I am very often shocked at how flippantly we use plastics with no thought to the environmental or health consequences. I can see the value of bottled water in emergency or rescue situations but there are many times I find myself in a position where the only available drinks are bottled water or soda. Plastics are made from petrochemicals and besides the obvious dangers in the extraction, distribution, and perpetuation of this industry the use of plastics is becoming more and more widespread.
Although the most common use of plastics I see is the use of one-time disposable bottled water, motherjones.com recently posted an article on the potentially carcinogenic and endocrine-dysruptive qualities of supposedly-safe reusable plastics. Per the article, “The researchers found that some products leached hormone-altering chemicals…that are known to unlock potentially toxic chemicals inside plastic.”
Many of these items are specifically intended for use by infants which is particularly hard to stomach vis-a-vis the phenomenon that children are hitting puberty at younger and younger ages and males sperm counts are lower than ever and breast and uterine cancers and dysfunction rates are skyrocketing.
|Product||Type of plastic||Before UV exposure||After UV exposure|
|AVENT||Polyester (PES)||Not tested||Positive|
|Born Free||Polyester (PES)||Not tested||Positive|
|Green to Grow||Polyester (PES)||Negative||Positive|
|CamelBak, black||Tritan||Not tested||Positive|
|CamelBak, blue||Tritan||Not tested||Positive|
|Topas||Cyclic Olefin Copolymer (COC)||Negative||Negative|
|Zeonor||Cyclic Olefin Polymer (COP)||Negative||Negative|
|Crate & Barrel wine glasses, red*||Acrylic||Positive||Positive|
|Disposable cup||Polystyrene (PS)||Positive||Not tested|
|Lock & Lock food containers||Tritan||Positive||Positive|
|Clamshell takeout container*||Polystyrene (PS)||Positive||Not tested|
*Tested using BG-1 cells
Source: George D. Bittner, et al, Environmental Health
Chart by Jaeah Lee
So what are our alternatives? See other videos where I talk about an easy way to repurpose and reuse glass bottles for cheap, clean drinking water.