In 2012, the FDA banned bisphenol-A or BPA from infant formula packaging. Bottled water companies soon followed suit to eliminate BPA in their products. Despite the ban and decrease in use, there’s still a high risk of chemicals found in plastic water bottles. People who want to reach their eight-glasses-of-water-a-day goal may be surprised by their healthy habit may actually make them ill depending on their water source.

After evaluating 18 bottled water products, one study found nearly 25,000 chemicals in bottled water. Among these were endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs), like BPA, which adversely affect human health. Furthermore, the FDA has started regulating bottled water for E. coli, and studies have revealed bottle water samples also containing mold, benzene, microbes, and in some cases, arsenic.

  • Symptoms of E. coli exposure include gastrointestinal problems, vomiting, diarrhea, as well as headaches and fatigue.
  • Mold causes several health problems including coughing, throat and eye irritation, and allergic reactions that may affect the respiratory system, induce asthma and lead to other immune-related conditions.
  • Benzene is categorized as a human carcinogen and carries a long-term effect on the blood. It can eventually cause a decrease in red blood cells, negatively affect the immune system, and at high levels, can cause vomiting, dizziness, and rapid heart rate.

The effects of plastic containers on health are a result of exposure to any mix of toxins and chemicals, and include a range of symptoms and conditions. Even trace amounts could impact the body and worsen over timeIt is crucial to understand the different indicators of water quality to make sure your water is safe for you and your loved ones drinking it. 

A recent study done by the State University of New York in Fredonia shows that there are excessive levels of microplastics in bottled water, especially in popular brands. Microplastics are small plastic debris pieces measuring 5 millimeters or smaller. Microplastic is found in over 93% of bottled water and while The World Health Organization says that there is no evidence consumption of microplastics affect your health, it is still an area of concern.