Read the passage and answer the following questions.






Which would you pick if you were given the choice - a glass of water from your own kitchen or a bottle of water from a manufacturing company? If you choose the glass of water from your own kitchen, you may be saving yourself a lot of money and also protecting your body from contaminants. On the other hand, if you pick the bottled water, both the contents and the container may cost you your money and your health, and harm the environment as well.


There is no doubt bottled water is convenient, trendy, and may well be cleaner than what comes out of your tap. However, it is hardly a smart decision for your financial state, your body or the environment. A healthy-lifestyle group known as Eat This, Not That! conducted a research into what is behind the pristine images and elegant-sounding names printed on bottled water containers in the market. According to this group, people who buy bottled water may actually be drinking tap water and not water from a natural source as claimed. Surprisingly, even well-known companies are simply bottling and selling purified tap water that has had minerals added to it. For example, if the water is bottled at a manufacturing company in California, you may actually be drinking plain Californian tap water. The group also claimed that about 25 percent of all bottled water is taken from municipal water sources.


Bottled water is also not always pure. If you scan the labels of leading brands, you will see variations of the words "pure", "natural" and "pristine" over and over again. According to a research done by a marketing class in Cornell University on consumers' perceptions of bottled water, people generally think it is cleaner and has less bacteria. However, that may not actually be true. A 4-year review that included the testing of 1,000 bottles of water was conducted by the Natural Resources Defense Council, one of America's most ardent environmental crusaders. The council found that about 22 percent of the brands tested contained chemicals at levels above approved health limits.


Another concern is the use of the plastic container itself. It is not clear where the plastic container of bottled water ends and the drink begins. This is because, when certain plastics are heated at a high temperature, chemicals from the plastics may leak into the contents of the bottled water. Thus, there has been much speculation recently as to whether the amounts of these chemicals are actually harmful to the human body. This concern even extends to water bottles which are not likely to be placed in boiling water or even a microwave. While the jury is still out on realistic health consequences, some studies have indicated that small amounts of chemicals from water bottles such as antimony a semi-metal that is thought to be toxic in large doses can accumulate in bottled water when stored in a hot environment.


Most water bottles are made of a plastic called polyethylene terephthalate. This fact has given rise to a major environmental concern as well. In order to make polyethylene terephthalate, you need crude oil. Seventeen million barrels of oil are used in the production of polyethylene terephthalate water bottles every year. It is no wonder that the cost of bottled water rivals that of petrol. Moreover, 86 percent of the 30 billion polyethylene terephthalate water bottles sold annually are tossed in the trash instead of being recycled, according to data from the Container Recycling Institute. That is a lot of waste waste that will outlast generations to come. This is because polyethylene terephthalate bottles take 400 to 1000 years to biodegrade. If our current rate of consumption continues, where will we put all of these discarded bottles?


So the next time you reach out for a bottle of clear pristine water stacked on the shelves of a supermarket, think of the consequences of that decision. Opt instead for water brought from home in your own water bottle.




Adapted from mmc=Yahoo Blog- -

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