It comes as no surprise that water, that miracle of life without which we would quickly shrivel up and die, dominates the headlines. We are either witch-hunting BP for its role in polluting numerous water sources, marveling at Libya’s man-made river, or watching cautiously as Egypt struggles to provide water to its citizens. Then there is the water that comes in bottles. We assume its safe, but is it really?
How safe is Saudi’s bottled water?
Arabian Business reports that the Saudi Food and Drug Authority (SFDA) found that the Saudi water bottling company Jibal Faifa Water Co. in the Sabya Governorate is producing bottled water that is high in bromate.
Bromate was “first found to cause tumors in rats in 1982. Subsequent studies on rats and mice confirmed that it causes tumors of the kidney, thyroid, and other organs,” according to the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI). Additionally, the United Kingdom and Canada banned Bromate in the early 1990s.
Produced by the Jazan Development Company (Jazadco), the SFDA has recommended that production of the bottled water is halted, and that it is removed from shelves.
The lowdown on PET
Although compelling, Bromate is not the only reason to rethink drinking water out of plastic bottles.
The Island Haven Institute (IHI) writes that “according to John Hopkins researcher Rolf Halden there are no dioxins in plastics. However, he states the phthalates in plastics (PET is a phathalate) can leach into your water or food if the container is heated” – a daunting prospect given the country’s powerful heat waves.
“Phalates are environmental contaminants that can exhibit hormone-like behavior by acting as endocrine disruptors in humans and animals,” says Halden.
What’s more, the PET used to manufacture the plastics produces 100 times the amount of emissions generated as a byproduct of producing glass and take thousands of years to decompose in already crowded landfills, according to IHI.
Before turning to plastic for your drinking water, check the local newspapers and water authorities for information about water safety, and then make your decision. If it can be trusted, tap water is much less destructive to the environment than the 2.5 million bottles thrown away in the US alone, according to cleanair.org.
More Hydrological News: