Friends Don’t Let Friends Drink Bottled Water

Evian spells naive backwardsWe don’t like to be the bearer of bad news, but it seems that water filtration advocates around the world are going to be disappointed today, because according to several news sources, bottled water sales saw a 4.2 percent increase this last year.

And, you may want to sit down for this next part…

Sales are expected to jump another 3 percent in 2011.

But don’t lose hope. Don’t let this news discourage you. You can make a difference. You can help us put an end to this madness.

It’s very simple: spread the word. Tell your friends the truth about bottled water. For example:

  1. Bottled water manufacturers use clever marketing tactics to fool consumers into believing that their product is the absolute best, and most convenient way to obtain pure water that is safe to drink.
  2. Bottled water is bad for the environment. Millions of non-biodegradable plastic bottles go unrecycled each year.
  3. Bottled water is very expensive, and is really nothing more than filtered tap water that you could easily get from home, at a fraction of the cost, with a quality water filter.
  4. Bottling companies like Fiji are taking good water away from the poor people in Fiji who really need it, and are shipping it long distances and selling it to Americans at ridiculous prices.
  5. Bottled water won’t necessarily protect you from hexavalent chromium contamination… a little known fact that may have contributed to the 2010 spike in sales. The Environmental Working Group recently discovered this contaminant in water supplies in 31 cities across the U.S., and they recommend a good quality water filter over bottled water as a solution. In addition, the EWG recently published a bottled water scorecard, giving filtered tap water the highest score available.
  6. Yes, many bottled waters do not contain fluoride, but you can get water that is fluoride-free right out of your tap by simply installing a reverse osmosis filter. Many RO filters also reduce chromium-vi, and in the long run, will save you lots of money.
  7. The bottled water brand name “Evian” spells “Naive” backwards…

 

These seven facts may be summed up in seven words: Friends don’t let friends drink bottled water. (Okay, so maybe it’s cliche, but you get the point.) I’m guessing that you probably have a lot of friends – virtual or otherwise – and social media is one of the best ways for you to help spread the word so that your friends are not labeled among the “naive” consumers. What’s more: we’ve made it really easy for you to do so; simply hit the “tweet” and “like” buttons at the top of this post. And if you’d like to spread the word on other social networks, you can do so by clicking the buttons below this post as well. Every share counts!

We’d also like to thank all of our friends who have thus far supported our efforts to provide everyone with affordable access to clean water straight from the tap!

Chromium III vs. Chromium VI in Water: What You Need to Know

Child Drinking WaterRecent reports have indicated the presence of chromium vi, also known as hexavalent chromium, in the municipal water supplies of 31 cities across the U.S. This toxic compound is an industrial pollutant and is known to be carcinogenic. Currently, the most effective way to remove chromium-6 from water is reverse osmosis filtration.

However, yearly water quality reports fail to distinguish between chromium vi and chromium iii. While the former is toxic and cancer-causing, the latter is an essential nutrient that is biologically active and found in everyday foods. Chromium-3 or trivalent chromium, is known to enhance the action of insulin, a hormone needed to metabolize and store carbohydrate, fat and protein in the body. Researchers have investigated the effect of chromium-3 supplements on preventing the onset of type-2 diabetes, and though these studies are inconclusive, there is no doubt that trivalent chromium is an essential and healthy compound. Failing to distinguish between hexavalent chromium and trivalent chromium is, as one report notes, like “lump[ing] a known carcinogen in with a vitamin.”

The moral of the story? Make sure you test your water for hexavalent chromium, specifically. Since chromium iii is found in so many foods, removing it from your water, along with chromium vi, is likely inconsequential. Most water filters that remove hexavalent chromium are likely to remove trivalent chromium as well, and it’s worth removing both in order to reduce your exposure to chromium-6. But simply buying a water filter that claims to remove “chromium,” but does not specify which type, may end up doing you no good, if your goal is to reduce the toxic variety.

The good news is, since the discovery of chromium-6 in water supplies across the U.S., health officials have recognized the importance of specifying these details on yearly water reports and will likely do so, in order to ensure a higher level of reliability in the future.

Bottled Water Won’t Protect you from Chromium-6

dirty bottled waterA few days ago, a Canadian news source put out an article called, “Bottled water not so bad.” Naturally, I was curious. There have been a lot of recent desperate attempts by the bottled water industry to reclaim its hold on the convenience-obsessed, consumer culture of America. The IBWA has put out several videos, such as “The Real Story of Bottled Water,” defending bottled water from the criticism it has received from environmental enthusiasts like Annie Leonard, or Stephanie Soechtig – director of the documentary “Tapped” – who claim that bottled water is an expensive marketing scam that’s bad for the environment. (In case it’s not obvious by now, we tend to agree.)

This article, along with several other recent news sources, claims that bottled water’s environmental footprint is not that bad, when compared to that of other packaged consumer goods. According to the article, “the average bottle of water travels about 250 kilometers from source to shelf.” Hmm… now I know Fiji is not your “average” bottle of water, but last I checked, it was a lot farther than 250 kilometers.  This article also makes the point that bottled water is 100 percent recyclable. The problem, however, is that not much of it is actually recycled. Though the recycling rate of bottled water has risen, according to a recent report, we are still left to deal with the remaining 69 percent that continue to pollute our landfills.

The only seed of hope that I saw in this argument was this: “Plastic beverage containers represent less than one-fifth of one per cent of the waste stream. Bottled water packaging represents 40 per cent of that.”

Perhaps that’s because more people are beginning to realize the wastefulness of plastic bottled beverage consumption. IBWA has proudly reported that the recycling rate of bottled water has increased to 31 percent. Well, of course it has. If fewer people are choosing to drink beverages sold in plastic bottle containers, even if the amount of bottles recycled remains the same, the rate of recycling is bound to increase.

Perhaps you’re a little hesitant to trust the water that comes out of your tap, especially in light of the recent discovery of hexavalent chromium (a.k.a. chromium-vi, or chromium-6) in water, in 31 cities across the U.S. If you think bottled water will save you, think again. Your best bet is to buy a reverse osmosis filter. Even the Environmental Working Group admitted that bottled water will not guarantee protection from this carcinogenic substance.

Once again, the bottled water industry has put its best, most defensive foot forward, but we are still not quite convinced. Nice try, though. Good game.