Drinking Water Filter Systems, Drinking Water Safety

Bottled or Tap?

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Bottled or Tap?

by David M. Marquis, DC, CCN

reprinted with permission

As a kid there were several things you could have told me that I probably would not have believed. One which I wish I had been more open minded about at the time because it would have potentially made life a lot easier was that computers would be as necessary as they have become and two, that we would purchase water by the case and carry water bottles with us everywhere we go.

Twenty-five (25) years ago the concept of needing to purchase water to find something pure and palatable was beyond my concept of future needs and yet now you can look into my car or onto my desk or into our pantry and see several water bottles at any given time.

The bottled water industry has exploded in recent years, and enjoys annual sales of more than $35 billion worldwide. Americans paid $7.7 billion for bottled water in 2002, according to the consulting and research firm Beverage Marketing Corporation.

According to Co-op America, "as much as 40 percent of bottled water is actually bottled tap water, sometimes with additional treatment, sometimes not." The number one (Aquafina) and two (Dasani) top-selling brands of bottled water in the U.S. both fall in the category of purified water. Dasani is sold by Coca-Cola, while Aquafina is a Pepsi product. As U.S. News & World Report explains, "Aquafina is municipal water from spots like Wichita, Kansas."

Well, there is a trade off with everything we choose in life and with bottled water there are several. There is an environmental issue to consider and often surprisingly a quality issue. A considerable number of used water bottles end up as litter, where they can take several hundred years or more to biodegrade. 90% of water bottles end up as either garbage or litter -- at a rate of 30 million bottles per day. When some plastic bottles are incinerated along with other trash, as is the practice in many municipalities, toxic chlorine is released into the air while heavy metals deposit in the ash. If plastics are buried in landfills, not only do they take up valuable space but potentially toxic additives such as phthalates may leak into the groundwater. This problem could be avoided simply by recycling used bottles regularly.

As mentioned above, some studies indicate that bottled water may be no safer, or healthier than tap water in many countries while selling for up to 1000 times the price. Yet, it is the fastest growing drink industry in the world and is estimated to be worth US $22 billion annually.

The bottled water market is partly fueled by concerns over the safety of municipal water and by the marketing of many brands that portray them as being drawn from pure sources and as being healthier than tap water. However this is often not the case. In fact much like vitamin and herbal supplements there are more standards regulating tap water in Europe and the US than those applied to the bottled water industry

There have been studies that have shown higher risk of certain diseases when regularly consuming city tap water and this is not likely to change in the near future subsequently I would recommend the best solution to be the use of a home charcoal & reverse osmosis water filtration which will leave your water pure and tasting great. And when on the road use bottled water that you have verified to truly be pure.

This is one of the most important health habits you could possibly maintain. Water is essential and if you don't get enough clean water you will suffer health problems.

Let me remind you of the water basics. Your exclusive beverage should be water. Try to have at least eight glasses of water a day. It would be best to have the water at room temperature.

The simple way to calculate the amount of water most of us need is to drink one half your body weight in ounces of water. The average adult is 150 pounds which would be two and one half quarts of water.

The bottom line is that you are better off not drinking unfiltered tap water. Chlorine used in most municipal purification processes is a toxic chemical and should not be consumed in large quantities. If you can't get the reverse osmosis then at least get a Brita. Brita filtered water costs approximately 24 cents per gallon. However, standard filters are a more effective solution that will bring the cost down to 1-2 cents per gallon. Avoid distilled water as it has the wrong ionization, pH, polarization and oxidation potentials. It will also drain your body of minerals.

When using bottled water, avoid purchasing the one-gallon cloudy plastic (PVC) containers from your grocery store as they transfer far too many chemicals into the water. The five-gallon containers and the ones in the clear bottles (polyethylene) are a much better plastic and will not give the water a plastic taste. If you have a question about the purity of the water call the company selling it and get an "independent lab assay" of water quality and stick with the companies that can provide this information. You can add lemon juice or coral calcium occasionally to your water to help flavor it and normalize your body's pH if it is too acidic.

I also strongly recommend purchasing "Your Body's Many Cries for Water". It is the best book I know of that documents the usefulness of water. Dr. Batmanghelidj is a physician and does an excellent job.

Best of Health,
David M. Marquis, DC, CCN

David M. Marquis is a graduate of Western States Chiropractic College in Portland, Oregon. Dr. Marquis also holds a Bachelor of Science degree in human biology and postgraduate studies in botanical medicine and is a Board Certified Nutritionist. He understands the connection between lifestyle, nutritional status and chronic disease. You can visit his web site, A Natural Balance Wellness Center for more articles and information.

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