The Risks of Drinking Water. Yikes.

I’m normally not an alarmist, but I’ve gotta tell you, I’ve got some genuine concerns about the water we’re drinking.

Concern #1 – PBA, the chemical compound used in hard, clear polycarbonate plastics like baby bottles, water bottles and food containers. It’s been used since the 50’s, but it’s just recently begun to receive negative attention because it appears that PBA in the body mimics the effects of estrogen. Exposure to high levels of PBA may present a greater risk of developing a myriad of health problems, including breast and prostate cancer. And even more recently I read an article that indicates that people found to have high levels of PBA in their urine are more likely to suffer from heart disease and/or diabetes. So, this stuff is leaching into our baby formula, water and food products through the use of #7 plastic containers. FYI – numbers 3 and 6 indicate that similar chemicals are present in the plastic. But wait, according to the good ‘ole FDA, the amount of PBA being released into our food and drink is too low to cause any harm. Hey, aren’t they the ones that approved Vioxx for the market? We all know how that turned out. Personally, I’d rather be safe than sorry.

Concern #2 – Recent AP research found that huge quantities of medications are contaminating our tap water. Hospitals and long-term care facilities are discarding millions of pounds of unused, expired or spoiled medications down the drain. Minute concentrations of pharmaceuticals in the nation’s drinking water is commonplace, and affects some 46 million Americans. Evidence exists that even extremely diluted concentrations of pharmaceutical residue harms fish, frogs and other aquatic species. And our water reclamation plants aren’t removing these contaminates during the treatment process unless they’re following their purifying process with reverse osmosis. So, it’s quite possible that we’re ingesting minute amounts of antibiotics, hormones, pain medications, heart medications….even Viagra in our drinking water. Double yikes! You can read more at USA Today
I’ve tried using filtered water pitchers. The water tasted better than it did straight from the tap, but they weren’t all that convenient, and they really weren’t much more economical than bottled water when you consider the price of the filters, which need frequent changing.

So, I started buying bottled water by the case. My favorite brand is bottled in #1 plastic. Phew. However, I’m putting at least 30 one-pint plastic bottles in the reclying bin each week. When you think about it, that’s a minimum of 1,560 bottles per year being generated from one two-member household.

So I’ve done some homework, and for about what I pay for a year’s supply of bottled water I can purchase a reverse osmosis under sink water filter. Better yet, I found some that are made in the U.S.A.

If any of you are currently using an RO filtration system, I’d love to hear from you before I plunk down my money.

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