In the first part of my series on how to store water, I mentioned that storing flats of bottled water is about the most dangerous way of doing it. It’s too bad, too, because nothing could be easier or more convenient than picking up a case or two of bottled water every month, stacking them in the garage, and forgetting about them.
Alas, in this case convenience comes with a very high price.
Let’s set aside for a moment the fact that 40% of bottled water does not come from some pristine lake or underground glacier. Much of it is no different than what you can get out of your own tap, and that’s not counting the brands that actually get run through a filter.
If you think all bottled water is somehow more pure than kitchen tap water, you could be in for a nasty surprise. The bottled water industry is less regulated than municipal tap water, and some of the water out there isn’t even filtered at all. It’s simply poured into those bottles direct from the faucet and sold to you, the trusting sucker, at a 1900% markup.
In blind taste tests, consumers actually chose tap water over some of the samples of bottled water they were offered.
But that’s just the side of bottled water that is a national scam, it’s not the physically harmful part. The real danger from bottled water is…the bottles. Almost all are manufactured using the chemical Bisphenol-A, which turns out to be a very nasty thing indeed.
Recent studies have been demonstrating that Bisphenol-A (BPA) can wreak all kinds of havoc on the human body, including fatigue, cancers, neurological disorders, cardiovascular disease, infertility, diabetes, and, of all things, obesity. Ever wonder why you’re not losing weight after drinking that bottled water during your workout? The chemicals in that bottle could be working against you.
But the most alarming finding of late is that BPA may be the reason we’re seeing so many children experiencing the onset of early puberty. Young girls raised on bottled water are beginning to develop breasts as early as seven and eight years old, and boys are experiencing their own set of problems, as the chemical seems to trigger estrogen hormones within both sexes. Meanwhile, in grown men, erectile dysfunction is affecting a younger and younger demographic.
The reason seems to be that Bisphenol-A acts as an endocrine disruptor, mimicking the human hormones that regulate growth and development, and throwing a curve ball into the normal processes of sexual development.
If you haven’t heard of any of this it’s because of the efforts of the Society of the Plastics Industry, a lobby that represents thousands of products made with BPA. Sales of that chemical now top $6 billion dollars a year, and for decades that industry has been able to control the debate on whether BPA is harmful to human health. According to a recent expose published by the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, The Food and Drug administration has been relying on studies financed by the industry itself to declare the chemical safe. So much for reliance on Big Brother to look out for your best interests.
But now the truth is leaking out. A rash of new studies are showing that the chemical is far from benign; that it’s capable of doing much more damage to humans much more quickly than anyone had previously suspected.
Here’s what makes it worse: letting those water bottles sit around for a long time, and exposing them to heat.
Imagine you’ve just taken a tray of warm cinnamon rolls from the oven. That wonderful smell that’s filling your house is billions of molecules actually leaving the hot pastries and filling the air. What is entering your nostrils are really billions of tiny, invisible, quantum bits of cinnamon roll that have been violently thrown off by the heat and are now flying around the room.
That’s pretty much what’s happening with Bisphenol-A, but in a much less delectable way. Billions of molecules of the stuff are constantly dissolving off the inside of the bottle and into the water you will eventually drink. Heat speeds up the process, and heat plus time only makes it worse. If you’ve got cases of water just sitting in your garage summer after summer, you’re asking for trouble big time.
Have you ever wondered how far those flats of water have traveled by train or truck before they ever got to the store, and how much heat they’ve been exposed to along the way? The trucks carrying that water are not refrigerated, and in the summer those bottles can get very hot. Scientists estimate that within six months of bottling, enough BPA has leached into the water in that bottle to seriously mess you up. This isn’t the water you want to have waiting for you in an emergency.
The good news is that some experts believe BPA does not stay in your system permanently. The bad news is that the average person still absorbs the poison so frequently (BPA is also present in the packaging of virtually every microwave meal), that it’s probably present in your system all the time anyway, constantly working it’s evil magic.
Want to put your health in even greater jeopardy? Refill that plastic bottle and use it again and again. That’s what my wife and I have been doing for several years, unaware that each time we refilled a plastic water bottle we were practically scraping poisons off the inside of the bottle and swirling them into our clean water.
Because of the convenience of having bottles of cold water always in the refrigerator, we regularly would buy a flat of water, refilling each bottle from our kitchen filter numerous times.
We don’t do that any more.
You can Google the dangers of bottled water as I did, and never come to the end of reports documenting the harm that stuff does. Not long ago I went out and bought plastic bottles that are labled BPA free, and we fill and reuse those now. Sometimes I even drink my water the old fashioned way, from a glass.
After what I know now, I wouldn’t take another drink of bottled water on a dare.
What do these little buzzers have to do with or food supply? Find out why When the Bees Disappear, the Food Disappears.
Want to become as GMO free as possible? Grow your own food, and learn The Top 3 Mistakes Preppers Make When Buying Emergency Seeds (and How to Avoid Them),