Friday, November 2, 2007
The Medical College Of Wisconsin research team asserts that there is an association between cancer and chlorinated water, based on one of their studies.
After more than 100 years of chlorine being added to drinking water as a standard and cheap way of making water drinkable, the jury are now saying that the long term effects of drinking chlorinated water pose a higher cancer risk than for those drinking non-chlorinated water. – i.e. we drink bleach!(U.S. Council Of Environmental Quality).
Note from The Editor, Muriella’s Corner
A recent visit to a friend prompted me to revisit this article on water. She is suffering from an inflammatory disease and was told to drink lots of water. She buys bottled water at $10.00 a case of 35, and at times drinks 3-4 bottles a day, which means that in 9 days she has to repurchase. In a month, she has already spent about $40.00 on bottled water for drinking. In a year she will have spent $480.00, and could, if the bottles are not recycled, produce 140 plastic bottles a month as garbage, or 1,680 plastic bottles a year.
For families who buy bottled water, consideration should be given to buying a water filter and a shower filter. In addition to the health effects(drink, cook, shower with filtered water) and the economic gain over time, we would not contribute as much to polluting the environment with plastic.
If we stop and think for a moment, we would realise that our being on automatic could affect our health, finances and our environment.
See below for information on water filtration. With regard to the pollution of the environment, our first effort is to become aware ourselves of the amount of plastics we use that contribute to the pollution of the planet (e.g. plastic bags and grocery shopping, bottled water in plastic bottles, plastic hangers … When we become aware, we can decide what, if anything to do about it, and do something.
Given the inconsistences among the bottled water sources, why not control your source and, instead of being a filter, get a filter.
Water quality is, in general, getting worse. You usually cannot rely on clean water directly from the faucets in your home, nor from the bottled sources. To treat often-polluted water, cities and government agencies must use more and more chemicals, which affect the taste, color and odor of the water. There are various home filtration models available on the market.
Here are some suggestions below on those I use and promote. To guard the integrity and purity of the water, filters need to be replaced; frequency depends on the quality of water in your area.
Countertop system (dual system filter cartridge sold separately. (http://snipurl.com/1hho4) The countertop filtration system can also be installed under the counter with purchase of filtration kit.
Shower head (with shower wand purchased separately http://snipurl.com/1hhnt), the skin being the largest organ, absorbs the most water daily. Read more on filters and KDF Filtration systems
See Muriella’s Corner on Chlorine and Asthma and Chlorine and Cancer and Fluoride and Boy’s health http://onlineitools.com/nl/nl-output.php?nl_id=20007&bus_id=2213&plain=0
as well as Muriella’s Corner on fluoride in drinking water
Buying bottled water is wrong, says Suzuki
Environmentalist launches national tour on green issues
Last Updated: Thursday, February 1, 2007 | 12:46 PM ET
Canadians wanting to do something about the environment can start by
drinking tap water, environmentalist David Suzuki says.
“Everywhere I go across Canada, I insist I be given tap water when I get up
to speak,” Suzuki told CBC News on Thursday.
David Suzuki says plastic water bottles generate waste and potential
health hazards because of their chemical composition.
(CBC) “I think in Canada it’s absolutely disgusting that people are so
uncertain about their water that we buy it, paying more for bottled water
than we do for gasoline.”
Suzuki – who was in St. John’s on Thursday to launch a cross-country
speaking tour aimed at engaging people in politics, particularly
environmental issues – said there is no good reason for Canadians to buy
Moreover, he said it’s destructive to import bottled water from producers in
countries such as France.
“It’s nuts to be shipping water all the way across the planet, and us –
because we’re so bloody wealthy – we’re willing to pay for that water
because it comes from France,” he said in an interview.
“I don’t believe for a minute that French water is better than Canadian
water. I think that we’ve got to drink the water that comes out of our taps,
and if we don’t trust it, we ought to be raising hell about that.”
Key environmental issues with bottled water, Suzuki said, are waste and
uncertainty over the long-term health effects created by plastic.
“Not only does bottled water lead to unbelievable pollution – with old
bottles lying all over the place – but plastic has chemicals in it,” he
“Plastics are ubiquitous. I don’t believe that plastics are not involved in
a great deal of the health problems that we face today.”
Last August, delegates to the United Church of Canada’s general council
voted to discourage the purchase of bottled water within its churches. The
motion called on church members to advocate against the “privatization of
water” and to support healthy local supplies of water.
Bottled water from different sources
When shopping for bottled water, you first need to know the different types. The following are the types of water that conform to the Standards of Identity as set forth by the United States Food and Drug Administration.
Artesian Water/Artesian Well Water — Bottled water from a well that taps a confined aquifer (a water-bearing underground layer of rock or sand) in which the water level stands at some height above the top of the aquifer.
Drinking Water: Drinking water is another name for bottled water. Accordingly, drinking water is water that is sold for human consumption in sanitary containers and contains no added sweeteners or chemical additives (other than flavors, extracts or essences). It must be calorie-free and sugar-free. Flavors, extracts or essences may be added to drinking water, but they must comprise less than one-percent-by-weight of the final product or the product will be considered a soft drink. Drinking water may be sodium-free or contain very low amounts of sodium.
Mineral Water — Bottled water containing not less than 250 parts per million total dissolved solids may be labeled as mineral water. Mineral water is distinguished from other types of bottled water by its constant level and relative proportions of mineral and trace elements at the point of emergence from the source. No minerals can be added to this product.
Purified Water — Water that has been produced by distillation, deionization, reverse osmosis or other suitable processes while meeting the definition of purified water in the United States Pharmacopoeia may be labeled as purified bottled water. [This can mean plain tap water has been purified by one of the above three processes.]
Other suitable product names for bottled water treated by one of the above processes may include “distilled water” if it is produced by distillation, “deionized water” if it is produced by deionization or “reverse osmosis water” if the process used is reverse osmosis. Alternatively, “___ drinking water” can be used with the blank being filled in with one of the terms defined in this paragraph (e.g., “purified drinking water” or “distilled drinking water”).
Sparkling Bottled Water — Water that after treatment, and possible replacement with carbon dioxide, contains the same amount of carbon dioxide that it had as it emerged from the source. Sparkling bottled waters may be labeled as “sparkling drinking water,” “sparkling mineral water,” “sparkling spring water,” etc.
Spring Water — Bottled water derived from an underground formation from which water flows naturally to the surface of the earth. Spring water must be collected only at the spring or through a borehole tapping the underground formation feeding the spring. Spring water collected with the use of an external force must be from the same underground stratum as the spring and must have all the physical properties before treatment, and be of the same composition and quality as the water that flows naturally to the surface of the earth.
Well Water — Bottled water from a hole bored, drilled or otherwise constructed in the ground, which taps the water aquifer.
Without taking taste into consideration, the best deals on buying bottled water are found at shopping clubs such as Costco Wholesale. Grocery stores have the next-best deals, while convenience stores are pricey. A bottle at a convenience store commonly costs three to four times more than one purchased in bulk at a shopping club.
The bottled water business has grown phenomenally in recent years.
According to data from Beverage Marketing Corporation, bottled water sales in the United States has increased by almost 50 percent from 1999 to 2004, from 17.3 billion liters to 25.8.
While choosing bottled water over tap water due to safety concerns is a major reason for consumers spending more than a dollar a gallon on the liquid (in some cases it costs more per gallon than gasoline!), other people buy it because they prefer the taste over tap water or they like the convenience of the bottles when traveling.
The health concern is real. In the United States the vast majority of tap water is safe to drink due to testing and regulations, but in some other countries contaminated public water is a constant threat. One thing to keep in mind is most bottled water does not contain fluoride, and most American tap water is enhanced with the cavity-fighting substance. People who choose to exclusively drink bottled water may want to consider fluoride supplements, especially for their children.
To some people, the thought of one brand of bottled water tasting better than a comparable product is ridiculous. To illustrate that belief, in 2003 comedians Penn and Teller conducted a taste test in an upscale restaurant. Diners lavished praise on what they thought was expensive bottled water and picked their favorites, but all containers were filled from the same garden hose.
Nonetheless, many shoppers insist they can tell a difference between brands and buy accordingly.
The price between tap and bottled water is significant for several reasons, including the cost of the land where the water originates, plus the bottles, putting water in bottles and then transporting bottles to points of sale.
Some water bottles are made of petroleum resin, and as the price of oil increases so does the water. Such bottles don’t decompose, which adds an environmental cost to the equation.
Brands of Bottled Water; Filtration systems
Here’s how some brands compare, listed from least to most expensive:
Deer Park Spring Water, price per 1/2-liter bottle.
Costco: 13.4 cents (35-bottle pack)
Wal-Mart: 20.8 cents (24 bottles)
Bi-Lo: 20.8 cents (24 bottles, with frequent shopper card) or 29.1 cents (without frequent shopper card)
Food Lion: 25 cents (24 bottles)
Convenience store: 79 cents.
Aquafina, price per 1/2-liter bottle.
Bi-Lo: 25 cents (24 pack, with frequent shopper card) or 47.9 cents (without card)
Food Lion: 48.3 cents (12 pack)
Wal-Mart: 50 cents (6 pack)
Convenience store: $1.49 for a slightly larger 591mL bottle.
Convenience store: $1.29 for 591mL
Wal-Mart: 37.3 cents for 355mL
Bi-Lo: 43.6 cents for 355mL
AqualCal flavored water, price per 1/2 liter
Wal-Mart: 47 cents
Bi-Lo: 59.8 cents
Convenience store: 99 cents.
Wal-Mart: $1.58 per liter or $1.98 for 1.5 liters
Bi-Lo: $1.59 per liter, 90 cents per half-liter or 74.8 cents for 330mL
Costco: 53.7 cents for 330mL
Bi-Lo: 82.3 cents for 1/2 liter or $1.50 for 1 liter
Food Lion: 82.3 cents for 330mL or $1.49 for 750mL
Costco: 13 cents for 1/2 liter
Food Lion: 16.6 cents for 1/2 liter
Wal-Mart: 17.8 cents for 591mL
Bi-Lo: 19.5 cents for 1/2 liter with frequent shopper card; 20.8 cents without.
Sources: David Suzuki, Environmentalist; Becky Billingsley, The Food Syndicate.
For documentary on breast cancer, click here