Microplastics Discovered in Over 90% of Bottled Water: Taps Safer
7 minute read
Our bodies are made of 60 percent water, so it makes sense that we need to drink at least 8 glasses a day. Water is essential to our overall health and well-being.
After research found lead and other pollutants in our tap water, bottled and filtered water became all the rage. Especially after the ongoing disaster with the toxic drinking water in Flint, Mich. taps.
Unfortunately, there are hidden dangers in bottle water too, causing us to question where we are supposed to get good water from. The good news, though, is that there is an answer.
Earlier this year, the World Health Organization (WHO) launched a review into the dangers of the plastic found in drinking water. They had discovered that of all the popular bottled water brands in the world, 90 percent contained tiny pieces of plastic.
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Compared to previously tested samples of tap water, they found twice as many plastic particles in bottled water. With the consumption of bottled water increasing around the world, there is cause for concern.
The new study conducted by the WHO found that polypropylene was the most common plastic fragment found in the water. This happens to be the same plastic used to make the bottle caps.
The particles were identified using red dye, which sticks to the surface of plastics and not natural materials. Samples were collected from nine different countries. The scientists, however, have not been able to confirm any impacts on human health.
Humans are notorious for producing waste, and plastic is the most common form of waste found in landfills and oceans. The microplastics from water bottles are so small they can easily invade methods for collecting and filtering plastic trash.
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This means that they get through undetected and end up in places you don’t want them. Researchers have found these microplastics in every environment and in the guts of animals and birds. Often, they can be found in the very animal-based foods you end up consuming.
Bottled Water Takes a Hit
As more and more research about the dangerous plastics found in water begins to surface, people are starting to question if bottled water really is good for us.
It turns out that there are several reasons for this:
Plastic is not sustainable. Water bottles are manufactured using massive quantities of fossil fuels and water, thus leaving a large carbon footprint on the world. The bottles are not biodegradable in any way, so what takes you a few minutes to drink will last for thousands of years.
Not everyone is an avid recycler, and degrading plastics can leach harmful toxins into our lands.
Most bottled water is tap water. Just with an expensive price tag. Despite all the images of mountain springs depicted on bottles, only a few brands truly get their water from spring sources. 25 percent of bottled water is really tap water.
Even sans BPA, plastics are still more bad than good. People take comfort in knowing that the bottles are BPA-free, but there are other chemicals present in plastic that can seep into your water. One of the more dangerous chemicals includes endocrine disruptors, which can cause serious interference with your hormones.
There are better alternatives. You can buy reusable glass or stainless steel bottles. There are many varieties of shapes, styles, and colors. Reusable water bottles can accessorize better than most shoes, and they are better for you and the environment.
Is Tap Water Any Better?
It turns out that tap water is not only safe, but it is better for you than bottled water. Provided you don’t live in Flint, of course, a quality water filter is the best possible option, just to be safe.
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There are also many methods and techniques you can employ these days to check and monitor the quality of your tap water. Most people are under the false impression that tap water is dangerous, but there are strict federal standards that require regular monitoring and treating of the drinking water in this country.
When quality is not the concern, then taste usually is. Many people claim that tap water tastes odd and assume this is because of pollutants.
This could not be not further from the truth because the taste is often nothing more than the result of chlorination and the presence of natural minerals. If the taste is something that bothers you, don’t switch to bottled water. You can try a quality home filter instead and this is less expensive too.
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The minerals in tap water that provide that natural taste are important and your body can benefit from them in many ways.
♦ Calcium: Important for healthy teeth and bones as well as important in the blood clotting, hormone production, and cell growth.
♦ Magnesium: This is needed for strong bones, energy metabolism, and the healthy functioning of your muscles.
♦ Sodium: An essential mineral for fluid balance. Sodium also helps to regulate your blood pressure.
♦ Potassium: This also regulates fluid balance and blood pressure, but it also helps to regulate blood sugar levels and is responsible for the conduction of nerve impulses.
♦ Phosphorus: This mineral helps to convert sugar to energy and helps you to combat fatigue.
♦ Copper: Necessary for the formation of bone and connective tissue and supports immune system function.
♦ Iron: Key mineral needed to produce red blood cells and for the transport of oxygen through your body.
♦ Selenium: Mostly unheard of but very important, selenium is a powerful antioxidant that protects your cells from damage.
The Bottom Line
Considering that most bottled water is tap water anyway, why waste your money and risk the damages to your environment and your health? We need water to survive, but we don’t need microplastics invading our bodies, so tap water is your best option.
Bottled water would be great should our water system become spoiled or contaminated. However, with the federal standards currently in place, this is not likely. Bottled water is likely doing you more harm than good.