The 25,000 Chemicals in Your Bottled Water
While most of us know that toting a reusable water bottle is the preferred mode of transport for our daily dose of H2O, the occasional disposable plastic bottle of store-bought water is nearly inevitable in today’s world. But is that water as crystal clear as it looks?
Definitely not. A recent study published by German researchers in the respected journal PLoS One found nearly 25,000 chemicals in bottled water. The bad news: some of the discovered chemicals disrupt hormones—and act like potent pharmaceuticals in your body.
To get started, the study’s authors purchased 18 different samples of commercially sold bottled water from France, Italy, and Germany; they also threw in a sample of tap water into the mix. They then used various methods of chemical analysis to test the water for its ability to interfere with the body’s estrogen and androgen (testosterone, etc.) receptors.
Their findings? According to the study, the majority of bottled waters tested interfered with both kinds of hormone receptors to some extent. In fact, amounts of water as little as 0.1 ounces inhibited estrogenic activity by 60 percent and stalled androgenic activity by 90 percent.The most hormonally active chemicals deteced in the test are those that are actually used to manufacture the form of plastic resins used in water bottles.
This is truly concerning, as the effects on androgenic activity were equivalent to the hormonal activity of the prescription drug flutamide, a hormonal drug commonly prescribed to men suffering from prostate cancer. Some good news: The tap water testing did not reveal any estrogenic or androgenic activity. However, the chemical testing done by the researchers revealed the fact that the bottled water tested contained 24,520 different chemicals.
What to do? Steer clear of store-bought water sold in disposable plastic bottles as much as possible and opt for a reusable, portable bottle instead. My favorite, which I drink from every day, is the limited-edition Water.org Camelbak Groove bottle ($25 for plastic and $35 for stainless steel, with $10 of the price going to Water.org, which provides clean drinking water for people in need around the globe). With a replaceable, removable water filter built right into the straw, this reusable bottle is a no-brainer. It’s BPA-free, ultra durable, easy to clean (I toss mine in the dishwasher for deep cleans), and it delivers great-tasting water—sans the 25,000 chemicals.