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The Truth About Our Environment and Water

What really happened to our tap water and underground water?

Clean water is one of the most important needs of our bodies. It is a sad fact that something as essential to life as clean drinking water can no longer be granted to us. Unsafe water is not just a third world problem. In fact, safe drinking water is even harder to find specially in industrially developed countries such as the U.S.

According to research articles and news, most tap and well water in the U.S. now are not safe for drinking due to heavy industrial and environmental pollution. We have reached to a point that, all sources of our drinking water, including municipal water systems, wells, lakes, rivers, and even glaciers, contain some level of contamination. Contaminants range from naturally-occurring minerals to man-made chemicals and by-products. While many contaminants are found at levels not enough not to cause immediate discomforts or sicknesses , it is proven that even low-level exposure to many common contaminants will, over time, cause severe illness including liver damage, cancer, and other serious ailments. Even the chemicals commonly used to treat municipal water supplies such as chlorine and fluoride are toxic and are known to have significant adverse effects on the human body.

Tap water may also contain traces of prescription drugs. An investigation by the Associated Press has revealed the presence of a vast array of pharmaceuticals in municipal drinking water including antibiotics, anti-convulsants, mood stabilizers and sex hormones. These drugs were found in the drinking water supplies of at least 41 million Americans and in 24 major metropolitan areas - from Southern California to Northern New Jersey. The AP has mentioned reverse osmosis as a water filtration solution that removes virtually all pharmaceutical contaminants.

Can we depend on bottled water then?

The fact is that bottled water sold in the United States is not always filtered and not necessarily cleaner or safer than most tap water, according to a four-year scientific study recently made public by the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC). The NRDC's study included testing of more than 1,000 bottles of 103 brands of bottled water. While most of the tested waters were found to be of high quality, some brands were significantly contaminated.

About one-third of the waters tested contained levels of contamination including synthetic organic chemicals, bacteria, and arsenic (at least one sample exceeded allowable limits under either state or bottled water industry standards or guidelines). In fact, about a quarter of all bottled water is actually bottled tap water, according to government and industry estimates (some estimates go as high as 40 percent).

Approximately one-fourth of bottled water is actually bottled tap water, according to government and industry estimates. Some estimates go as high as 40 percent.

 

How America's Bottled Water Addiction fuels high Gas Prices

Most water companies use polyethylene terephthalate (PET) plastics to bottle their products. The manufacturing process of PET bottles requires a combination of natural gas and petroleum. It takes more than 17 million barrels of oil annually to create enough plastic to meet American's demand for bottled water. That is enough to fuel more than one million cars in the USA for 1 full year.

Another problem is the transportation costs of bottled water. Water is very heavy and it takes a lot of fuel to transport millions of tons of drinking water every day. When the time comes to recycle these plastic bottles, even more oil is needed as recycling plants require large amounts of fuel and clean water to operate. So even the recycling of plastic bottles becomes a major depletion of the Earth's precious natural resources.

Research from the Beverage Marketing Corp estimates that the average American consumption of bottled water has jumped from 1.6 gallons per person a year in 1976 to over 30.2 gallons a year in 2007. It's no coincidence that our gas prices have increased so dramatically along with our consumption of bottled water.

It is estimated that only about 15-20% of plastic bottles get recycled. The majority ends up in landfills, with a good portion making it out to the oceans where they will break down into smaller pieces. These plastic pellets absorb many toxic chemicals like PCBs and DDT and are often mistaken for food by all types of marine life. This adversely affects the entire eco-system of the ocean as sickness and death is passed up and down the food chain. Since people eat seafood, our health is also affected by the plastics that pollute the seas.

The truth is we can all make a difference in the world simply by making a small change in our lifestyle and reducing our dependence on bottled water.

 

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