Plastic Water Bottles
The May 14, 2007 issue of MacLean’s highlighted some serious health and environmental concerns about water bottles and the water therein.
- The bottle is made from PET (polyethylene terephthalate). Studies have shown that antimony from this product leaches into the water.
- Coca-Cola and Pepsi get their water from municipal water supplies for their products Dasani and Aqufina products.
- Tests on bottled water monitor for 6 possible contaminates while Toronto test for 160. Regulations for bottled water on limited.
- 65,000 tonnes of bottles are not recycled and end up in landfill sites or in the environment. Only 12% are recycled.
- It requires 17.5 kilo of water to make 1 kilo of PET resulting in air pollution emissions of over 6 significant pollutants. The water required to make a bottle of water is greater than the water in the bottle.
- It requires 40 litres of water to extract 1 litre of oil. PET is an oil product. The water use I extraction is permanently polluted
- City water costs about 1/10th of 1 cent. A $2.50 bottle of water is a markup of 3000.
- Climate change will raise water levels on ocean coastlines due to ice melt but will lower the water in the Great Lakes as they are not fed by ice melt.
- 99.97% of the oak savannas in the world have been eliminated and the largest remaining habitat is in the Pinery Provincial Park.
- The emerald ash borer that has killed 700 million ash trees in Michigan and unknown numbers in the Windsor to London corridor. If not contained, it could kill 30% of the trees in Huron County. Efforts are being made by volunteer groups to contain the spread. (www.ashrescue.com/)
- A report, Confronting Climate change in the Great Lakes Region, released in early April stated that climate change will significantly alter the Great Lakes region over this century. This two year study states that climate change could increase summer temperatures up to eight degrees harming lake trout because of larger quantities of invasive species such as zebra mussels, diminishing water levels and water tables (up to 30%). The major source of the problem is the burning of fossil fuels. (davidsuzuki.org/climate_change)
- 27% of Canadians & 11% of Americans depend on the Great Lakes for water, using 140,000 litres per second
- A mature ash tree can absorb 300 litres of water per hour.
- In summer, 50% of treated water is used to water lawns.
- 33% of Ontario municipal sewage systems fail to protect the environment.
- The average tree inhales 12 kg of CO2 each year? That’s 26 kg of carbon dioxide being recycled from our air and converted to O2, enough to keep a family of four breathing for a year.
- Trees are important to rural areas like the Bayfield watershed. They improve crop yield by controlling erosion while improving the quality of the river water.
- Quebec will ban the use of pesticides for cosmetic purposes in 2005.
- Trees regulate temperature and rainfall. Mature trees act like natural air conditioners and water pumps that cool the earth by creating shade and recycling water.
- Some salmon around the great lakes have lost their male characteristics and according to Environment Canada this caused by estrogen (birth control pills etc.) entering the water from sewage treatment plants.
- Drinking water from lakes consistently contains antibiotics that were ingested by humans and animals. Bacteria are developing a resistance to antibiotics.
- The average shower uses 19 litres per minute.
- 1 drip per second from a leaky tap wastes 25 litres per day.
- The e.coli count along the Huron shoreline consistently exceeds by at least a factor of two the standards set for swimming pools.
- Loblaws will stop selling pesticides in 2005.
A US study found in a sampling of 140 waterways in 30 states:
- Insect repellent found in74% of samples
- Caffeine found in 70% of samples
- Antibiotics found in 48% 0f samples
- Reproductive hormones found in 40% of samples
- Perfumes found in 27% of samples
- Prescription drugs found in 32% of samples