Thursday, May 7, 2009

A Rant (sorry)

What is the deal with the bottled water industry?

They say there's something in the plastic (PCBs?) that breaks down and causes cancer, particularly breast cancer. Hence, you should never, NEVER refill a water bottle with tap water.

This smacks of marketing and sounds suspiciously like a copywriter's idea for compelling people to continue to buy case after case of bottled water, even though each case yields 12-32 bottles and people nearly always have a copious supply of clean tap water in their homes.

My first question, obviously, was, "If the plastic causes cancer when the bottle is refilled, why doesn't it cause cancer in the original use?" My son answered by explaining to me, "It's like a tuna fish know, how after you open it, if you leave the tuna in the can in the refrigerator, the inside of the can oxidizes and gets black and gross. After you break the original seal on the water bottle, the decomposition process begins." Maybe this is true. Maybe not.

So, plastic oxidizes? No, I know I'm being overly simplistic here, but assuming that they are telling the truth, and the bottles begin to give off carcinogenic substances after the original airlock is broken...

Would this not indicate a terrible problem in our landfills, which contain thousands upon thousands of these very bottles, used and discarded because they are unsafe to be used twice? So they sit in the landfills, decomposing into carcinogenic particles, which presumably must seep down into the ground, poisoning the very ground water upon which we all depend with these very same carcinogenic particles that we were trying to avoid by throwing them away...

Also, they say that freezing water in water bottles, even before they have been drunk the first time, also causes the breakdown of PCBs. Excuse me??? Have you ever walked through the frozen department of a supermarket? Have you ever noticed how many frozen products are packaged in plastic? Do we have a problem here, or don't we? I know there are different types of plastic, but shouldn't that indicate that the unsafe varieties would be banned in favor of safe varieties? What is going on here?

It is all about making money, people. When packaging products in plastic nets money to big corporations, it is fine, legal and "safe." When reusing a plastic product promotes a risk to the profits of a large corporation, it suddenly causes cancer.

Which is true? I don't know. I'm not a chemist. My daughter Shannon is, and just ask her about aspartame (a.k.a. nutrasweet). It is poisonous. At warm temperatures (~86 degress farenheit), it breaks down into formaldehyde (a carcinogen) and methanol (which causes neurological damage and blindness). Everybody in chemistry knows this and has known it for many years. The controversy is not over whether this is true, but only over "How much aspartame is enough to be detrimental?" Are you serious? Antifreeze is poisonous. A a local woman was recently convicted for murdering two husbands with it. It tastes good when added to a drink, and the lethal dose is approximately two tablespoons. Does this mean that we could say that if only 1/4 of a teaspoon were added to each of our drinks, it would be fine? Because that amount "is not enough to be detrimental..."?

I'm sure if Shannon ever becomes prominent in her field, Monsanto will find a way to gag her. (Monsanto is bad for the world, and I coud easily find stronger words to use about them than that.)

We are on our own, people, we are on our own. Our government does not protect us; our government and judges have sold out to whomever is the highest bidder, certainly not the common man. We cannot trust the FDA as far as our noses are from our faces. If you want to know what is safe, study it yourself, and if you want to eat food that is safe, you'd better raise it yourself.

And drink out of glass glasses instead of plastic bottles. But if you have to drink out of plastic, don't worry too much, because the hype is probably mostly only due to marketing.

1 comment:

Ruth MacC said...

This is my kinda thinking:0)