Sharon Kleyne Hour - Power of Water
Radio Talk Show - Water, Health, Environment, Dehydration, Dry Air, Dry Eye

Should Kids Drink Bottled Water

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August 9, 2010

Eliza Barclay (Washington, DC), writer. "Children and bottled drinking water - Is it safe?"

Ms. Barclay is a freelance writer specializing in health and the environment. She is a frequent contributor to National Geographic online.

She is concerned about the proliferation of drinking water via plastic bottles. The bottles are not biodegradable, petroleum based, require energy to manufacture and are only rarely recycled. However, she concedes that in some regions, especially in the third world, bottled water is an excellent alternative to the local water, which is often contaminated and unhealthy. It is also preferable to bottled soda.

Sharon notes that no matter where you live, safe, reliable and healthful fresh water is an endangered species.

Bottled water issues: It is sold everywhere in the United States, is extremely popular and the bottles are rapidly piling up. The reason for this is difficult to pinpoint because tap water in the US is far better than in the rest of the world.

(Although Sharon quickly adds that nowhere do people drink enough water).

According to Ms. Barclay, the situation with children and bottled water in the US is another matter. There are still a huge number of US schools with either lead pipes or lead soldered pipes leading to the drinking fountains. Plastic pipes can also leech chemicals into the water. The use of bottles may be a good way to encourage kids to drink more water while protecting them from these dangers.

Schools can get around the problems by either retrofitting the pipes, filtering the water or simply flushing the fountains every morning.

Ms. Barclay is currently working for National Geographic on water story about China, which has plenty of water but far, far too many people for the water it has, and an extremely inadequate delivery system. China has 1.3 billion people but the country's north and west are quite arid so they ether need to either move the water or move the people.

To summarize, the objective should be free, safe tap water for everyone and bottled water is only a temporary fix.