Do you know how much plastic you drink per day? A research by the State University of New York in Fredonia analyzed 259 bottles from 11 brands spread around 27 countries only to find out that 93% of them were contaminated with microplastic. The eye-opening results have brought the debate about bottled water risks again to the table and the World Health Organization is already investigating the issue.
What are the bottled water risks?
Reading that you’ve been drinking plastic all this time it’s already enough to sound the alarms. But what does this entail for your health exactly?
Plastic is not biodegradable
This means that once those microparticles of plastic enter your body, they won’t break down and disappear. The true effects of this intake are yet to be studied, but scientists fear this plastic can enter the bloodstream and accumulate in the liver or it might enter the lymphatic system.
The point is, the body will try to get rid of these foreign objects it doesn’t recognize but since they are not digestible, this attempt might cause damage to the tissues.
Bottled water is practical, but most people drink it because they believe it to be healthier than tap water. Why else would they be willing to pay more for it?
The non-profit organization Environmental Working Group analyzed 10 popular U.S. water brands in 2008, only to discover that they contained an average of 38 chemicals. Among the most common mixtures were pollutants, fertilizers, Tylenol, and bacteria.
The dangers of bisphenol A (BPA)
Bisphenol A is quoted as the main culprit of bottled water risks. This chemical is present particularly in bottles made with harder plastic and that can be reused.
There are several studies already alerting for the dangers of this plastic component, with many researchers calling for a ban. Among the main risks of the intake of BPA are:
Infertility: BPA mimics estrogen, which disrupts the normal reproductive hormonal balance of the body. For males, this long-term exposure to estrogen results in a decrease of their sperm count, according to a study from 2017. Females can see their fertility decrease too, according to a study review from 2014, but the consequences can go further for them as BPA is also toxic for the uterus.
Cardiovascular problems: According to a research from 2014, BPA intake can directly increase the risk of cardiovascular problems, including hypertension, heart attacks, anginas and coronary artery heart disease.
Are there any safe alternatives?
There are a couple of changes you can make to avoid facing the bottled water risks.
Glass and stainless bottles are great options. Since these bottles don’t contain plastic you won’t be in danger of contamination. Plus, there is no flavor transfer and they are easier to wash.
Bottles with filtration incorporated might sound good, but they are mostly present in bottles with BPA and the filters are only capable of stopping big residues. A better alternative would be to install a complete filtration system in your house. You could then safely refill your glass bottles out of the tap.
Check the video below to know other alternatives and to understand how the bottled water risks first came to light and got their health claims debunked.