Plastic has always been harmful to our health and environment. Human consumes around 44 pounds of plastic throughout their lifetime, according to research done by Thomson Reuters Foundation. Continuous use of plastic not only affects our health but also causes a lot of damage to our environment. Plastic is very helpful to make our work easier. This is the reason that nowadays there are many plastic items available in the market. One of these items is greatly used by plastic bottle people.
Not only this, there are many types of bottles of different colours and designs in the market, which people are continuously using. But do you know that drinking water kept in a plastic bottle can cause many health problems? If you are also included among these people, then definitely know about the disadvantages of drinking water in plastic bottles-
Slow poison is the water of plastic bottles
Many types of harmful chemicals are found in plastic, which causes great harm to our health. In such a situation, if water is kept in it, then harmful elements like fluoride, arsenic and aluminium are available, by consuming it, it acts like a slow poison in our bodies. This causes your health to deteriorate gradually.
Health Risks of Microplastics
Micro- and nano-plastics in the human body may have harmful effects on health. Studies on animals indicate that plastic particles can cross the gut barrier and travel through the body. While this field of study is rather recent, there is concern that this exposure could have harmful effects on health. Additionally, plastics increase disease risk by acting as a vessel for human pathogens which have a particularly strong bind to plastic waste.
5 main ways in which plastic enters our body and leads to a negative effect on human health:
- We eat plastic-contaminated seafood- Scientists have found microplastics in 114 marine species, and almost one-third of these end up on our plates. Some of the chemicals added to plastic to increase its performance are considered endocrine disruptors – chemicals that affect normal hormone function – while some retardants may interfere with brain development in children. Studying the impacts of microplastics on human health is very challenging.
- We consume plastic via packaging- BPAs are present in many plastic objects that come in direct contact with food, including plastic packaging, kitchenware, and the inner coatings of beverages. BPA is metabolized in the liver to form Bisphenol A and it exits our body through our urine.
- We drink microplastics via bottled water- The World Health Organisation (WHO) published shocking research in 2018 which exposed the presence of microplastics in 90% of bottled water that had been tested – only 17 were free of plastics out of 259. Today while there is not enough evidence on the impact of microplastics on human health, most scientists agree that it is an emerging area of concern and that if thousands of species worldwide are dying because of it, it can’t be that good for us either.
- We absorb plastic through our clothes- The Global Apparel Fiber Consumption published research which highlights that – out of 100,000 kg of fibres consumed worldwide in one year – 70% are synthetic. Synthetic fibres such as polyester, acrylic, rayon, and nylon are derived from petroleum – yes, the same oil that we feed our cars – and are a type of plastic. Microplastics are constantly released in the air from our clothing, and we breathe them in every single day.
- We breathe plastic- Where there is poor waste management, people often have no choice but to burn their trash in the open air. This is a very common practice that allows chemicals from plastic to easily enter the body as we breathe normally. A report published in March 2018 shows that 5 billion people globally live without waste collection or controlled waste disposal. Roughly 9 million people die each year as a result.
Plastics may affect our health via three pathways:
- We eat, drink and breathe microplastics every day. These small plastic particles may harm our health once they have entered our bodies.
- Plastic products contain chemical additives. A number of these chemicals have been associated with serious health problems such as hormone-related cancers, infertility and neurodevelopment disorders like ADHD and autism.
- When plastics and microplastics end up in the environment, they attract micro-organisms, such as harmful bacteria (pathogens). If microplastics containing these pathogens enter our bodies, they may increase the risk of infection.
The harmful effect of Plastic on the human body
- Dioxin Production: Direct exposure to the sun. Such heating releases a toxin called Dioxin which when consumed can accelerate breast cancer.
- BPA generation: Biphenyl A is an oestrogen-mimicking chemical that can lead to a lot of health problems like diabetes, obesity, fertility problems, behavioural problems and early puberty in girls. It’s better not to store and drink water from a plastic bottle.
- Impact Immune system: Our immune system is immensely affected when we drink water in plastic bottles. The chemicals from plastic bottles are ingested and tend to disturb our body’s immune system.
- Liver Cancer: Because of the presence of a chemical called phthalates in plastic, drinking water from plastic bottles can also lead to liver cancer. Harmful chemicals present in plastic such as lead, cadmium and mercury entering the body are greatly increased.
- Reproductive problems Women and men can also cause reproductive problems from the chemicals present in them through the continuous use of plastic. Indeed, harmful chemicals increase the risk of ovary-related diseases, breast cancer, colon cancer, and prostate cancer. Apart from this, drinking plastic bottled water can also reduce sperm in men.
How to protect yourself
Plastic bottles have piles of drinking water. In such a situation, try to use BPA-free plastic bottles to drink water. Also, if you use glass, copper or stainless steel bottle, it would be better. Also, keep in mind that from time to time, wash the bottles thoroughly.