We all know that water is the best thing to drink for a healthy body. However, scientists have suggested that drinking out of plastic water bottles is bad – not only for the environment but for your body too.
While a bottle of water every now and then won’t ruin your health, there are a few reasons why you want to avoid drinking from plastic water bottles – reusable and disposable – and should switch to metal water bottles instead.
Harmful Chemicals Could be Released into the Water
When plastic bottles are exposed to wear and tear, UV radiation from sunlight, and heat from being in a car, hot gym, or dishwasher, the outer layers begin breaking down. In response to this, plastics with codes 3 and 7 release a chemical called BPA (bisphenol A) while BPA-free plastic water bottles release bisphenol S (BPS) when heated.
BPA and BPS can contaminate the water in your bottle. Even when ingesting these chemicals in small amounts, they imitate estrogen, which can alter your endocrine system functions. Exposure to this harmful chemical can lead to chronic diseases, such as asthma, diabetes, fertility problems, and cancer. Studies on animals have shown that in-utero exposure can lead to impaired development of the immune system and brain, and the effects can be passed down to the next generation.
Chemicals in Plastic Can Affect Your Fertility
Research has found the women and men who undergo in-vitro fertilization (IVF) that have high levels of BPA in their urine, blood, home, and work environment had a lower chance of a successful pregnancy. While more research needs to be conducted, these 2013 results suggest that, because SPA imitates estrogen, it creates interference in the various stages of pregnancy, particularly fertilization and implantation.
Chemicals in Plastic Can Increase Risks of Heart Diseases
People who have been exposed to high levels of BPA have a higher chance of heart disease and circulatory problems. While this correlation does not necessarily prove that it is the cause, researchers found that adults who drank from bottles and cans containing BPA had an almost immediate increase in their blood pressure. This raised blood pressure is a heart disease risk factor.
Since BPA mimics estrogen when it enters your system, high levels of this hormone increase blood plasma protein production. Exposure to BPA can also cause blood clots and similar issues that could result in strokes and heart episodes.
Refilling Plastic Water Bottles Can Expose Your To Harmful Bacteria
Both disposable and reusable plastic water bottles break down with regular use, unlike steel or glass bottles. Even small cracks in the plastic can harbor bacteria. While most bacteria are completely harmless, plastic bottles can retain bacteria that cause cold, flu, and norovirus. While washing the bottle regularly can get rid of the bacteria, it can lead to further break down of the plastic.
They are Bad for the Environment
Although most plastic bottles are considered to be recyclable, less than 1% of these bottles are recycled more than once, so most plastic bottles end up getting thrown away and end up in landfills. If we continue throwing away bottles at this rate, we will have an estimated 26 million pounds of plastic in landfills and in the environment around us by 2050.
The Cost of Disposable Water Bottles (and water) is High
For the same price as a fancy plastic bottle of water, you can get around 1000 gallons of water from your tap. This makes disposable water bottles bad for the environment and very expensive. While the bottle’s label may show a peaceful stream in the mountains, around 25% of plastic bottled water is sourced at… the tap. Of course, some companies do filter the water first, but it is still tap water being sold at a much higher price.
By ditching disposable plastic water bottles and purchasing a reusable stainless steel water bottle, you not only save money and help reduce the impact on the environment, you also eliminate the health risks associated with BPA chemicals in plastic water bottles. Based on the above laid out points, you can see that it is bad to drink out of plastic water bottles, no matter whether they are reusable and disposable.
It is not just bad for your health, but for the environment too. If you absolutely have to use a plastic bottle, look for those that have the codes 2, 4, or 5 at them. Codes 2 and 4 are made using polyethylene, while code 5 is made using polypropylene.