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    EOL Coverage of Chefs Championships at IHMRS

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    Preparing Lobster for Competition

Dangers of Bottled Water

There are two issues in the bottled water debate. One, is it better than tap water ? The second issue concerns the bottle itself. Let's discuss the health issue first.

Many people believe that packaged water is simply proof that with enough advertising you can get people to buy anything. As late as the 1970's if you asked anyone would they buy bottled water, they would have just laughed. Nowadays consumers are spending over 100 billion dollars a year on bottled water. Americans drink more than 30 billion gallons of bottled water a year. They drink more bottled water than they do coffee, milk and beer combined.

Why do they drink the water? When surveyed consumers indicate they drink bottled water because it tastes better. Many large companies bottled water product though is simply tap water that has been repackaged. Approximately 24 percent of the bottled water on the market is simply tap water with a fancy label. Treehugger.com says the average cost of tap water (assuming 8 glasses of water a day) would be .49 per year whereas the same amount of bottled water is $1,400.00 per year.

A former head of the EPA water system programs says packaged water is not safer than tap water. A strict set of standards are set by the EPA for your community water system. The FDA has standards for packaged water too but you will notice that bottled water companies do not say packaged water will you make you healthier.

Ask yourself how many plastic water bottles do you throw out each year. The Container Recycling Institute tells us that only 23 percent of plastic bottles were recycled in 2006, and the year before, over 144 billion water bottles were tossed in the trash. The institute reports that 85% of water bottles end up in landfills or as litter. Additionally, the bottles generally take 400 to 1000 years to degrade. And to add insult to injury, it takes more than 17 million barrels of oil each year to make all those water bottles.

According to NRDC (Natural Resources Defense Council), studies have shown that chemicals called phthalates, which are known to disrupt testosterone and other hormones, can leach into packaged water over time. One study found that water that had been stored for 10 weeks in plastic and in glass bottles contained phthalates, suggesting that the chemicals could be coming from the plastic cap or liner. NRDC says though there are regulatory standards limiting phthalates in tap water, there are no legal limits for phthalates in bottled water -- the bottled water industry waged a successful campaign opposing the FDA proposal to set a legal limit for these chemicals.

So if you want to save money, your health and the environment at the same time - drink the water from the tap. After awhile you probably will get used to the taste and the earth will look much cleaner and greener.


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Want more tips on saving money and our planet visit us at http://cheapskateliving.org/category/cheap-air-filters/ and see our article on Natural Air Filters.