In 2008, the
Environmental Working Group (EWG),
an independent scientific testing organization, performed elaborate
analyses on various brands of bottled water and a number of municipal
water supplies. Of all the brands tested, ten were found to contain
thirty-eight different chemical concentrations in excess of the water
industry’s voluntary standards, the average being eight. Among other
things, the results found that two major brands (Sam’s Choice and
Acadia) both exceeded the maximum legal amount of carcinogenic
compounds, under California law. Several were identified to be no more
than bottled tap water from the locale in which they were bottled. Since
test results and sources are not required to be reported for bottled
water, it would seem that it’s not a good idea for consumers to assume
that they’re receiving a safe product.
On the other side of the issue, bottled water can cost up to 1900 times
as much as tap water, as well as sometimes being considerably less
healthy to drink. A point-of-use filter will generally have a cost per
gallon of around
$0.09 to $0.25. Try buying bottled water for that!
A 1992 study determined that there were 700 different bottled water
brands in the US, produced by about 430 US bottling plants, numbers that
have surely risen since then. Given that there were already four billion
dollars in sales in 1997, one shudders to think what that figure might
be, after thirteen additional years (consumption nearly tripled in the
eleven years prior to that study). Strangely, such a burgeoning industry
seems to based upon only a single advantage… convenience.
The thousands of tons of plastic bottles that find their way into our
landfills, roadsides and oceans, and the myriad poisons and carcinogens
we introduce into our bodies (as well as our children’s bodies!) don’t
seem to deter Americans from buying an average of 12.7 gallons (another
1997 number) PER PERSON, per year! 60,000,000 plastic bottles are
produced, filled, transported and disposed of every day in America. We
drink it at the park, in our car, at the gym… sometimes even at home! We
even mix our babies’ formula with it. And the fact that we’re paying
hundreds of times the cost of equivalent, or better, water from our tap,
doesn’t slow us down in our consumption.
Wouldn’t a home filtration
system be smarter? Eliminate the vast majority of the cost,
eliminate all those plastic bottles, save the energy used to make those
bottles, and stop poisoning ourselves and our children, with
contaminated water… seems like a simple decision, doesn’t it?
Bottled Water or Filtered – Which is Better?
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