Evian, Dasani, Aquafina. It’s fresh, it’s tasty, it’s safe.Or is it? According to Nick Reaves, an executive director of Great Britain’s Chartered Institution of Water and Environmental Management, who was quoted by a 2006 National Geographic news report, “the high mineral content of some bottled waters makes them unsuitable for feeding babies and young children.”Moreover, chemicals can leach from the plastic itself into the water. According to Health Canada, one such chemical is Bisphenol A, which is used plastic bottles and has been linked to cancers and other health problems.Consumers left wondering how safe bottled water is for adults may want to check the following facts.
Myth 1: Bottled water is healthier, cleaner and safer than tap water.
Reality: Between 25 and 40 percent of all bottled water sold is just rebottled tap water. (One of Aquafina’s main sources is the Detroit River). How is such water treated? Sometimes not at all. This is why, according to Health Canada, consumers should check water bottle labels for the following:Spring or Natural Mineral water: Underground water fit for human consumption “at its point of origin” and coming from outside of the community’s supply. Health Canada adds, “Spring or mineral water may not be subjected to any treatment that would modify the original composition of the water.”Bottled water: All water lacking a “spring” or “mineral” water label. This kind of water can be from any source (including the tap) and can be treated for human consumption or to modify its original composition.
Myth 2: Bottled water tastes better than tap water.
Reality: What some people consider the taste of water is the sodium, calcium, magnesium and chlorides it contains. The “purest” form of water, distilled water (where all salts and minerals have been removed) tastes flat. For those who are concerned about the chlorine in tap water, webmd.com advises them to refrigerate the water in a container with a loose lid overnight. The chlorine taste should be gone the next day.
Myth 3: Recycling plastic water bottles equals with not affecting the environment.
Reality: Although recycling is a much greater help than chucking the bottle in the garbage (where about 65 million plastic water bottles collect in landfills each year from Canadians alone), making and selling the plastic bottles of water involves manufacturing, trucking, shelving and marketing the water—all of which are fuel-intensive.
Myth 4: Bottled water is more convenient to drink than tap water.
Reality: Buying bottled water requires walking or driving to the store, picking out the water, waiting in line, paying for the water and then taking the water home. With reusable bottles, all consumers have to do is wash it out and fill it up at home. And it’s free.