Environmental health and bottled water
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Environmental Health and Bottled Water. Emily Cowan, MPH Student Walden University PUBH 6165-3 Instructor: Robert Marino. Bottled Water and our Environment. Introduction:

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Environmental health and bottled water

Environmental Health and Bottled Water

Emily Cowan, MPH Student

Walden University

PUBH 6165-3

Instructor: Robert Marino


Bottled water and our environment

Bottled Water and our Environment

Introduction:

The production, manufacturing, consumption, and disposal of plastic water bottles in the United States continue threaten the health of our natural environments.

The health factors surrounding bottled water are related to waste, regulation of plastic and water quality, and increased reliance on fossil fuels to produce and transport bottles from manufacturer to consumer.


Bottled water and our environment1

Bottled Water and our Environment

Objectives:

  • The purpose of this presentation is to increase your knowledge and awareness on the environmental risk factors associated with bottled water. Hopefully this presentation will motivate our community to decrease their water bottle consumption as well as to help inspire others to make similar positive changes to support our environment.

  • We will be discussing plastic disposable water bottles as it relates to landfill waste, exposure to plastics, water safety (regulations), and the links between bottled water and fossil fuels.

  • We will also discuss how to make changes to reduce the need for plastic bottles, in turn reducing the negative consequences associated with this product


Environmental health and bottled water 1350755

Bruno, L. (2008). Old idea of using bioplastics gets a new lease of life. Guardian.co.uk. Retrieved July 20, 2011 from http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2008/jul/10/research.waste

A truck dumps its load of plastic at a waste recycling facility in San Francisco Photograph: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images


Bottled water and waste

Bottled Water and Waste

It’s solid landfill waste!

According to the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation:

  • 90 percent of plastic water bottles used in the United States become garbage or litter.

  • Incinerating used bottles produces toxic byproducts such as chlorine gas and ash containing heavy metals.

  • Buried water bottles can take up to 1,000 years to biodegrade.

    New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, Bureau of Waste Reduction & Recycling. (2011). Water bottle fact sheet too many bottles-it is a waste Albany, NY. Retrieved July 20, 2011 from http://www.dec.ny.gov/chemical/51377.html


Bottled water and waste1

Bottled Water and Waste

It’s a waste of money!

According to the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation (2011), “Bottled water costs as much as $10 per gallon-tap water costs less than one cent per gallon”.

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, Bureau of Waste Reduction & Recycling. (2011). Water bottle fact sheet too many bottles-it is a waste Albany, NY. Retrieved July 20, 2011 from http://www.dec.ny.gov/chemical/51377.html


Bottled water and waste2

Bottled Water and Waste

It’s a waste of fossil fuels!

Crude oil is used in bottle production that contains polyethylene terephthalate (PET). Fossil fuels are also expended during manufacturing and transportation of bottled water.

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, Bureau of Waste Reduction & Recycling. (2011). Water bottle fact sheet too many bottles-it is a waste Albany, NY. Retrieved July 20, 2011 from http://www.dec.ny.gov/chemical/51377.html


Bottled water and waste cont

Bottled Water and Waste cont.

Discussion

The majority of plastic bottles used for water end up as garbage, which

contributes to landfill waste. Because bottled water containers are non-refundable, consumers are less likely to recycle or return used water containers.

The roughly 10 percent of plastic water bottles that do not end up in

landfills are potentially recycled or more accurately “down cycled”. This is an inefficient way of “recycling” the bottles into other products. These products are of lower quality and durability than the original product. So unlike the recycling of paper to produce more paper; plastic bottles are not being recycled to make more of the same which requires a great deal of energy not to mention cost!


Bottled water and water safety

Bottled Water and Water Safety

What are the regulations on the safety of bottled drinking water?

According the United States Environmental Protection Agency (2011), “Bottled water may contain some contaminants. Contaminants in bottled water must be below the maximum permitted level set by the Food and Drug Administration or the state”. However, the FDA (a federal program) is only required to regulate the quality of the water if it is sold in a state that differs from its manufacturing state.

Other concerns related to regulation might include the privatization of the manufacturing industry that does not require disclosure to the public regarding issues such as where the water came from or what was in it!

United States Environmental Protection Agency. (2011). Bottled Water. Retrieved July 20, 20011 from http://safewater.supportportal.com/ics/support/splash.asp?deptID=23015


Bottled water and water safety1

Bottled Water and Water Safety

How do these regulations deviate from municipal water regulations?

The Safe Drinking Water Act allows the EPA to closely regulate municipal water through regular and frequent lab testing. Bottled water manufacturers are not under the EPA’s jurisdiction and testing happens on a less frequent basis.

For more information on water regulations visit:

http://www.fda.gov/Food/FoodSafety/ProductSpecificInformation/BottledWaterCarbonatedSoftDrinks/ucm077079.htm

http://water.epa.gov/lawsregs/rulesregs/sdwa/currentregulations.cfm


Bottled water and plastic

Bottled Water and Plastic


Bottled water and plastic1

Bottled Water and Plastic

Concerns regarding the safety of the plastic that contains the water we drink bring up many questions for researchers as well as the public.

Most bottled water is derived from #1 plastic which is made from Polyethylene terephthalate (PET). PET has been found to disrupt the endocrine system causing hormone related illnesses including cancer and developmental disabilities.

More research is needed! It is unclear if the plastics used to bottle water are undisruptive and risk-free

New studies indicate that #1 PET plastic, “the type used in most single-use water bottles”, can be just as disruptive as the polycarbonate or BPA found in the #7 plastics (Raloff, 2009, para.2).

Raloff, J. (March 2009). Bottled water may contain ‘hormones’: Plastics. Science News Magazine. Washington, DC. Retrieved july 19, 2011 from http://www.sciencenews.org/view/generic/id/41628/title/Bottled_water_may_contain_%E2%80%98hormones%E2%80%99_Plastics


Bottled water and safety

Bottled Water and Safety

  • Discussion

    Although the Food and Drug Administration and to some degree the U.S. Environmental Protection agency, have jurisdiction to maintain the safety of the bottled water we drink; the regulations are not as intensive as the regulations the EPA requires for municipal water. Contaminants in bottled water have been found to be higher than contaminants in tap water. Quality control for bottled water is lacking as private manufactures don’t have to share information with the public. Other safety concerns are related to the plastic the water is contained in. Many researchers are uneasy about the safety of the plastics used for bottling and containing water. The question remains, do we continue to take the risk with our health and the health of our environment?


Environmental health and bottled water 1350755

Photos retrieved from www.treehugger.com


Bottled water and fossil fuels

Bottled water and Fossil Fuels

  • What is the link?

    “The majority of energy or oil used for bottled water is in making the plastic bottles, followed by treating the water, filling and capping the bottles, and transporting the bottles to the homes or businesses that use them. Global sales of bottled water topped 200 billion liters in 2007, around 33 billion liters in the United States, averaging almost 30 gallons of water per person. Using those figures, it took an estimated 0.15 to 0.26 gallons of oil to make my gallon of bottled water”(Schauwecker, 2009, p.46).

    The plastic used to make water bottles is made from polyethylene terephthalate (PET) which is derived from crude oil. Fossil fuels are used in essentially every step of producing bottled water for the public to consume. This has a significant impact on our natural environments not to mention our reliance on foreign oil so that we can consume drinking water from a single use pre-packaged bottle. The amount of energy it takes to produce bottled water is considerable and wasteful!

    Schauwecker, P.. (2009). Oil and Water: Fueling Questions. Natural Resources & Environment, 24(1), 46-47.  Retrieved July 20, 2011, from Research Library. (Document ID: 1857951161).


Bottled water and fossil fuels cont

Bottled Water and Fossil Fuels cont.

  • Discussion

    From “cradle to grave” fossil fuels are heavily involved in the bottled water industry. With greenhouse emissions, cost, and dependence issues, bottled water production and disposal continues to be a significant problem in regards to the use of fossil fuels and energy waste, the result is environmental degradation.

    For more information on fossil fuels and bottled water visit:

    http://www.projectcensored.org/top-stories/articles/20-bottled-water-a-global-environmental-problem/

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=72MCumz5lq4

    http://www.dec.ny.gov/docs/materials_minerals_pdf/waterbottles.pdf


What our community can do to help fight this problem

What our community can do to help fight this problem…

STOP BUYING AND CONSUMING BOTTLED WATER! (seriously)

Get involved in making change at home, at work, and in the community by:

  • REDUCING consumption, REUSING products, and as a last option RECYCLING…

    “Recycling provides opportunities to reduce oil usage, carbon dioxide emissions and the quantities of waste requiring disposal”(Hopewell, Dvorak, and Kosior, 2009).

  • Reducing your intake of bottled water; drink tap water

  • If you are concerned about tap water safety, buy a water filter for your tap instead of bottled water

  • Buying a glass or stainless steel reusable water container

  • Recycle plastic bottles appropriately after use

  • Be active in community recycling programs at work and in the schools

  • Pick up littered bottles and recycle them

  • Motivate friends and family to join you in reducing the mess bottled water is creating for our environment

    Hopewell, J., Dvorak, R., and Kosior, E. (2009). Plastics recycling: challenges and opportunities. Philos Trans R Soc Lond B Biol Sci. 2009 Jul 27;364(1526):2115-26.


References

References

Bruno, L. (2008). Old idea of using bioplastics gets a new lease of life. Guardian.co.uk. Retrieved July 20, 2011 from http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2008/jul/10/research.waste

Hopewell, J., Dvorak, R., and Kosior, E. (2009). Plastics recycling: challenges and opportunities. Philos Trans R Soc Lond B Biol Sci. 2009 Jul 27;364(1526):2115-26.

Moeller, D. (2005). Environmental Health. Cambridge, Mass: Harvard University Press

New York State Dept. of Environmental ConservationBureau of Waste Reduction & Recycling, 625 Broadway, Albany, NY 12233-7253. Retrieved July 20, 2011 from http://www.dec.ny.gov/docs/materials_minerals_pdf/waterbottles.pdf

Schauwecker, P.. (2009). Oil and Water: Fueling Questions. Natural Resources & Environment, 24(1), 46-47.  Retrieved July 20, 2011, from Research Library. (Document ID: 1857951161).

United States Environmental Protection Agency. (2011). Bottled Water. Retrieved July 20, 20011 from http://safewater.supportportal.com/ics/support/splash.asp?deptID=23015

U.S. Food and Drug Administration. (2011). FDA Regulates the Safety of Bottled Water Beverages Including Flavored Water and Nutrient-Added Water Beverages. Retrieved July 20, 2011 from http://www.fda.gov/Food/ResourcesForYou/Consumers/ucm046894.htm


Thank you

Thank you


Useful links

Useful Links

http://www.cleanair.org/Waste/wasteFacts.html

http://www.recycling-revolution.com/recycling-facts.html

http://www.epa.gov/osw/conserve/rrr/

http://www.nrdc.org/thisgreenlife/0802.asp

http://www.plasticsinfo.org/beveragebottles/apc_faqs.html

More information about what you can do locally can be found at:

http://www.recycletompkins.org/


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