Toxic Plastic Water Bottles

I recently received a question from one of my readers about the safety of drinking water from clear plastic water bottles. These bottles, made from Lexan polycarbonate resin (a plastic polymer), are widely used for single-serving sales to one-gallon of water in stores and home-delivery bottles.

Theee bottles appear to be safe because they do not impart any taste or odor to the water. Lexan polycarbonate is also used to make compact discs and DVDs, bulletproof windows, mobile phones, and computers.

The water delivery company sent my reader a notice saying that their Lexan polycarbonate bottles are perfectly safe to use. They suggested their customers visit a website that was designed to portray this plastic in a positive light.

But, actually, a toxic chemical is lurking in these bottles that does end up in the water you drink. Lexan used to be used to make baby bottles, but these are no longer sold. Hmmmmm...

STAY AWAY FROM BPA

In 1998, Dr. Patricia Hunt of Case Western University in Ohio discovered that one of the components of Lexan polycarbonate resin--bisphenol-A (BPA)--can leach into water from water bottles. BPA is a potent hormone disruptor. It can impair the reproductive organs and have adverse effects on breast tissue and prostate development.

Who do we believe? The water delivery company or Dr. Hunt?

I'm inclined to go with Dr. Hunt. I went to a website maintained by the authors of Our Stolen Future: How We Are Threatening Our Fertility, Intelligence and Survival, who are continuously searching the scientific literature for information on endochrine disruptors. The Our Stolen Future (http://www.ourstolenfuture.org/NewScience/oncompounds/bisp page on bisphenol-a henola/bpauses.htm#recentimportant) gives a whole page of links to scientific studies that show that BPA damages the endocrine system in a variety of ways.

BPA can leach from water bottles when exposed to heat and cleaning agents, but detectable levels of BPA can also leach into water from bottles just sitting at room temperature, according to a 2003 study conducted by the University of Missouri published in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives.

BETTER SAFE THAN SORRY

Is there is a level of BPA that may be acceptable? To answer that question we have to ask: acceptable to who? A healthy male? A woman? A child? The elderly? And how would you know how much leaching has occurred in the water? It could easily vary from day to day depending on how long the water had been in the bottle, whether or not the sun was shining on the bottle in the delivery truck, and a variety of other factors.

I'm concerned enough about the possible danger of BPA that I am no longer purchasing bottled water in plastic bottles.

Health concerns aside, plastic is also not good for the environment. Americans use about 10 million tons of plastic every year, but recycle only about two percent of it. A plastic milk jug takes about one million years to biodegrade. And, getting back to health concerns, the manufacture of plastics produces toxic wastes that return to us indirectly through polluted air, water, and soil.

But we also have to use common sense and choose the greatest benefit at any given time. If your choice was to drink spring water in the polycarbonate bottle or drink tap water or drink no water at all on a hot summer day, I would say drink the purer spring water in the polycarbonate bottle. Once in a while, a single exposure will not do much harm. But you don't want to be using water contained in a Lexan polycarbonate resin bottle as your everyday source of water supply, or drink from these bottles all day long, every day.

There are other options.

BETTER OPTIONS

My best recommendation is to get a good water filter that is right for your water and filter your water at home. That way there is no questionable leaching at all. Even though this may be expensive, it is one of the best investments you can make in your health and will save thousands of dollars in medical expenses in the long run.

For those of you who carry or purchase water in the small, single-serving Lexan polycarbonate bottles, you can purchase plastic-free refillable bottles in various sizes to suit your needs. They are lightweight and much more attractive than the disposable plastic bottles.

It's a good idea, particularly in the summertime, to carry clean water with you, as your body needs water throughout the day for good health. The Mayo Clinic suggests you divide your weight in half and drink that many ounces of water every day. So if you weigh 128 pounds, that would be 64 ounces or 8 8-ounce glasses of water per day. It's better to carry your own clean water in a safe container than drink tap water or water in a plastic bottle.

For sources of water filters and reusable plastic-free refillable bottles, visit http://www.debraslist.com/water/index.html.

Hailed as "The Queen of Green" by the New York Times, Debra Lynn Dadd has been a leading consumer advocate for products and lifestyle choices that are better for health and the environment since 1982. Visit her website to learn more about her new book Home Safe Home, to sign up for her free email newsletters, and to browse 100s of links to 1000s of nontoxic, natural and earthwise products. http://www.dld123.com

In The News:


How to Use the Subconscious to Cope with Body System Triggers of Your Pain

The musculoskeletal, immune and endocrine systems can all be potent... Read More

Massage Therapy

Massage Therapy is a massage session that takes place in... Read More

Air Purifiers, Are They Worth The Money?

When you suffer from allergies or asthma, you may think... Read More

What AreThe Symptoms Of A Sinus Headache?

Problems with sinuses, give rise to headaches, so you have... Read More

What Is Oral Chelation And How Can It Help Prevent Heart Disease

Oral ChelationOral chelation is the solubilization of a metal salt... Read More

Why Your Mattress May Be Killing You

The organic movement, which started with organic food, is moving... Read More

Natural Aromatherapy, Essence of Health

Bringing Home Nature's Forest Correctly and SafelyPreserving Both Essence and... Read More

Holistic Methods: Color Therapy and Aura Soma in Steamboat Springs, Colorado

The human body is recognized as a series of colors,... Read More

Heart Healthy

"Open your heart to me, my own," whispers Grandmother Growth... Read More

Aloe Vera - No Wonder They Call It The Miracle Plant

Aloe Vera is a member of the Lily family. It... Read More

Smoking?Quit with Whispers and Acupuncture

Do you want to stop smoking badly enough to try?... Read More

The Stammering/Stuttering Speech Course

The five day speech course for stuttering/stammering.The first two days... Read More

Mercury Detoxification

An interesting area of alternative medicine that is advancing rapidly... Read More

Acupuncturists

An ancient Chinese method of pain relief and disease treatment;... Read More

More Vegetable Constipation Remedies

Here are more constipation remedies using vegetables. Use vegetables every... Read More

Bring Peace and Serenity to Your Life Through Hypnosis!

Hypnosis: It happens to everyone, young and old, in everyday... Read More

How to Avoid Potentially Harmful Chemicals in Your Area Rugs and Other Home Furnishings

You purchase a beautiful area rug. You know just where... Read More

Anxiety

Anxiety is a pernicious little devil; it can hold us... Read More

Guide To Some Common Herbs That Heal

Herbs have long been an acceptable way to fight common... Read More

Constipation Relieved Naturally

Constipation is a problem that affects many Americans every day.... Read More

Flu Vaccine Hysteria

Last week the media circus surrounding the flu vaccine reached... Read More

Medical Alert Jewelry: A Life Saving Fashion Statement

No one really wants to be labeled as "different." And... Read More

Vitamins And Minerals

It is obvious that each of our bodies is unique... Read More

Athlete Foot Remedies

Athlete foot is a common skin infection that is caused... Read More

Going Back to the Basics: Revival of Traditional Treatment through Herbs

Herbal medicine has its origins in ancient cultures including those... Read More