Fresh water is a major challenge of the 21st century. Due to the continuous growth of the world population, water consumption also increases. People mercilessly destroy natural ecosystems. This has led to the fact that at the beginning of this century, water has become one of the most important resources necessary not only for the global economic growth but also for human survival. Despite all negative consequences in the future and all terrible realities that people can observe now, little effort is made to solve the problem with water resources. People still buy bottled water in large quantities. Instead of buying bottled water, the Americans should think of the ways to purify tap water, which is cheaper for their budgets and much safer for the environment.
Danger of Bottled Water
Nowadays, many people choose to drink bottled water. In the book Water Supply Management, it is written that “ironically, the use of bottled water is more prevalent in developed countries”. There are several negative effects associated with bottled water. First of all, it should be noted that it has a negative effect on human health. Canadian researchers have concluded that bottled water can be more dangerous than tap water. They have tested bottled water of well-known brands and have found that the amount of hazardous and harmful substances in water stored in plastic containers is several times higher than in tap water. It has been discovered that plastic may contain bisphenol A. Some evidence suggests that a low concentration of bisphenol A is enough to increase the likelihood of hormone disruption that can lead to cancer and negatively affect the reproductive function, nervous system, and future development of children. Author Dianne Hales affirms that “one survey found chemical contaminants associated with cancer in 22 of 100 brands tested”. For this reason, the use of bottled water can be especially dangerous for children, lactating and pregnant women, elderly people, and those having a weakened immune system.
In addition to bisphenol A, researchers have identified the increased amount of heterotrophic bacteria in some samples of bottled water. Moreover, one more problem is connected with biocides, products necessary for water disinfection. After their use, bottles should be carefully rinsed before pouring water into them. Nevertheless, it is not always so; therefore, it is extremely dangerous to use such bottled water for drinking and cooking. Any drinking water should undergo chemical analysis or have a sanitary passport that indicates that there are no harmful elements in it. People should not reuse plastic containers and pour hot beverages into them because heated plastic releases bisphenol A 55 times more rapidly. It is important not to let children drink bottled water.
Apart from all the negative effects produced on human health, bottled water has an adverse impact on the environment. Nowadays, an environmental problem has become one of the biggest problems of humanity. Bottles are made out of plastic as this material has many advantages. The use of plastic bottles helps to avoid their breakage during transportation, which is peculiar to glass bottles. Moreover, people prefer plastic bottles because they are durable, have low thermal and electrical conductivity, do not deteriorate when exposed to moisture, and are not expensive. Recycling of plastic packaging is a major part of the environmental problem.
The use of plastic is a global problem. Every year, Americans consume 50 billion of plastic bottles. In addition, Goodship states that almost one million of plastic bottles are used every minute around the world. They are made from mineral resources. Dr. Sharma states that millions of barrels of hydrocarbons per year are used for their production and transportation. For the production of 38 billion water bottles in the United States, 47 million gallons of oil are needed. During manufacture, about half a million tons of carbon dioxide are produced, which affects global warming. In the United States, less than a quarter of household plastic is recycled. Not more than 13% of polycarbonate and polyethylene terephthalate, from which bottles are made, are disposed of. In addition, the business of bottling water seems dishonorable due to the fact that over a billion people on the planet do not have access to safe drinking water. Plastic bottles pollute rivers, lakes, and oceans, causing harm to marine species. The average time for plastic to completely degrade is at least 450 years. However, some scientists believe that plastic does not degrade at all. It just breaks into pieces. Each piece of plastic buried in a landfill still lies there since the invention of this substance. There is a possibility that in the future the planet will be covered with plastic. Therefore, in recent years, Americans have introduced a massive program to decrease the purchase of bottled water for daily use.
An Opposite Opinion
Currently, people wonder what kind of water to drink – tap or bottled. There are many individuals who prefer to drink bottled water because they think it tastes better. They believe that tap water can have a distinctive smell and taste. However, it is actually not true. The tastes of bottled and tap water are not different. Moreover, many people believe that bottled water is good and healthy because of different methods of cleaning. According to their opinion, one of the main advantages of bottled water lies in the fact that it undergoes extra cleaning. Due to special cleaning technologies, customers get a product which is disinfected and purified from mechanical impurities. Bottled water does not contain heavy metals, organic compounds, and hazardous chlorinated compounds. However, during purification, all useful substances are also removed from this water. Consequently, bottled water does not have any minerals essential to human health. It is better to use tap water as it is more useful. Many people are afraid that this kind of water may contain dangerous substances, but this assumption is wrong. The government strictly controls the quality of water, and it is not dangerous for drinking or cooking. In addition, plastic packaging releases many hazardous substances that are extremely dangerous. These substances may have an adverse effect on health. Therefore, it is recommended to drink tap water to avoid many health problems.
Clean drinking water is a source of health and well-being of any person. However, the rapid growth of the world population combined with increasing water consumption for household as well as industrial needs and intensive agriculture leads to the global water crisis which is manifested in the lack of fresh water and its pollution. Nowadays, many people prefer to drink bottled water as they believe it is cleaner and healthier. World consumption of bottled water is increasing despite the fact that such water is not very safe. Scientists have proved that plastic contains toxins that may cause cancer and other diseases. These toxins can get into bottled water, especially when plastic is hot. In addition to health problems, plastic has a negative influence on the environment. For this reason, people should decrease the consumption of bottled water to improve their health and the environment.