Nowadays, packaged mineral water is readily available in plastic bottles and containers and most of us do not think twice before drinking water from these plastic bottles. Very few of us are actually aware of the numerous health hazards that these plastic bottles might pose. So, this article attempts to enlighten us on the harmful effects of drinking water from plastic bottles and whether we should consider other healthy alternatives instead.
Habituated to drinking water from plastic bottles? Here’s what you must be aware of:
Plastics not only damage the environment in which we live but it is can also have a serious long-term negative impact on our overall health and well-being. These days, companies manufacturing packaged drinking water mostly make use of BPA-free plastic, but it contains certain other harmful chemicals that can leak out if the bottles are kept in one place for a prolonged period of time or are kept in a heated or warm environment. Some of the risks of drinking water from these plastic bottles and why we should think again before using them along with a few healthy alternatives to plastic bottles are discussed as follows:
- These bottles are produced with huge amounts of water and fossil fuels and then transported all over the world. They are definitely non-biodegradable by all means and when we throw them away after drinking from them, they will accumulate in and severely damage the environment for a very long time- as much as 1000 years!! For a thousand years they will keep depositing their toxic ingredients into the soil and other environmental surroundings like water bodies and this can prove to be extremely detrimental for the health and well-being of our present as well as upcoming future generations.
- The labels on plastic water bottles which claim that the water is 100% pure and sourced from natural water bodies such as springs etc often turn out to be grossly misleading. Surveys have revealed that about a quarter of the water found in packaged plastic bottles is actually tap water!! Some reputed companies may process this tap water by means of ultraviolet light and then distribute them to the public at a price that exceeds the value of tap water by as much as 10,000 times!! Also, further researches have revealed that samples of water from plastic bottles are mostly contaminated with dangerous toxins like phthalates, microbes, benzene and sometimes even arsenic etc.
- The full extent of the damage that is caused by the harmful chemicals and toxins present in plastic water bottles are not even fully known as of yet which makes it all the more dangerous for those who use them as their bodies are subjected to risky experiments. Moreover, many modern cities of the developed world are increasingly cutting down or even totally stopping the usage of plastic water bottles and instead providing free drinking fountains on their streets. India needs to learn from them and set a similar example for other countries to follow in order to reduce the health risks of drinking water from plastic bottles.
- Plastic bottles, both the ones with and without a harmful chemical substance known as BPA can discharge toxic chemicals into the water stored in them and cause serious health problems like asthma, cancer, diabetes, brain damage and weakening of the immune system, loss of fertility etc and these health concerns can even be inherited by the children of the users of such plastic bottles. They also aggravate our chances of suffering from cardiovascular problems and when we refill them, we are at a serious risk of exposure to certain types of bacteria that can cause ailments like colds and flus. This happens since there is a breakdown of plastic bottles due to continuous usage and cleaning the bottles with soaps and warm water on a regular basis could alleviate this problem somewhat but will also quicken the process of the breakdown of the plastic.
- Instead of using plastic bottles, it is high time that we start considering the use of other healthy alternatives like glass containers, vessels made out of mud or copper and stainless steel water bottles etc.
- Remember never ever to refill plastic water bottles that have already been used once as these bottles may contain harmful bacteria or fungi which can cause some serious health concerns and so whenever you have used a plastic water bottle, always dispose it off properly in the dustbin and ensure that it is not used by anyone else later.
- Never keep plastic water bottle in the sunlight because sunlight exposure leads to the release of harmful chemical substances like formaldehydes from plastic which gives the water an unpleasant or foul odour and can also lead to digestive disorders etc.
- Never cook or heat water or food items in plastic containers. we can mitigate a host of health issues simply by eliminating the use of plastics
Stopping the usage of plastic water bottles completely can not only save us from unwanted financial expenses but can also improve our health and make this world and environment a much safer place to live in. According to a finding, India currently recycles about 90% of it’s polyethylene terephthalate wastes which are used in the manufacture of plastic water bottles and surpasses even the United States, Europe and Japan in this department. What is now required is a concerted and dynamic effort on our part to put a stop to the use of plastic water bottles once and for all and save our planet and environment as well as ourselves and our future generations from any further health damages caused by these substances. The time for change is here and now!! The health benefits of replacing plastic bottles with other eco-friendly alternatives are indeed worth all our joint efforts and much more…. So, we need to unite and dedicate ourselves fully to this crucial cause if we want to leave a safer and healthier environment for our future generations. So, what are you waiting for?? Get together to save the planet now!! If you truly want change, then you will always have to take the first initiative and be that change!! In case you still need any more motivation in this regard just remember, “Strive hard in the right direction today if you want to see a better tomorrow.”