The content of plastic bottles i.e. water and carbonated beverages have become daily consumables for many people. In Nigeria alone, we have over a hundred brands of products packaged in plastic bottles that are consumed on a daily basis.
Research has shown that liquids packaged in plastic bottles have harmful effects which will be discussed in this article. Many plastic bottles contain harmful toxins and the most common toxin is BPA.
BPA (Bisphenol A) is one of many man-made chemicals classified as endocrine disruptors, which alter the function of the endocrine system by mimicking the role of the body’s natural hormones.
7 harmful effects of drinking from plastic bottles
Plastic bottles contain harmful chemicals.
Plastic bottles are synthetic products and the components are chemical in composition. This translates that consistent use of plastic bottle for product consumption without adequate measures is a threat to human health. Research shows that cancer cells develop in the body as a result of drinking plastic bottled drinks.
Some types of plastic bottles contain chemicals that may leach into your drink. Bisphenol A, or BPA, is one of the most commonly cited culprits, and is found in hard plastic bottles marked with the plastic code “7.”
You probably might not have heard of “dioxin production” before. Actually, the first time I heard of this was when I was doing my research for this article. Plastic does melt in hot environments or whenever it is in close contact with heat. We often store water in plastic bottles while driving and occasionally, we leave the bottles in the car and they get very hot because of the temperature in the car increases due to the heat from the sun. The increase in temperature causes the plastic bottles to release a toxin called Dioxin which when consumed can accelerate incidences of breast cancer.
Liver cancer and reduced sperm count
Because of the presence of a chemical called phthalates in plastic, drinking water from plastic bottles can also lead to liver cancer and a reduction in sperm count. Unfortunately, this is things we do or consume almost every day and unknowing to us it is killing us gradually.
Harmful additives in the vitamin-enriched bottled water
This might sound appealing but the truth is that it is dangerous to our health. Nowadays, we get water mostly in plastic bottles and to increase its health content, manufacturers make it vitamin-enriched to attract buyers. But this is even more harmful as it carries health-harming additives like food dyes and high fructose corn syrup.
Note: processed foods are never the best.
Damage to the immune system
Our immune system is immensely affected when we drink fluid in plastic bottles. The chemicals from plastic bottles are ingested and tend to disrupt our body’s immune system. It is more dangerous when it begins to harm the cells that make up the stronger immune system. The moment your body immunity is threatened by additives or artificial compositions then, your life is exposed to danger.
Plastic chemicals might make it harder for you to have a baby.
I am sure only a few people know about this as it’s very hard to believe.
Researchers found that men and women undergoing in-vitro fertilization who had high levels of BPA in their blood, urine, and work environment were less likely to have a successful pregnancy.
Refilling plastic bottles can expose you to potentially harmful bacteria.
Most of us do this at home, unlike glass or steel bottles, both reusable and disposable plastic bottles break down from regular use. Even teeny cracks can harbour bacteria. So, if you are doing this do it with caution or rather don’t do it at all.
HOW TO PREVENT the HARMFUL EFFECTS OF THE PLASTIC BOTTLE DRINKS
There are no specific or direct measures to prevent the consequences because the facts remains that they are synthetic materials.
Here are possible measures to prevent the harmful effects
- Avoid exposing the plastic drinks to sun or heat, especially when they have consumable liquid content in them.
- Refilling: if for any reason you want to be using the plastic bottle after the first use, ensure it is properly clean always, and also ensure you dispose it immediately it gets damaged or depreciate.
- Check for the expiry date of the product before consuming and sometimes if you have liquid in a plastic bottle for a long time it is advisable not to consume it because it might have been contaminated.