Maine, admits that the water actually comes from numerous unnamed springs.  Apparently someone in Maine knew that the Poland Spring dried up back in 1967.  Oops!

Then, I have to wonder how they actually get the water out of the spring and to the bottling plant.  How clean and pristine is the bottling process?  Are they using up a valuable resource that is vital to the nearby communities?  What about the fuel that’s used to get it to the plant and then deliver it across the country?  And, of course, what happens to the millions of plastic bottles after they’ve been used one time and then discarded?  It’s a mess.bottles2

BPA in the bottle

There’s also the problem of BPA, which is in most of the plastic bottles.  It seems to be reasonably safe to drink out of unless:

  • it gets hot (then it breaks down and leaks into the water)
  • it gets old (then it breaks down and leaks into the water)
  • it gets reused (then it breaks down and leaks into the water)

Are you starting to see a pattern here?  I thought for a long time that it would be OK if I had them in my house and I didn’t put them in the car.  But I wasn’t thinking about the trip the bottle took before it got to me.  Was it sitting in a truck in the hot Texas sun?  I’m pretty sure those trucks are not refrigerated.  We just have no way of knowing what that bottle has been through before we buy it.  The risk is too high.

What’s a conscious consumer to do?  I personally think we need to stop drinking bottled water.  It’s not better for us and it’s harming the planet.  In the meantime, tap water is actually reasonably safe.  It may not taste great but it is safe.  You can also buy an inexpensive filter for your faucet or a pitcher that filters water.  I will do a review of the different brands soon.

I hope I haven’t muddied the water even more than it already was.  I think to answer the question, “is bottled water dangerous?” I’d have to say that it could be.  It’s probably less dangerous than riding a motorcycle without a helmet and more dangerous than drinking water that you filter yourself through a highly rated filter.  I hope that helps!

here's to you




Here’s to you!


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