Look in any refrigerator in this nation, and you are bound to find plastic drinking water containers. As a nation, we have come to think that a plastic drinking water container is the best and safest choice.
But is it, really? Recently, per a study conducted by the National Toxicology program, plastic drinking water containers were found to contain an element that could migrate into the water (or other liquid) and precipitate potential health hazards. The compound, Bisphenol A (BPA) is a component of polycarbonate and other polymers used to make bottles for beverages.
BPA is often chosen for a drinking water container because it is strong, but not heavy, like glass. However, research has shown that individuals, who consume Bisphenol A, tend to have a greater risk of certain types of cancers. Additionally, BPA can potentially interfere with hormone levels.
Many families also re-use their bottled drinking water containers after washing them in hot water, either by hand or in the dishwasher. Leaching of BPA into the liquid actually increases with re-use.
Now, to be fair, the increased risk of developing health problems from consuming the substance comes from being exposed to high levels of the compound. The problem is that a drinking water container is not the only source of BPA contamination. It is also used to line canned goods.
A random testing conducted by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention found some level of the contaminant in the urine of every person tested. Infrequent usage of drinking water containers made with BPA may not be harmful but why chance it?
The bottled water industry is largely unregulated anyway, which means you may already be consuming dangerous contaminants either naturally or artificially added to the public water-supply. Why jeopardize your health even more by using a plastic drinking water container?
In addition to having health consequences, regular use of bottled waters produces an environmental danger. While most plastic is recyclable, a consumer has to make the choice to simply not toss their drinking water containers into their regular garbage.
By far, the best choice for drinking water containers is glass. Not only do you eliminate any potential health risks by no chemical contaminants, you also help to save the environment. A glass drinking water container can be reused repeatedly without degrading the material.
I consume my eight glasses of water per day and consider myself very eco-aware. After doing my research on drinking water containers and learning about the danger of plastic, my eyes were certainly opened. I had always assumed that the plastic drinking water container I carried around all day and constantly re-used was the best and safest way to consume my daily intake of water.
Now that I understand the potential dangers of the main compound used in those drinking water containers, I can take steps to reduce my exposure to a dangerous chemical by switching to a glass. Besides, from what I hear, the taste of glass is the best.