Thursday, October 9, 2014


Is not this world really crazy? First, one creates a scare about some thing and then an entrepreneur comes out with a solution! Who is benefited? Of course the industry. For example, the fears about the health of children make all parents nervous, fearing that inappropriate foods may harm their children as they grow. In comes a bevy of products claiming that consuming them will make the child grow faster, taller, more intelligent and more athletic! Vow! parents fall over each other to be seen buying these products though there is hardly any scientific evidence to support the outlandish claims of these peddlers! This blogger is provoked by the sorry situation that exists in almost all countries of the world about the safety of drinking water leading to its exploitation by the bottled water industry for beefing up their bottom line. In India also this industry is flourishing under the very nose of a democratic government where right to affordable food, safe water and pure air is enshrined in the constitution. Yet no water supply in any parts of the country is safe and water borne diseases are common among population which cannot buy expensive water treatment gadgets or spend costly fuels to boil it. Can any one believe that in India cost of bottled water is almost same as that of soft drinks! Now that bottled water has established itself as a standard item of family purchase, its negative impact on the health of citizens is coming out. Here is a report on this issue which is considered mundane by many people though reality is some thing else.   

"Plastic water bottles are made from polyethylene terephthalate. When heated, the material releases the chemicals antimony and bisphenol A, commonly called BPA. While the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has said BPA is not a major concern at low levels found in beverage containers, it continues to study the chemical's impacts. Some health officials, including those at the Mayo Clinic, say the say the chemical can cause negative effects on children's health. And antimony is considered a carcinogen by the International Agency for Research on Cancer, part of the World Health Organization. UF soil and water science professor Lena Ma led a research team that studied chemicals released in 16 brands of bottled water kept at 158 degrees Fahrenheit for four weeks, what researchers deemed a "worst-case scenario" for human consumption".

Packaging water in plastic bottles and sachet is so common that consumers take it for granted that nothing is wrong with it. It is well known that except for glass and stainless steel, all other packaging materials are not "content-neutral", ie the packaging materials do cause leaching of some of its constituents: many of them can be harmful beyond a limit. According to the above report plastic bottles being used by many bottlers can cause migration of Antimony, a heavy metal and bis-Phenol A, both of them with health damaging potential, especially to growing children and this leaching out becomes more extensive if the water is exposed to higher temperatures that prevail in many tropical countries. What is scary is the long term effect of consuming such water over a long period on the future generations if health authorities do not revisit this area immediately.


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