Is There Plastic In Your Water?

Researchers from State University of New York and Orb Media, a nonprofit, U.S. based journalism company tested 259 bottles of water from 11 different countries including the United States. The results they found were alarming.  93% of the water contained micro plastics, which are bits of plastic that are broken down from larger plastic materials.

National Public Radio (NPR) wrote about a study by CertiChem, a testing company:

The researchers bought more than 450 plastic items from stores including Walmart and Whole Foods.  They chose products designed to come in contact with food - things like baby bottles, deli packaging and flexible bags, says George Bittner (founder of CertiChem), one of the study’s authors and a professor of biology at the University of Texas, Austin.


Then CertiChem chopped up bits for each product and soaked them in either saltwater or alcohol to see what came out.   


The testing showed that more than 70% of the products released chemicals that acted like estrogen.  And that was before they exposed the stuff to real-world conditions: simulated sunlight, dishwashing and microwaving.  


...more than 90% of the products tested positive after undergoing some sort of stress.  


The team concentrated on BPA-free baby bottles and water bottles and “all of them released chemicals having estrogenic activity.” Sometimes the BPA-free products had even more activity than products know to contain BPA.   

While there are numerous studies verifying the data, the National Institute of Environmental Health Science published a study in 2011 stating that many of the chemicals used to make plastic had estrogenic chemicals.  

Almost all of commercially available plastic products we sampled - independents of resin, product, or retail source - leached chemicals having reliable detectable Estrogenic Activity (EA).


EA can produce many health-related problems such as early puberty in females, reduced sperm counts, altered functions of reproductive organs, obesity, increased rates of some breast, ovarian, testicular and prostate cancers.   Fetal, newborn, and juvenile mammals are especially sensitive to very small doses of chemicals having EA.

Healthline also points out other side effects of elevated estrogen levels:

High levels of estrogen may put you at higher risk of blood clots and stroke. Estrogen dominance may also increase your chances of thyroid dysfunction. This can cause symptoms such as fatigue and weight changes.  

What Can You Do?

The solution is simple. Instead of drinking water from a plastic water bottle, switch to glass or steel bottles. You should also consider switching to glass or steel containers for your food storage needs. This is an entirely preventable solution to the plastic problem, and also happens to be very environmentally friendly. Do your part by making this change a priority and encouraging your friends and family to follow in your footsteps.

Steven Zahn

ACE + NASM Certified Personal Trainer

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Youth/High School Football & Track Coach

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